Adding value to your home doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. While there are some elements of value that you can’t change—like location or nearby amenities—there are plenty of things that you can.
There are a few things to keep in mind when your goal is boosting your property value. First, make a distinction between improvements you want and those that can add value. If you’ve always dreamed of an expensive leather lounge, it may be satisfying to make that dream come true…but that money might be put to better use by replacing a worn-out kitchen bench.
Look for the sweet spot between what you want out of a house and what will increase its value, especially if you’re looking to sell your home. Some of these improvements we’ll list are merely cosmetic, while others require a little more elbow grease.
They all have one thing in common: they don’t cost much and they won’t require major renovations.
5 Steps to Increasing Your Property Value
1. Up Your Curb Appeal
Let’s start outside. If you ever watch home renovation shows, you’re probably familiar with the term ‘curb appeal,’ and for good reason. The outside of your house makes the first impression with buyers, and it can be a powerful one.
No matter how nice a home is on the inside, its value will take a hit if the exterior isn’t up to scratch. If you want to up your curb appeal and add value to the house, start with your landscaping.
Not convinced? Consider a 2013 study from the University of Western Australia, which found that putting a tree with broad leaves on a home’s street verge could increase the median property price by $16,889.
If adding a tree isn’t feasible, look at simple upgrades like keeping the grass tidy, adding a small hedge row, or even planting a few flowers. Whatever you do, keep it easy to maintain. An elaborate garden could actually scare off buyers who don’t have a green thumb.
After you’ve tidied up the landscaping, turn your attention to the home’s exterior features. Do the doors, walls, or window frames need a clean or perhaps a new coat of paint? Is the outside well-lit at night? A bucket of paint, a power-wash, or a new light fixture could do the trick.
2. Quit Procrastinating on Small Fixes
Sure, a leaky faucet isn’t that big of a deal. But if you take a leaky faucet and add a chipped tile, loose cabinet handle, and squeaky door hinge, the perceived problems can start to add up. Don’t give buyers any reason to ask questions about the quality of your home, and eliminate these problems before they start.
Some fixes you may be able to manage yourself with a bit of grout or a monkey wrench; others may require the work of a professional. It may seem easy to brush these problems away as ‘not a big deal,’ but they could detract from the value of your house.
Spend a few hundred dollars on fix-it tasks, and you could add thousands to the value of your home.
3. Neutralise Your Colour Choices
If your walls and features aren’t neutral colours—think cream, beige, taupe, grey, and white—then it might be time to make a change. While these colours may sound boring, they can actually add value to your home by giving it a ‘clean slate’ feel.
When buyers see neutral walls and finishing touches, they see one less thing that needs doing. Neutral colours give your home a turnkey look, as buyers won’t have to put in work to reverse the previous owner’s personal tastes.
The advantage of neutral colours is that they don’t date as quickly as other colour trends, which keeps your home looking modern and attractive.
4. Upgrade Your Bathroom and Kitchen
Hear us out! Upgrade doesn’t have to mean ‘start from scratch,’ even if you would like to. Bathrooms and kitchens are two of the rooms in a home that can affect value the most, so any improvements you make here can go a long way.
Consider the following simple upgrades:
- Swap old appliances for stainless steel: refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, microwave, and even a kitchen sink.
- Add clean tile: new tile on a bathroom floor or a tile backsplash in the kitchen is appealing
- Exchange outdated light fixtures for new, modern, energy-efficient lighting
- Paint the walls (remember to keep it neutral!)
5. Cool Down With Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans aren’t just practical; they can make a room look cosier, too. In Australia, where summers are hot, a ceiling fan is an energy-efficient way to save money. They can be especially valuable in bedrooms or homes where there is no ducted air conditioning.
If you’ve already got ceiling fans, check that they’re all in good shape and work smoothly. A rickety fan that looks ready to fly off its motor is definitely not a positive. Also keep in mind ceiling heights; if you have low ceilings then a fan may not be appropriate.
It’s time to get started! Take a walk around your house and look for opportunities to improve it; there might be some metaphorical gold hidden in your four walls.