We have a lot of folks renting to own their home. Everyone moves in and is excited to make it their own. Then, they stop and think its technically not mine…yet. But, they finally have the freedom to make a home personal, the way they want it.
Assuming you are working on the financing, and the credit, you are on your way to owning the home. You can do both, work on getting the financing and make the home YOUR HOME. When you go to get financed, the home will need to be appraised. Doing a few modest improvements can actually improve the value of the home and make it efficient and personal for you.
It’s called the HGTV effect. Don’t you want to walk into your home and have everything perfect.
That’s not always a realistic option, not on HGTV or in the real world. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to increase your home’s value. Sometimes a little can go a long way, particularly if your home already has a clean, well-maintained appearance.
That being said, the first thing you need to do when selling your home is declutter declutter declutter.
Nothing ruins the first impression of a home’s interior than too much stuff. Buyers sometimes have a hard time looking beyond the mess to the “bones” of the home. So if you can put something in a drawer, closet, or box, do it. Make the lines of your home as clean and as spotless as possible.
Now, down to the upgrades…..
Add a water filtration system. Depending on the area you are in, the quality of the water being provided to your home can be deteriorating due to increasing quantities of pollutants and chemicals. Many people already use unsightly water filtering devices or clunky filtering pitchers in order to have better drinking/cooking water, or they buy large quantities of bottles water, which come in plastic containers that are not environmentally friendly. A water filtration system allows for the water in your home to be filtered without worrying about where it comes from or how it gets to your family members. This can provide peace of mind to you as well as to future buyers. To learn more about what can affect water quality, go to http://water.usgs.gov/edu/groundwater-contaminants.html.
Install a programmable thermostat. According to the US Department of Energy, your home heating bills account for over 40% of total energy usage. Being able to control the temperature of your home when you are not there as well as when you are can have a huge effect on your heating/cooling bills. Why keep it cool/warm when you aren’t home? And while you’re at it, consider a programmable thermostat that’s also wi-fi enabled so it can be controlled via a smartphone or computer. You can benefit from the savings while you are in the home, and future buyers will appreciate that element of cost savings.
Make your bathroom look nice. Future buyers love to see updated bathrooms, and it doesn’t take that much to provide this.
Bathroom flooring. For some reason, carpet in the bathroom was popular and many still have carpeting. Replacing a carpeted bathroom floor with tile is one of the most noticeable upgrades you can make. Tile are great in a bathroom: easy to clean, water-resistant, wear well, and microbe/allergen resistant. You don’t have to spend a fortune on the tile; flooring liquidators sell a variety of tiles, so start looking there. You can always choose to spend more if your space is small or if you want something more distinctive. But be sure to save some money for a professional installation so that it looks good.
Replace your toilet. This is an easy fix and one which future buyers appreciate. Or, if your toilet is relatively new and looks it, at the very least replace the seat.
Your bathtub. Buyers would like to see a new tub, but that’s not always practical or necessary. Did you know that, for a few hundred dollars, you can reglaze your bathtub in as little as one day and have it come out looking like new? This can be a DIY project or can be done by a professional (http://www.trulia.com/blog/diy-or-hire-a-pro-5-popular-summer-home-improvement-projects/)
Add more grounded outlets. If your home is reasonably new, you most likely already have the 3-pronged grounded outlets, but many older homes still have the older, 2-pronged ones. These can be retrofitted to newer grounded outlets or a GFCI receptacle as long as the box itself is grounded. This adds a lot more functionality to your home. If your outlets are good, perhaps consider changing out the switches and/or adding timers or dimmers.
Upgrade fixtures. One of the easiest and cheapest upgrades to a home can be fixtures. Changing out cabinet hardware (especially in the kitchen), upgrading lighting fixtures, new faucets, etc. can quickly improve the visual impact of your home in the eyes of a future buyer.
Window treatments. It’s not necessary to go out and replace all your window treatments, but if your home still has the aluminum blinds or verticals, then consider swapping them out for something more modern looking. If your windows are a standard size, you can easily find replacement window treatments at a home improvement store, and frequently have the option to customize the sizing. If your windows are oddly shaped, then special ordering may be needed. The right window coverings can make or break a room, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to give your windows an updated look if they need it.
These are a few basic upgrades that you can make so that your home brings a smile to your face and makes you proud as the future buyer.
But again, even if you do all of these things, be sure to keep it clean and clutter free.