Sprucing Up the House

6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Home Value

With summer only a few months away, many homeowners are preparing to transplant their brood—because of work transfers or otherwise. If you are one of these families, take the following simple steps to improve your home value and increase the chances of selling quickly.

1. Repaint your walls and ceilings. Paint is cheap in comparison with how it will improve your home’s value. Walls of a neutral color and white ceilings tend to make rooms seem larger, not to mention it’s easier for buyers to imagine their things in your space when the space is nondescript. New paint will also make your home look cleaner.

2. Clean or install new flooring. Zap the stains in your old carpet with a shampooer, which can be rented for minimal price. If you’re ambitious (or the flooring is awful), pull up carpet to see if there’s wood flooring underneath. If there is, try sanding and finishing or painting it. Otherwise, you can find tongue-and-groove laminate flooring that looks like real hard wood, is less expensive, and is easy to install. Hardwood/laminate flooring is very popular right now and will significantly improve your home’s value.

3. Remove rust and hard water stains. Rust can be removed with a simple mixture of 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, ¼ cup baking soda, and a little hydrogen peroxide; make a paste and let it sit for 30 minutes. For hard water, using a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water, submerge shower heads and faucets, and fill reservoirs of pots and pans. For sinks, place 1 cup of vinegar in the sink and fill it; for tubs, place 1 liter of vinegar in the tub and fill it. Always let the mixture sit overnight.

4. Increase space in confining rooms. If your laundry room is small, install cabinets or shelves so that the room isn’t cluttered. Even exhibiting non-permanent ways for a potential buyer to solve the space problem will improve the room’s value (such as keeping attractive wicker baskets on the shelves).

5. Update lights, lighting fixtures, light switches, and outlets. Installing new bulbs will increase the lighting in your home, which will also make it appear bigger and lovelier. Also consider investing in replacing fixtures—which go out of style quickly—and light switches and outlets. New details in a home contribute significantly to creating a newer feel, which buyers love.

6. Up the “curb appeal.” First impressions matter, which is just one reason why the house needs to be beautiful on the outside. Take the time to rinse off the house with a hose (or power washer if the dirt is bad). Take care of weeds growing in flower beds and sidewalk cracks, and put some young, growing plants or flowers in unused flower beds (empty plots are sad to look at). If you have the time, repaint the shutters.

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