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19 Summer Projects To Increase Your Home’s Value

Jason Wells, Esq.

Jason Wells or jasonwellsesq as you'll find him across  social media, is always teaching, always learning and always looking for  fun...

Jason Wells or jasonwellsesq as you'll find him across  social media, is always teaching, always learning and always looking for  fun...

Jul 15 11 minutes read

Your home is one of your biggest assets — and like most investments, you need to periodically check in to make sure you’re maximizing value. For a house, this means anything from making necessary repairs to improvements that will make your property even more appealing to its next owner. 

We know what you’re thinking: It’s impossible to guess what a future buyer may want. However, there are a few tried-and-true projects that will boost your home’s worth, no matter what time of year you sell. Now that it’s summer, you may even have a little more time to tackle these projects (or hire them out). From small changes that you can do by Sunday to big projects that have a big impact, here are a few ideas for your to-do list.

Fast & easy fixes you can do by Sunday

Quick switches that a Target run can handle

Big projects that have a big impact

Fast & easy fixes you can do by Sunday

1. Try KonMari

Organizing pro Marie Kondo (author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and host of Netflix’s Tidying Up With Marie Kondo) has made converts out of even the messiest out there. Her easy-to-follow KonMari system boils down to “donate or get rid of anything you don’t need anymore.” Read the book, watch the show, and take the weekend to let go of excess clutter that’s taking up space in your home. Not only will your home seem bigger to buyers, but you’ll actually want to show off your home without all the clutter.  Get started by watching a few videos on her YouTube channel, Marie Kondo.

2. Maximize Closet Space

Today’s buyers can never have too much storage space. That doesn’t mean you have to invest heavily in a custom closet (after all, what works for your wardrobe might not work for everyone). Making little fixes such as installing shelves to take advantage of overhead space, swapping out rickety hanging bars for new ones, and adding smaller organizers can maximize your existing closets. If you also have outdated accordion-style or builder-grade wooden doors, updating them to new doors will make a more favorable first impression.

It’s true that you do build equity after you buy a home, but it can take years before you see an effect on your net worth. If you need to move (for work, a relationship, family, or because the home doesn’t suit your needs) before you have positive equity in your home, then you won’t enjoy the boost in net worth. If you value flexibility more at this stage in your life, then renting makes more sense. You can build your net worth in other ways too, like contributing to a savings account, 401k, or other investments.

3. Upgrade your door handles

This is an especially good move if you have dated or boring hardware throughout your home (or haven’t updated a single knob since the ‘90s). Integrating new doorknobs, handles, pulls and knobs creates a cohesive, well-designed look. Polished nickel and bronze will add an on-trend touch that makes even older cabinets and doors seem newer. 

Quick switches that a Target run can handle

4. Make your water pressure better

You’d be surprised how many people turn the faucets to gauge the pressure. If you’re an avid DIYer, you might be able to increase the pressure yourself using this YouTube video. If your water pressure isn’t the problem, take a trip to a nearby hardware store and buy a new showerhead. Buyers will be impressed with the upgrade and most of them are super easy to install! 

While you may not think you’ll mind that extra hour on the road each way in order to have a garage to call your own, it’s likely you’ll feel differently after the novelty of the new home wears off. Though there are always trade-offs with homeownership, one involving location requires a huge life change — so it isn’t one to take lightly or rush into. This is also true when it comes to moving to a drastically different kind of area or any time you have to also consider a change of school systems.

5. Make your lights "smarter"

With technology getting more advanced, integrating it into your home is easy and impressive to homebuyers. One of the easiest ways to start is with lighting. Installing a Philips Hue Starter Kit will have you in awe of how easy it is to use, and you can even pair your lights with Amazon’s Alexa, Siri, and Google Home. You don’t have to stop at just lights. There are tons of options for integrating technology into your home, and according to a study from ADT, almost two-thirds of homebuyers would pay a premium for smart home technology. 

6. Repaint interior rooms

If it’s been a while since you’ve painted, consider changing overall color scheme inside your home to a neutral palette. Neutral tones can make a space feel bigger, brighter and newer, and even mask small scratches and imperfections. It also creates a “blank slate” to help buyers focus on the home rather than a bolder color choice.

