House and Home

Increase Property Values With Home Improvements

When I was younger, I would move all the time.  Not far – but bouncing all over the place.  At one point my mother decided she was going to buy and sell homes to make some cash.  I learned so much through these improvements, not to mention the quality time I had with my mother that I will always remember.  We spent so many weekends going yard sale shopping for just the perfect items for a home; painting; putting up wallpaper; redoing cabinets and more.  If you have a deck then refinishing your deck with can make a huge difference.

I also learned if I am going to put money into a home, there are some home improvements that just make more sense than others.  The result has a higher payback and increases a home’s resale value significantly.  Some don’t even involve money – in fact you could actually make money.


I look at my home and it is lived in, and loved – but, that is not how a buyer would want to see my home.  They would not want to see clutter – they want to see potential.  Minimize the contents of your home and declutter spaces to just what you really need.  It makes a huge difference in how quickly a home can sell as well as how much it can sell for.  If you have to put items in storage to make this happen – do so.  Another option is to earn some cash and start selling what you can; donating what you can so you can take the deductions at the end of the year or simply discard what you just don’t need anymore or don’t want to have to move.

When we live in our homes we want to make them “ours” as much as possible – family photos, momentos, and anything to cherish the moments of our lives.  Do not discard these but it is best to remove them and keep them for the future.  Again – let the potential buyers see their lives in your home and visualize how it can be theirs.


There you have it – the smells.  Everyone has smells in their home, it just happens.  Doesn’t mean they are bad, just they tell the stories of their lives.  Our home has a dog, two teenage children and plenty of “horse stuff” that probably brings with it plenty of barn smells that we have come to no longer even notice.  You can clean with items that neutralize odors and leave it at that.  For me, I have always baked a batch of cookies on the morning I wanted to show my home.  Who can possibly resist the smell of homemade chocolate chip cookies! Don’t use a candle – they will easily see through that – make your home welcoming and inviting.


The first thing a person sees when they arrive at your home, either as a potential buyer or a guest, is your yard.  It would be great if they magically appeared in your living room but no, they will pull up in your front yard.  Simple things such as:  if you have a flag pole, make sure you hang a new flag; if you have a fence, add some flowers; if you have grass, keep it well manicured and watered; and if your house is dirty – clean it!  Yes, clean your house.  We all get dirt on the exterior of our homes throughout the winter months etc… Spend a day power washing it and have a brand new sparkle to capture their eyes.

Make sure any doorbells work properly, keys/doorknobs work smoothly, and exterior lights all work perfectly.


All previously mentioned items were relatively inexpensive and just take some good old time and hard work.  The kitchen however will more than likely need some dollars invested.  A modern kitchen (or lack of) can easily mean the difference between selling or not.  This is the first place to spend your money and will result in the best return on your investment.  Cabinets and appliances should work with the rest of the home.  If your home has a more modern feel – then a modern kitchen is essential.  Even less expensive improvements can make a huge difference such as backsplashes, a new sink, and take advantage of other opportunities to add color and style.  Even something as easy as architrave for your doorways will make a huge difference.


Years ago linoleum was extremely popular as well as some other types of flooring.  Nowadays there are more popular and long lasting such as engineered flooring.  Decades ago my grandparents built their home and they installs elaborate solid wood flooring in an intricate design that was admired by everyone who ever entered their home. Havwoods engineered wood flooring creates exceptional work!   Today similar flooring can be installed less expensively with less upkeep and just as gorgeous.  Do something special that cannot be found in every home people see.  Make a difference – make your home stand out and be something they always remember.


In just about every home we have purchased or renovated our primary focus was on the bathroom.  You may not be able to afford a complete bathroom remodel such as increasing the size of a bathroom – because we all love large bathrooms but you can do alot with the space you have.  For example a new toilet is just a couple hundred dollars.  If the toilet is nice in the bathroom you can leave it but otherwise do not replace it with a $79 toilet – buy one that makes a difference.  Tub and showers are also critical.  We went to see a house once where the tub looked like it was encrusted in rust.  I am sure there was a way to actually clean it but it was far more productive and valuable to just replace it.  This is one area where I would call in a specialist to help you best utilize whatever space you have as best as possible.


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