How To Increase The Value Of Your Home

In our last blog, What's My Custom Home Worth, we talked about how to value your home now that the housing market is strong. You may be happy with where your homes value is, or maybe not. Either way, here's a look at ways you can increase the value of you home and get the most out your investment.
Adding square footage is undoubtedly the biggest boost in value you can make to your home. The math is simple - every house has a square footage worth. If your 2880 sq ft house is worth $200 per sq ft now, and you add 500 sq ft, then your house value will go from $576,000 to $676,000. According to the average cost to put an addition on a house is $80 to $200 per sq ft, so additional square footage can add value faster than any other method. Of course there is knocking down walls to add new rooms, or you can simply build a stand-alone workshop, guest house, office, or family room. In Arizona, enclosing a garage or patio is popular. Not everyone can do this, however it's a sure fire way to add value. If you can't add square footage, what's your next option?
Remodeling usually involves a plan for a particular part of the house, like a bathroom, kitchen, or family room. A simple remodel will include paint, fixtures, and hardware at the least, and can include flooring, cabinets, and tile. Major remodels may include bathroom showers/tubs, removing walls, electrical and plumbing. 
Think of remodeling this way: The more layers you peel back, the more you have to replace.
Knowing how much you want to do helps you decide where to start. It may also help to know what remodel jobs will give you the most bang for the buck.
According to HGTV, your best return is to start with your bathroom, and goes down from there. In fact, here's how they break down the your return on your resale:
  • Minor Bathroom Remodel: 102%
  • Landscaping: 100%
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel: 98.5%
  • Exterior Improvements: 95.5%
  • Major Bathroom Remodel: 93.2%
  • Major Kitchen Remodel: 91%
  • Deck, Patio, or Porch Addition: 90.3%
  • Replacement Windows: 89.6% 
  • Living Room Updates: 66%
  • Bedroom Updates: 52%
Many people will tell you remodeling the kitchen is the place to start, but the data suggests you may get better value by starting in the bathroom. Interestingly, the data also suggests that minor remodels will give you a greater boost than a major remodel - good news if you are on a time crunch or are on a limited budget. 
Simple home improvements, for the sake of this article, are items you can do yourself over a shorter period like a long weekend.
Here are some of our top ideas:
Clean! Yes, this may be the simplest way to add value to your home, according to Realty Times. Just "cleaning and brightening" can give you a 586% ROI, and costs less than $300 to do.
Paint is likely the next biggest bang for your buck. Grab some paint samples, decide on a well coordinated paint scheme and paint some of the interior spaces of your home. It will easily breathe some life into your home, giving it a fresh clean new look. You can even give a room some zing by painting just one wall with a bold new color to grab attention.
Kitchen and bathroom hardware are simple to change out. Are you still rocking the gold towel racks and faucets from the 80's? Change them out with some nice brushed metal fixtures. What about lighting? A couple hundred dollars in new lighting won't just brighten kitchens and bathrooms, they can add style and even save money on electricity. Find a new paint scheme to match there as well, and you can give a fresh new look in just a weekend.
Start planning landscape upgrades now. With Spring just around the corner you can plan your landscape upgrades now and be ready before it gets too hot outside. Here in the southwest there are three things that can add big curb appeal to your yard.; Shade trees, flowering plants, and decorative rock. A short trip to your local plant nursery and material supply store, a shovel, a little hard work and some spare time is all it takes to make some major outdoor improvements.
Worn out items can drag down the appeal of your home, so zero in on worn-out carpet, appliances, window coverings and anything else that might raise an eyebrow. Your can replace items, or even remove them completely, like in the case of window coverings. A little more light might just brighten up a dark room and make it more inviting.
Some final tips:
Make improvements that also improve energy efficiency. If the improvements are for you, you'll benefit from the savings. If your improvements are for resale, it'll be a big selling point when you go to sell.
Do your research. Websites like HGTV,,, or the folks at your local home improvement store are goldmines for finding home improvement ideas and getting the best bang for your buck. 
What are some of your ideas? We've love to hear them. You can share them on our Facebook page. Just look for the post on How To Increase The Value Of Your Home.