8 Home Improvement Projects to Boost Your Home’s Value Before Next Buying Season

Now that fall is here, the real estate market is cooling off a bit. The average American home-buyer doesn’t want to have to pack up and move during the coldest and wettest months of the year. It’s another layer of stress that most people don’t need during the holiday season. Spring is usually when the buyers come out in droves, ready for a new space after a long winter cooped up inside. Instead of hurrying to list your home now, this fall is a great time to consider plans for projects to boost your home’s value when you do list it for sale on the local real estate market this upcoming spring.

1. Upgrade Your Kitchen
There’s no question that the kitchen is one of, if not the, most influential spaces in a home when it comes to buyers. Kitchens tend to be the center of family activity, so potential buyers want a kitchen space that they can live in that doesn’t feel like someone has already. If you’re going to sell, now’s the time to upgrade your appliances and replace your countertops with granite, quartz, or even butcher block wood, depending on the style of your home and the color scheme and decor. Those investments of a few thousand dollars can pay off big time when the buyers start coming through your home.

2. Install Tile in Your Kitchen or Bath
Tile is an investment that most buyers will immediately notice and appreciate. Whether you’re doing a black and white flooring pattern in your bathroom to give it a fresh and clean yet vintage feel or a backsplash around your kitchen sink using deeply colored subway tiles, the appeal of well-installed tile is powerful. Tile conveys quality, and it can drastically change a room that was previously outfitted in panel boards or linoleum-style flooring. The colors of tiles can be used to blend a room together or make a certain section of the space stand out. Tile is incredibly versatile!

Tile surrounds for your bathtub can also take a mediocre bathroom and really make it pop. While there is a lot of work involved with tile installation, it pays off handsomely when it’s time to list your home. Many buyers are most concerned with the aesthetic appeal of the bathroom and kitchen in a home, so investing in durable, universally-appealing tile is a project that will definitely boost your home’s value. Tile is easy to clean and won’t wear down and look shabby like other kinds of flooring or wall treatments in these high traffic areas of your home.

3. Make Your Home Accessible
While accessible means different things to different people, in general this should include things like replacing circular door knobs with a straight-style lever instead of a knob. It can also mean fixing up and reinforcing handrails in stairways and widening doorways to accommodate mobility accessories. This will appeal not only to families that have a member with mobility issues or special needs, it will also appeal to the older generations who are looking for a home to live in during their retirement years.

Knowing the home is easy to move through can make it that much more appealing to older buyers. You may also consider a home automation system to make maintenance easier for the new owners.

4. Finish Up That Basement!
If you have a full basement that seems like a cement box, it’s not going to appeal to potential buyers. While you can’t put a bedroom in the basement unless there are large windows providing points of egress, the basement can be made into a living space or a work space, depending on the needs of whoever buys your home. Hang drywall over those unsightly cement walls, install a ceiling (drop ceilings are the least expensive option, but aren’t incredibly attractive), and install some practical flooring, depending on the climate and moisture level. Consider leaving it mainly open, which will allow the future owners to divide it (or not) as they see fit.

A finished basement can offer a lot of possibilities for a homeowner, and a newly finished basement space can spark the imaginations of potential buyers. From a quiet workspace and office to a family room, theater room, or even a playroom for the kids, the only limit is the imagination of the person viewing the space. The increased living space and finished square footage can really boost your potential asking price and make the buyers feel like the home is even more spacious than it already is.

5. Invest in Energy Efficiency
While it may seem unnecessary, more and more home buyers are concerned with their impact on the planet. Energy efficiency investments on your part before listing your home will appeal to the buyers who want to tread lightly on this planet. It will also appeal to those who are more frugal, as less energy used means less expense every month. Adding blown-in insulation to your walls, upgrading your doors and windows to thicker, more insulated models, and investing in highly efficient appliances and home systems, like furnaces, will save you money in the short term and command a higher price when sale time comes.

6. Upgrade Your Windows
While it can be an expensive investment, replacing your older window with double-pane, gas-treated windows can be a major selling point for modern buyers. Old windows leak. They get stuck and can’t be opened. They leak hot air all winter and let the cold out in the summer when the air conditioner is running. New windows are easy to open, easy to clean, and have substantially lower rates of heat loss. The installation of newer windows will make your home more efficient and much more attractive to potential buyers, who probably don’t want to incur the expense of replacing windows after buying a home.

7. Invest in Attractive and Durable Flooring
There was a time when a deep carpet was a real selling point in a home. Many modern buyers will view carpets with skepticism. What germs and filth from the previous owners are lurking deep within the fibers of that flooring? No one wants to live on used carpet. Installing modern composite flooring or specially-treated hardwood floors in the primary living spaces is a great investment. It makes the home look open and clean, while offering buyers a space that’s easy to maintain. From sustainable options like treated bamboo floor to gorgeous hardwoods, there’s sure to be one that fits your home.

8. Never Forget the Power of Paint!
Adding a fresh coat of paint to the most critical rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, entrance, and master bedroom, can give a tired space a new lease on life. Fresh paint looks clean and gives the home a newer feel. Buyers don’t want to see the years of fading and wear on the walls when they’re trying to picture themselves in a space. They want to see endless possibilities. Whether you opt for a soft off-white to create a blank canvas to appeal to buyers’ desire to individualize the home or bold colors that play off the flooding, environment, and fixtures, fresh paint can add substantially to the perceived value of your home.

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