(Taken from hgtv.com)
Plan your remodel
Whether you just bought a house or you have lived there for a while, the fastest way to increase your home’s value is by making a plan.
Tackle one room at a time
Make a list of all the things you dream about doing, break your list down into categories based on cost and write down how much time each project may take. What this does is help you get results. If you only have a day or a weekend, choose a project that fits within your timeframe, comfort level and financial commitment.
Clean your house now for profits later
By making a clean house a priority, you do several things at once. First, you stay on top of maintenance issues, spotting potential problems before they become expensive ones. Secondly, you don’t allow dirt and junk to build up over time. Things like mold can become a nuisance if allowed to spread unchecked. Finally, a clean house is healthier for you and your family. Remember, de-cluttering is a form of cleaning. Just as dirt builds up, so does clutter. Don’t waste money moving your junk around. Get rid of it now. When it’s time to sell you will feel confident about what you are presenting to the buyer.
Upgrade the kitchen
- Do a mini-remodel. Change the paint. It sounds simple, but it works. You can also paint a faux-wood finish onto your cabinets. This looks just like cherry.
- Add a splash of color with a new backsplash. New tile is attractive. Home improvement stores teach classes on this.
- Go stainless steel. The cold feel of steel is a hot ticket item for buyers. Transition your appliances as they wear out and go with a similar metallic look in your light switches.
- Make your kitchen rock with a rolling island.
- Hang a pot rack with fresh new pots, pans and a hanging wine bottle holder. With the rolling island, your kitchen will catch every buyer’s eye. You can take some of these things with you to your new home.
Beautify your bathroom
- Focus on your faucet. Bathrooms are not utilitarian anymore. People like to feel relaxed, like they are in a spa. Drop-sinks are old news, people want the under-mount sinks.
- Go granite or marble with your countertops. If you are toying with the granite idea, your bathroom counter is most likely smaller than your kitchen counter and less expensive. This is a great place to start your first granite project.
- Nix the overhead lighting in favor of wall mounts to add warmth and value to your bathroom. Make sure that around your mirror you have even lighting with no side shadows.
- Upgrade your bath area. With an 85 percent return, install a shower with body sprays and stone surround tile. If you are not selling right away, you will feel like you are in a Zen garden every time you step into your bathroom.
- Keep it clean. Dirt and grime can become embedded in bathroom surfaces very quickly. Freshen it up with new grout.
Pay down the principal on your loan
As you make all those home improvements, don’t forget the cash. Your financial strategy can boost your home value in a big way. Many different loan features can be added together to give someone a loan that is comfortable for them; give them an opportunity to do home improvements and to invest in their future.
Don’t overdo your down payment. If you spend all your money in a down payment, you may not have enough to do the improvements you want. The rule of thumb is if you are moving into a fixer upper, go for 10 percent down. Don’t rush into your home loan, as there are dozens of types. The strategy that you develop for the type of loan you want depends on where you see yourself in five or 10 years. Managing your debt payment with an interest-only payment will give you an opportunity to save that money for retirement or save it for a college fund.