Home values have soared in recent months. Homeowners are discovering their homes are valued much higher than they expected, even adjusting for inflation.
As a result, it’s easy to sit back and count on the market to continue adding value. But what goes up must come down; sooner or later, home values will rebound back to normal.
When that happens, will your home still be worth what you expect? Will it be worth less or more? It mostly depends on what you do as a homeowner. In the end, the difference comes down to the steps homeowners take to protect and increase value.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at six ways to get the most value for your home.
Understand the home appraisal process
The first step in getting the most value for your home is to understand the home appraisal process. First of all, it’s important to know the difference between a home inspection and a home appraisal; the former involves an expert assessing the structural integrity of the property, while the former focuses exclusively on value. Consult a home appraisal checklist to further understand what goes into calculating the value of your home. Doing so will set you on the path toward getting the most value for your property.
Clean and maintain
Once you get a firm grasp on the appraisal process, the next step is to make a concerted effort to keep your home clean and maintained. Devote at least two hours each week to tidying up while dedicating two weekends out of the year to deep cleaning. Monitor your foundation, roofing, siding, flooring, and home systems for any signs of major wear and tear. Once a potential problem is detected, consult a service professional as soon as possible. Lastly, do your best to maintain an emergency repair fund via bank savings. The goal amount should be one to four percent of the value of your home but anything is better than nothing.
Improve energy efficiency
Modern homebuyers are increasingly concerned with energy efficiency. The reasons range from cost concerns to matters involving sustainability and green living. As a homeowner interested in maximizing the value of your property, make a point to invest in energy-efficient upgrades. These include new windows, solar panels, efficient appliances, and insulation replacement. The more energy efficient your home is, the greater the value to potential buyers.
Expand usable space
Many existing homes have the potential for expansion. It could be a finished basement, attic conversion, sunroom addition, or outdoor living space. By adding more usable square footage, homeowners inherently add to the value of their property. While one of the more cost-intensive ways to increase home value, expanded living space is almost guaranteed to have a respectable return on investment.
Apply fresh coats of paint
When was the last time you painted a room in your house? Chances are it was when you first purchased the property. We’re willing to bet one or more rooms would benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Start with shared parts of the home, such as the bathroom, kitchen, and living room. If done right, new paint will instantly brighten up and freshen up a room. This leads to an almost instantaneous increase in value. The only caveat is the color; certain colors are generally more appealing than others. If the property’s value is the goal, limit the palette to “safe” colors like white, light blues, and grays.
Opt for professional landscaping
The notion of curb appeal is critical to the value of your home. Simply put, people love a home that looks beautiful from the street. In addition to a bright and lively exterior, curb appeal comes down to a clean and crisp-looking lawn. With this in mind, consider hiring a professional landscaper to prune and manicure the greenspace surrounding your home. That way, when prospective buyers are looking at the Google Street View images, they’re struck by the attractiveness of your property.
The average price of a home for sale has skyrocketed over the past few years. But this trajectory is not sustainable. In order to preserve the value of their property, homeowners will need to take active steps. Fortunately, these steps are practical and reasonable.