Added Value To Your Home: Improve Your Space

Jan 18, 2011

One of the greatest improvements that will also add to the overall value to your home is a kitchen and or bathroom remodel.  We as Realtors often say that both of these rooms really sell your home, or in the very least make one of the biggest impressions which may lead to the Sell.

While it is difficult to generalize how much you get back out of every Dollar you spend in the eventual sale of your home, in any case a nicer kitchen than that of your neighbor’s will at least make your home more marketable.  And in this environment any advantage for Sellers is welcomed.

While certainly a complete remodel and update of your kitchen or bath may be the most desirable, this option may be neither financially feasible nor advisable to you.  Keep in mind that stainless appliances and granite countertops on a sixty thousand dollar condo may be over the top, these options are most like expected in homes in the upper price bracket.  You should in any case talk to our Realtor how much or how little improvement makes sense in your individual case.

Here are a few tips in doing some improvements that will make a huge improvement without having to do a complete make over:

  • Maintain a continuous design. A Victorian sink in a contemporary home will look odd and vice versa.  No matter how beautiful you think it may be, it will most likely turn away a potential buyer.  Consequently the money you just spent will work against you rather than for you.
  • One of the most outdated looks for a countertop is tile. If you have a small countertop area you can shop in most granite places for remnants that can be cut to size.  This will alleviate having to buy the entire slab of stone. As an alternative, consider engineered solid counter surfaces made of either quartz or plastic resins.
  • Rather than a painted back-splash select a small format tile that will complement the counter surface.  This will create a dramatic transition between countertops and hanging cabinets and also makes the area easier to clean.
  • If your cabinets look outdated but your budget won’t allow for replacement, consider painting them and affixing new hardware. Make sure, however that you prepare the surface well so paint will actually stick to it.
  • Your plain bathroom mirror that is most likely glued to the wall and impossible to remove in one piece can be dressed up by building a frame around it while keeping the mirror in place.
  • Your upper cabinets will look great with under-cabinet lighting.  It’s very easy to install and results in a dramatic look at night. You may chose between slim-line fluorescent, halogen or try the energy efficient LED’s with which you can even create colorful effects.
  • If your appliances are plain white or black, you may consider replacing the panels to stainless steel, rather than replacing a perfectly functioning dishwasher for example.  Appliance trim kits come in many colors or you may just order them from the manufacturer.  This is a great option for mismatched appliances.
  • If the bottom of your sink is slightly scratched and unsightly, but replacing it is not in the budget, consider adding some polished rocks or a teak sink liner cut to size.
  • Never underestimate what the simple look of a beautiful plant such as potted orchid will do to any space.
  • If your window looks out to a less than desired view, cover the window with stained glass for added privacy, too.  You may not have the budget to cover the entire space of the glass, find one that covers most on many on-line sites.
  • If your bathroom has plain walls consider adding panels of ¼ inch wood veneers under a chair rail. You can make this either contemporary or more traditional looking by choice of pattern, stain or paint.

Most importantly, don’t JUST think about resale value. Both kitchen and baths are rooms you use most in your home. Do it for you and enjoy it!!!

As always, please feel free to call me with any questions or if you have other great ideas to add to this list.


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