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Getting the most out of your home when you sell it or flip it to make a profit means learning how to add value to your home. Some improvements cost a lot and return a little, while others have a better chance of attracting buyers and paying for themselves, allowing you to sell your home for significantly more than the original purchase price. Here are some suggestions that go beyond basic curb appeal, repainting, or kitchen and bath remodels to make your home attractive to buyers and to get you a greater return when you sell.
Keyless entry, smart thermostats, and upgraded security systems set your home apart from other homes in the neighborhood that may lack these upgrades. Smart technology that controls lighting and temperature and that offers remote control features through apps make an immediate impression that suggests the home offers greater value than homes without these upgrades.
Carpet implies dust and cleaning. Wood floors look cleaner, make rooms feel more spacious, and don’t stain and wear as easily. If you already have exposed wood floors but they look scratched or dull, invest in refinishing the floors to give the house an attractive, freshened look.
Keeping the front lawn, trees, plants, and shrubs trimmed is a crucial aspect of curb appeal. However, you can set your home apart by adding solar lights along walkways and lights that will enhance the trees and the exterior of your home in the evening. Inside, add under-cabinet lights in the kitchen and recessed lighting in the living room, if your home’s structure and electrical system can accommodate those changes. Inexpensive, stick-on LED lights give the same effect in the kitchen, as installing more elaborate under-cabinet lighting requires more disruption.
If you live in an area such as Florida, southern California, or the Southwest, where nearly every home features an outdoor pool, set yours apart with a new or updated pool enclosure. In hilly or mountainous areas, highlight the best views from your home with new windows or window treatments. A deck or backyard firepit is a great addition to extend the outdoor season and enhance your yard. However, don’t add an in-ground pool if you don’t already have one—pools add additional insurance and maintenance costs, and they can deter families with young children. It’s unlikely you’ll recoup the major expense of installing a new one in a home sale.
Finishing a basement and sprucing up the garage can add value to your home overall. A finished basement instantly adds useful square footage. Replacing, finishing, or painting the garage floor and adding attractive storage might also enhance your home’s value. It certainly makes the home more attractive than it would be with oil stains, open studs, and disorganized piles of tools or bike equipment, which create clutter and make it difficult for people to get their cars in and out of the space. Enhance the laundry area to look like a real laundry room, and don’t neglect closet organization. These little improvements can add up and impress potential buyers.
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