Add a second floor, make a two-car garage a single for a game room, add a new bedroom, new kitchen, roof and many more. Value is always in the eyes of the beholder and knowing what your potential renter or buyer wants is tough. Leaving that up to them is key. Create a canvas, so they will be able to imagine themselves and what they want to do. This allows for simple and affordable improvements. Here are some tips for owners to do just that without breaking the bank.
1. LET'S BEGIN WITH THE YARD
As you probably know, you don’t get a second chance with first impressions. The lawn is the first thing potential tenants and possible home buyers see. A lawn with overgrown grass, limited flowers, poorly trimmed trees makes those passing by see a lot of work. Create lawn borders by adding in easy to maintain rock or cedar edgings around the lawn. Note, adding in colorful flowers works well for great spacing. This will also help store water for the trees in the dry summer.
If you have a fence make sure your entire fence looks upright and painted like a frame of a painting. A crooked painting appears slapped together as it does a fence. Potted plants or trees allow for instant customizable scenery placement for your lawn canvas. These quick and easy spacing secrets can spruce up your home’s appearance without busting your budget and increase interest.
2. MAKE WELCOME LOOK REALLY WELL SO THEY'LL COME
Upgrade your doorstep with a welcome mat. Don't forget to sweep the patio and dust for cobwebs and get rid of any wasps nests. If you live in an area with a lot of rain, consider a rain flap over the entryway. This is cheap, easy and avoids water from washing out the front walk path.
Fix all paint chipping and eroding wood surrounding the doorway. Install a quality door handle and not a cheap one. The door handle is often the only part of the house the prospective tenant touches, so make it feel like quality. WD-40 on the hinges to avoid squeaking and a mat to avoid shoes tracking in dirt. Make sure that prospective residents have a positive experience when entering your property.
3. KITCHEN IMPROVEMENTS WITHOUT RENOVATING
Once you have welcomed your prospective tenant or buyer the next most important room is the kitchen. There are some simple tricks to make your kitchen look modern and inviting. Change the cabinet knobs. Knobs can be a quick and easy way to bring your cabinets up to date. When looking at knobs consider a round stainless steel option, which is cliche, but will help in accenting an older kitchen with a modern feel.
Backsplash tiles are also a way to date a kitchen. Changing out the tile can allow the kitchen a makeover without the major expense of replacing cabinets, countertops and appliances. Tile selection is key as you can find a modern color that enhances the floor, cabinets, and countertop as to avoid needing to replace them on account of outdated colors or wood type.
Crown molding is another way to liven up your kitchen and allow the ceiling to seem more open and inviting. It is easy to install and sits on the top of your cabinets to create a sense that the ceilings are vaulted. If you have more than 2 feet of space (below 2’ you should avoid the urge to decorate as this space allows the kitchen to look more open) above the cabinets then decorate with large items like pots. Do not add fake greenery above the cabinets or theme decorating as these too will make the kitchen look out of date. Adding tube lighting is a very inexpensive way to set an inviting mood to the kitchen and can be easily rolled out and installed on top of the cabinets.
These 3 tips provide some low cost ideas on how to increase interest and therefore the value of your property. The secret to maximizing investment return is to find those little improvements that allow your property to be an open canvas to potential tenants and buyers. The more they can envision their custom layout and decorations the better.
You never know what a potential renter or buyer is looking for, so make the property as inviting for their imagination as possible.