Most Cost Effective Projects to Boost Your Home’s Value and Sell Faster

Earlier this year I wrote an article regarding home improvements.  Since then, I have had overwhelming requests to provide more information on this topic. This is a broad topic so I chose the question that was most asked, “I am planning on selling my home this year. What are the best home improvement projects to maximize the value of my home while spending the least amount of money?”

Unfortunately, many home improvement projects only yield a fraction of their cost in terms of re-sale value. The more time that has passed (and styles have changed) the less the return. However, there are some practical home improvements that make a lot of sense if you are getting your house ready to sell.

Curb appeal – how your house looks to prospective buyers driving by or as they walk up to the entry way – can be essential to getting your house sold.  A good first impression can encourage a potential buyer to take a closer look and be more willing to overlook other negatives the property may have.  Just as easily, a bad first impression could possibly be impossible to overcome however attractive the interior of the house may be.  The outside of the house should be an asset, not a liability.  The outside should be a gateway to the interior and invite purchasers inside.

Curb appeal is the difference that sells up to 50 % of all houses available on the market, so says the National Association of Realtors in a recent survey.  Homes with high curb appeal command higher prices and take less time to sell.  If you’re getting ready to sell yours, investing some time and a modest amount of money in improving your home’s curb appeal feels like a no-brainer.

The most commonly offered curb appeal advice given by Realtors and appraisers is to give the exterior of your home a good paint job. Buyers will instantly notice it, and appraisers will value it.  Of course, painting is undoubtedly an expensive and time-consuming facelift.  To paint a 3,000-square-foot home, expect to spend $375 to $600 on paint; $1,500 to $3,000 on labor.

However, curb appeal doesn’t need to mean completely redoing the exterior of your home in a costly renovation.  Some suggestions to give a home instant curb appeal without spending a lot of money include painting the door, shutters, or trim; upgrading the mailbox; installing new house numbers; planting a tree; replacing exterior light fixtures and installing flower boxes.  These ideas are extremely economical.  As of 2014, exterior paint costs about $25 a gallon, so painting the door, shutters or trim shouldn’t run more than $100 to $200.  There are numerous ways to boost your curb appeal simply and affordably.  These simple fixes will perform wonders for the appearance of your property and you will be amazed at how much easier attracting buyers is going to be.

Planting a tree is one of the most popular ways to add curb appeal to your house.  It is a simple home improvement project that can really liven up your house.  Before you plant a tree in your yard, make sure you consider how big the tree will get and how it will affect your house.  If you have enough space, try planting two trees to frame your house or your entryway into your house.  You can find trees to add curb appeal to your house starting at $25. Planting a tree does not take very long and is a short home improvement project.

If your house is lacking curb appeal and color, then try adding some flower boxes to your house.  Install the flower boxes in the windows of your house or on the front porch railings.  Flower boxes are relatively cheap and can be purchased for approximately $25. The thing that you have to remember with this project is that you will also have to pay for the flowers and soil for the flower boxes and you will also have to take care of the up-keep of the flowers to actually add curb appeal.  If you would rather not add flower boxes to your home, then consider buying some container gardens in pots and placing them on the front steps or porch.

One important thing to keep in mind when making alterations to the exterior of your home is to get your HOA’s approval, if applicable.  You don’t want to spend money and discover you are not compliant with the guidelines of your HOA. This could be costly.

Its great weather outside, so get out in your yard and make your home and street look beautiful!


About Ashley Leigh
Ashley Leigh is one of North America’s most productive residential Realtors of all time selling over 4,500 homes and over $2 Billion in sales in his 20 year career.  Ashley’s highest level sales performance has earned him mentions in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and The Washington Post.  Ashley continues to work full-time along with his local sales team.

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