7. Repair and refresh any walkways

Cracks in concrete, loose bricks or chipped stones are little details that can make even newer homes seem neglected while also presenting a safety hazard. Even pulling the weeds can make a huge difference when buyers walk up to your home. You can even add lighting (see next tip) to the walkway for a better nighttime experience.

8. Add or upgrade outdoor lighting

In lieu of any landscaping projects (the intense summer sun may prove too punishing for new plants or grass), think about “hard-scaping” elements such as lighting. Just a few solar lights along the path can be enough to make a big difference. If you have a deck or patio, hanging string lights can make it more inviting, and an added benefit you can enjoy during those gorgeous summer nights!

9. Increase your privacy settings

Very high-end homes can get away with not having a fence in the first place, but most properties will need them, or at least a living fence. Adding or replacing an existing fence that might need work can have a huge impact on the appeal of your home, especially to home buyers with animals. According to research from NAR, 91% of buyers with animals find having a fenced yard important. If putting in a fence isn’t an appealing project, consider adding a “living fence” of shrubbery. 

Big projects that have a big impact

10. Paint the exterior

The summer is actually the best time to paint the exterior of your home. That’s because latex paints need to cure at temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (and above the dew point at least 48 hours after you apply it). If the temp dips below that, the paint film won’t form properly. 

11. Install a new roof

When a potential buyer sees an older roof, they also see a lot of dollar signs from weather damage, pest infestations and other everyday horrors. Replacing the roof will help the buyer feel at ease knowing you took care of any immediate roof issues that could arise. If you’re tech-savvy and willing to drop $80K, check out Tesla’s new solar roof.

12. Add (or refresh) a deck

You don’t have to add a new room to extend your home’s living space. Instead, add a deck. Experts say a simpler design is better (and advise to keep away from high-maintenance features like spas) and can add up to 80% of its cost to your resale value. Don’t forget to follow tip #8 and add lights!

13. Change your windows

Energy-efficient windows entice buyers with lower energy costs, but the decision goes far beyond future bills. Choosing tilt-out windows will make panes easier to clean, a thoughtful touch that shows buyers that every detail was considered in your home. Also, some windows can improve the curb appeal — or even add an unexpectedly stylish element. 

14. Clean (or replace) the carpet

Wall-to-wall carpeting doesn’t just seem outdated to potential buyers — the fibers also hold onto dust and allergens, impacting your overall air quality. Consider adding hardwood floors (or lookalike composite) or just do a deep-clean of your carpets.

15. Renovate (or update) the bathroom

Kitchen and bathroom renovations nearly always pay off. If your bathroom is smaller, this means you can go more luxurious for less (and the job will be finished quickly). Getting rid of space-hogging vanities, adding in a low-flush toilet, or even little replacements such as the shower head, tub faucet and tiles are all changes that will go a long way in the eyes of your buyer.

16. Replace the counters

You don’t need to do a complete kitchen renovation with the latest appliances and designer finishes. Instead, consider replacing your old counter tops. No, you don’t have to go with granite no matter how many real estate reality shows say otherwise. Quartz, stainless steel, concrete and even tile are cost-effective surfaces that are also in style. If you have a bigger budget, marble counter tops are always appealing to deep-pocketed buyers.

17. Replace the kitchen cabinets

Since cabinetry does take up the most visual space in the kitchen, a replacement will make the whole room feel updated. A complete overhaul isn’t always necessary. If your cabinets are a standard size and of decent quality, you can get away with just replacing the doors (or even just painting your current doors).

18. Scrape off the popcorn

On the ceiling, that is. Popcorn ceilings have a negative effect on a home’s value, with buyers perceiving rooms with this type of covering as outdated (or worse, hiding something major). Smoothing your ceiling’s texture with a scraper isn’t the most fun way to spend a weekend, but the payoff is worth it. 

19. Install a water filtration system

Adding this feature makes for a unique selling point for your home (no more bottled water). This is another addition that you’ll benefit from in the meantime! Having clean, filtered water will make your home more memorable and is a little touch that shows potential buyers that you care. Still not convinced? Take a look at this video and see just how dirty your tap water might really be.

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