Increasing the Value of Your Home
A home is one of the few things that usually appreciate in value after purchasing. This means they are very good investments, but increasing the value of your home makes it an even better investment. There are many things you can do to increase the value of your home which will help the overall value of your neighborhood as well.
Taking good care of your home should be your number one priority. Routine maintenance is just as important for a home as it is for a car - I think some people forget this. Owning a home is not cheap and I am not talking about just the mortgage payment. Furnaces need to be serviced, air vents cleaned, doors oiled, carpets cleaned and roofs replaced. Making sure that you take care of these things in a timely manner will ensure that your home maintains its value over the years.
On top of taking care of your home, there is plenty that you can do to actually increase the value of your home faster than the typical appreciation. Bathroom remodels and kitchen remodels are the quickest way to increase your homes value. Don't redo things super trendy or the value won't last. Keeping things nice, but neutral is your best bet. Steer clear of unusual things as well. You want things to hold value over the years. You might like wallpaper covered in chickens, but most people aren't interested in that, so it won't increase the value of your home, but might actually lower the value.
Making the outside of your house look nice will also increase the value of your home. Make sure the front door is painted nicely. Landscape around the house and possibly driveway or sidewalk. These things provide a lot of curb appeal which is important when determining the value of your home. Other things you can do to increase the value of your home on the outside is fresh paint, mature trees and/or a deck or patio.
If your home has a roof, furnace, water heater or air conditioner that is old consider replacing it. I would only do this if needed or if you were putting it up for sale. I know that when we were looking at houses, the age of the items listed above was definitely a consideration in our final choice.
With global warming being such an issue and people wanting to save money on their heating and electric bills, consider some options for making your house greener. Solar panels, solar water heaters, wood burning or pellet stoves and energy efficient appliances will all increase the value of your home, much more than in years past.
There are many things that a person can do to increase the value of their home. Some are fast and easy and require little money. Others take a lot of time and will be expensive. Do what you can and take care of the regular maintenance. It can't always be about the resale amount, unless of course your house is on the market. If you are living there and will be for awhile do what you want to do to make the house enjoyable for you. Chances are if you are maintaining it and updating periodically your home will increase in value anyway.