Part of the steps to refinancing or selling your home is getting it appraised. A home appraisal is a third party’s estimated value of your home after taking into consideration several things concerning your home like its design, age, location, property size, condition, any home improvements, and more.
There are several different ways to get the most favorable appraisal of your home without undertaking a costly renovation. Implement these affordable changes to increase your home’s value.
5 Ways To Increase Your Home’s Value Without Breaking The Bank
Tidy Up The Yard
Your front yard is the first thing the appraiser will see upon arriving, so it’s fair to say that you could make a good first impression with a tidy yard. A well-maintained yard is a good investment as it will improve your curb appeal.
You don’t need to invest in a landscaping service for an appraisal, though you may have to if you have not attended to your yard in a long time. If you have been maintaining your yard, simply trimming the plants and lawn, removing weeds, making sure they’re healthy, and cleaning up fallen leaves and other debris would do your home a great service.
Putting a little bit of your own sweat equity to clean in and around your property can make a real difference.
Repaint Your Home
Ideally, you should be repainting your home every 3 to 5 years. If you haven’t or if your home is due for repainting soon, you should do so before the scheduled appraisal. If you have repainted your home within the last 3 years, you may want to consider minor touch-up work to cover up any imperfections.
Chipping or faded paint tells your appraiser that you do not maintain your house well. Plus, a paint job helps hide imperfections and various wear-and-tear marks. Re-painting also allows you to freshen up your home’s design or color scheme. You can make a slightly older home look and feel fresher and modern with the right paint job.
There are very few better affordable changes that you can make that are better than painting.
It’s understandable that homes are not always perfect and are often cluttered. This is fine, and would not hurt your appraisal value, however, do try to minimize the clutter as much as possible. These would allow the appraiser to see the important parts of your home without being sidetracked with any clutter lying around.
It goes without saying, too, that you should deep clean walls, floors, ceilings, appliances, windows, toilets, showers, bathtubs, and so on. This will contribute to the fresh look of your house.
There are also a few options to store your possessions before you move. If you have been called a “pack rat” by your spouse or other family members, renting a storage unit can go a look way to improving the appearance of your property.
Upgrading Outdated Fixtures
Your house’s age is a factor in your home’s appraisal, but you could offset it by keeping it well-maintained and fresh. Outdated fixtures, cabinet draws and drawer pulls, as well as certain finishes could date your home, and therefore chip away at its value. You may not notice it but your appraiser certainly will.
If possible, invest in minor improvements around the house. Simply replacing an old faulty faucet, upgrading worn-out floors or kitchen counters, fixing faulty cabinet doors, re-grouting the tiles, and so on should help.
If you also have old appliances, it may be helpful to upgrade them to a more modern model. This doesn’t mean that you should have the latest TV, but having a flat-screen TV would be much better than a TV set from the early 2000s.
Expand Livable Space
This last tip is slightly more expensive than the first four, but it will significantly increase your home’s value and attractiveness. The trend nowadays is open floor plans, which make spaces feel larger than they are and allow for more creative ways to arrange furniture. So, if your home has a lot of walls that you think are making your livable space smaller, you could knock down some of those walls.
If you have a more substantial budget, you could consider adding another floor, expanding the house, or turning the attic into a room. These renovations would add more livable space to your home, which will make it more valuable.
Remember that unfinished attics and basements, as well as garages, do not count as living space. Consider these if you plan to make renovations.
One of the beautiful things about making improvements to your home is that many of the items will be tax deductible when it comes time to sell.
Interacting With The Appraiser
Of course, making these changes to your home is important. However, you could also improve your home’s appraisal value by being strategic with your interaction with the appraiser. You don’t need to upsell your home, but you should present to them all the updates and improvements in your home.
Show them before and after pictures of any renovations you have made in the past, as well as other improvement projects you have undertaken. Making an appraiser’s job easier can go a long way towards getting the desired results you’re looking for.
What If It Doesn’t Work Out?
Things don’t always go our way. If your home appraisal comes out much lower than what you think is your home’s actual value, you should know that you may dispute this appraisal. You may speak with your real estate attorney about requesting a second appraisal.
Attorneys will help you prepare the necessary documents and evidence to prove to the appraiser that your home is worth more than they initially thought so that your hard work in maintaining and improving your home doesn’t go to waste.
About the author: The above article on affordable ways to increase your home’s value was written by Kanayo Okwuraiwe. Kanayo is a digital marketing professional and founder of Telligent Marketing LLC, a digital marketing company that provides various digital marketing services to professionals in the legal, medical, financial, real estate, and other industries.