How to add value to your home
I can't believe how easy it is to gather lists upon lists of to-do's and nice-to-have's when you buy a home. There are lists of necessities and lists of decorating ideas and now I find myself considering what of my list items will actually add value to my home. These are becoming my priority right after my first priority which is essential maintenance.
Here are the results of my research on adding value to your home.
If I keep it here, I can refer to it and hopefully keep focused on where the cash should go.
Kitchens and Bathrooms. What they say about kitchens and bathrooms seems to be true. Everywhere I look articles espouse the value of a great kitchen and bathroom. Completely re-do them or simply reface cabinets, change hardware and paint. Update counters too if you can. Add storage to your kitchen because inefficient storage in this room can really reduce value.
Flooring. Hardwood, ceramic, slate, cork, bamboo flooring; granite counters -stick with natural materials when you upgrade.
Windows and doors. Bring in the light and keep out the cold! A well done and well placed sky light can also add value. Upgrade for energy efficiency. You will usually get extra safety as well.
Landscaping and curb appeal. Make the front of your home welcoming and the other outside areas beautiful and neat. A mature tree can also add value.
Bedrooms -make your master suite stand out. Create closets if there are none and add an en suite bathroom if you can -keep it clean, functional and spacious.
Make the whole home feel light and airy. Open concept seems popular -consider opening up areas of your home such as the kitchen/living areas or living/dining areas. Sometimes hallways can go and merge with living or dining rooms. Consider what you might loose as well. For example -my dinging/kitchen wall happens to house the majority of my kitchen storage solutions. Opening up my kitchen to my dining and living areas would automatically reduce significantly, my kitchen storage. Consider if your trade offs are worth the renovations.
Finish the basement. If you can finish your basement, it seems that everyone wants one finished and they will pay for it and your home will have an advantage over the competition without a finished basement!
Storage. Maximize storage where you have it and install it where it is necessary -such as closets in bedrooms if currently there are none. Insure there is adequate storage in your kitchen as mentioned above.
Maintain your home! Seems simple enough, but simply keeping up with regular maintenance cannot be undervalued as the expense of repairs and replacements down the road can be much more costly! Maintain your home and you maintain the value. This means fix your roof when it needs to be fixed or replace it if that is necessary, maintain walkways and driveways, downspouts and gutters, plumbing and electrical.
I feel that I am focusing mainly on my last list item above: Maintain your home. I noticed a small leak in my gutters, then I noticed some minor dry rot directly below that on my deck and my wood siding. These I must repair. I need a new roof and I've evaluated my furnace and home appliances. I suspect my clothes washer will need replacing within a year or 2.
There are so may choices when you buy the expensive items for your home such as heating, cooling and appliances. There are also differences in what people will choose if they plan to sell or live in the home. I suspect many of the choices for my home were made with the short term in mind. I have good heating and cooling systems and new kitchen appliances, however they are all basic models. I cannot expect the same longevity or functionality from them over time, that I would with higher quality models. My washer and dryer are functional, but old and the washer does have a nasty musty smell I am battling.
Maintenance will be on my mind for a while. This will keep me from devaluing my home and that is as important as looking at what will add value to me!