Money Health

7 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value for Less Than $500

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If you’re looking to sell your home, making some simple updates could put some extra cash in your pocket come closing time. The good news is, you don’t have to do an entire home remodel to boost your home’s value. With less than $500, you can DIY your way to a home that looks, feels, and appraises at a much higher price point than before you started. Use these ideas to boost your home’s value for less than $500.

1. Increase your curb appeal

If you want to boost the perceived value of your home, curb appeal is the best place to start—and there are so many ways to do it, starting with landscaping and maintenance. In Realtor’s Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features, “lawn care would recover 267% of the cost estimated by landscape professionals.”

But don’t stop there. Here are a few more proven ways to improve both perceived and actual value of your home with outdoor projects:

  • Tree care: The costs of tree care were estimated to be 100% recovered when it comes time to sell your home
  • Outdoor features: A new deck, water feature, statement landscape piece, or new patio received a 9.7 or higher in Joy Scores, a measurement on a scale of 1-10 of what types of renovations make homeowners happy

And still, there are so many other outdoor projects you can do to boost your home’s value. Check out FamilyHandyman’s 16 Ways to Add Curb Appeal for Less Than $50.

2. Switch out your light fixtures

Light fixtures may seem like a small feature, but they add to the look and feel of any room. They’re also inexpensive to replace or update, making them a perfect area to focus your efforts.

Consider adding ceiling fans where standalone lights used to be, which provide both function and energy-savings: “A functional, decorative ceiling fan is a beautiful thing. It provides necessary light and, in warm months, creates a soft breeze reducing the need for expensive air conditioning,” suggest experts at HGTV.

3. Install a tile backsplash

A “major kitchen remodel” has a 59% ROI, according to Remodeling’s 2018 Cost Vs. Value report. However, the national average cost to do a full remodel is $125K. Add value to your home, without the high price tag, by installing tile backsplash. This can add a bright and fresh finish to the room and when you do it yourself, the cost is reasonable.

Subway tile is one of the most popular backsplash styles and is easy to install on your own. If you’re not a DIY pro, Follow Young House Love’s tutorial to update this feature for less than $200.

4. Replace your faucets

Faucets are a feature of the home that you don’t often think about, but see every day. This makes them a critical feature to consider when improving your home’s value. Focus your efforts on the bathroom faucets, which tend to be more decorative and can elevate the feel of this space with just a small budget.

Step one for this project is choosing a faucet. Check out HomeStratosphere’s 2019 bathroom faucet overview and review. Once you’ve made your choice, it’s time to get technical. Replacing your faucet can be confusing, with a lot of piping and hardware to consider, so follow the guide from This Old House.

5. Repaint your walls

A fresh coat of paint may be all you need to boost the perceived value of your home. The right paint can add brightness to an otherwise dark room or make a small space feel bigger. If you plan to sell, your realtor will likely recommend you add a fresh coat of paint anyway. According to the 2019 Profile of Home Staging, 66% recommend painting, and 63% suggest paint touch-ups.

The key is choosing the right colors, but if you lean toward funky yellows or greens, you need to rethink your approach. When improving the value of your home, stick with neutral colors. Freshome suggests that neutral colors are best because they:

  • Show off textures and fixtures
  • Never go out of style
  • Offer colorful opportunities
  • Work for any style

6. Replace your window treatments

Instead of replacing your windows, simply update your window treatments. Like your walls, you want the style and color to allow potential buyer’s imagination to run wild with ideas—so keeping them simple and sleek is best. If you’re not sure where to start, follow along as Pottery Barn guides you in choosing the best window treatments.

7. Install a fire pit

In the same Realtor report, consumers gave a fire feature addition a perfect 10 on the Joy scale. This fun DIY project can add personality to your backyard space, while giving potential buyers something to look forward to: long summer nights around the fire pit. There are many ways to DIY a fire pit, and this tutorial from Keeping Simple Crafts is a great place to start.

Little Changes Could Mean a Big Profit

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to increase your home’s value. Focus on these simple updates to see an improvement for less than $500. Choose the projects that seem best suited for your home, add them to your to-do list, and get started this weekend.

Jessica Thiefels is the CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting and has been writing for more than 10 years. She’s written for AARP, Reader’s Digest and Lifehack and regularly contributes to The Financial Diet, and more.