[INFOGRAPHIC] 7 Ways Homeowners Can Add Real Value to Their Properties

Whether we’re talking resale value or day-to-day enjoyment of your home, making upgrades and improvements are a sure way to enhance your property’s value. For resale, today’s buyers are often looking for up-to-date, well-maintained spaces and keeping your home in tip-top shape can help you stand out in a sea of available properties.

For homeowners considering making improvements, it can be hard to know which options and projects are best. The idea is to make changes that make the home work better for you and also increase the potential sale price down the road.

For these purposes, several upgrades and improvements are historically the best options.


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#1. Add Attic Insulation

Adding attic insulation is a project that returns as much as 116 percent of the cost. Depending on the size of the home, this can carry a price tag of $2000 and up, but you’ll recoup that cost and more, while also saving considerably on energy costs.

#2. Replace the Garage Door

A new garage door freshens up the whole façade of your home, instantly increasing curb appeal. The cost, which starts around $2000, can be nearly all recovered. On average, 91 percent of the cost will be reflected in an increase of resale value.

#3. Upgrade the Entry Door

Simply replacing a faded or out of date entry door is an instant facelift for the home, and you can expect to recoup over 90 percent of the cost. Depending on materials (wood and steel are popular options), the installed cost can range from $1500 to over $5000.

#4. Complete a Minor Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen and bath are the rooms that buyers look at most closely, so improvements here can have a big impact on selling price. Homeowners can recoup just over 80 percent of the cost of a minor kitchen remodel. This would involve new paint and flooring, countertops, hardware, and cabinet doors. The cost would run about $25,000 for this level of upgrade.  

#5. Window Replacement

An improvement that has a really profound effect on a home’s overall appearance, as well as energy efficiency is window replacement. You can expect to recoup 72 percent of costs associated with this upgrade, and it will significantly cut heating and cooling costs.

The price for window replacements depends upon the size of the house, and also on the material used. Vinyl windows are very low maintenance and prices begin around $15,000 for a small, 3-bedroom house. Wood frame windows are slightly more expensive, starting around $25,000.

#6. Update Your Home’s Entrance

For some homes, it makes sense to upgrade the entire entryway, rather than only replacing the front door.  You’ll recoup about 70 percent of costs on this project, and it can add tremendously to the home’s visual impact and first impression.

This involves replacing the entry door, adding sidelights and upgraded casings. New entry lights will complete the transformation. The cost for this project will start at $10,000.

#7. Regular, Documented Maintenance

The condition of a house for sale has tremendous influence on the sales price as well. No matter how many upgrades it has, a poorly maintained home will lose value. U.S. News reports that “someone will pay $15,000 more for a well-kept house that’s move-in ready than they will for a house that needs $5,000 worth of work.”

Without proactive maintenance, your home could lose 10 percent of its value, just because it looks worn. A study by researchers at the University of Connecticut and Syracuse University suggests that maintenance actually increases the value of a house by about 1% each year.

The money spent on maintenance, coincidentally, should average about one percent of the purchase price of your home. Making that investment is essential to prevent more costly repairs that can be necessary when systems or materials fail. Preventative maintenance is far more economical than reacting to damage or breakdowns.

The key to benefiting from conscientious maintenance when the time comes to sell is good record-keeping. Being able to show clear maintenance records will assure buyers that your home is in top shape. Glasshouse keeps meticulous records for each client, available electronically, when you need them, in real time.

Dedicated maintenance managers develop a schedule to handle all of the essential upkeep on your specific property, so you know that everything is covered. Beyond that, they keep detailed records of everything they do. So you can verify the filter size your furnace needs using your phone and you can also demonstrate to a potential buyer that your home has had an optimal level of maintenance. Smart move!