Improve the value of your home In Washington State now. Read this great article for useful tips tricks and inspiration. Everyone wants to improve their home value, but just where should you start? Start with this article and begin creating a plan today.
You did it! You purchased a home in Washington State. If you are like most folks, you just made one of the biggest financial commitments of your life. Your hopes and dreams for the future are tied to brick and mortar around you, and a roof over your head. So, what can you do to protect that future?
Simple: improve your home’s value. The benefits of Improving the value of your home are obvious, not the least of which is the fact that, you get to enjoy the comforts of all the improvements you make along the way. Let’s take a close look at 7 ways to improve your home’s value.
1. Proper Prior Planning
You’ve heard it before and improving the value of your home is no different, start with a plan. Improving the value of your home can take on different meanings depending on your short and long term goals. Long term goals for improving the value of your home may include home additions such as a detached garage or workshop, finishing your basement or even a whole home remodel.
Short term goals are more likely to include maintenance items that can’t be avoided and not only protect and improve the value of your home, they directly improve the quality of your life. Whatever your motivations are, it’s important to get them down on paper.
Why am I improving the value of my home?
Though it may sound like a silly question, there are many ways to improve your home’s value and depending on what your immediate goals are, your strategy may be markedly different. Though many times, “last minute” value improvements are made by home sellers to increase the marketability of their home for a quick sale and a higher price tag.
However, improving your home’s value is generally a multifaceted long term commitment. Whatever your reasons are for improving the value of your home, start your plan with a clear vision of your desired outcome.
What Would I like to do vs What do I need to do?
With so many ways to improve the value of your home, there are lots of projects you can start with. But, which one will give you the most bang for your buck? Which project needs to be tackled right away? Are there lingering home-maintenance issues that will likely decrease the value of your home over time if left undone?
Get it all down on paper. Don’t be shy. If there is something you’ve been dreaming about, get it on the list. At this stage, it doesn’t cost you anything to dream, so don’t let cost get in the way. After all, you’re only planning, and it doesn’t cost anything but your time to plan. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and make a list with 2 columns.
The first column should be labeled; things I would like to do to improve my home value. The second column should be labeled; things I need to do to improve my home value. Write every project down so you can weigh costs, options, and benefits. Then prioritize your list and decide which projects to take on first.
While you are making your list, you may want to consider the long term tax implications of your value improvement projects. Anytime you improve the value of your home you could also be liable for more taxes. For example; If you add a bedroom, bathroom or choose to finish your basement you will likely be asked to pay more property taxes. On the other hand, if you add a home office to your house and comply with IRS usage requirements you could get a tax exemption.
Another important tax implication will come when you sell your property. If you make more than 250K in profit as a single taxpayer you will need to pay capital gains taxes. If you are careful, and track all of your capital improvements you could save yourself a substantial sum.
Here’s how it works: when it comes time to sell, figure out the total of everything you paid for the house (purchase price, fees etc.) add to that, the total cost of any improvements you may have made to arrive at your total or what is known as your “adjusted basis.” Compare the sales price you get for your property with your adjusted basis to see your total taxable profit.
2. Talk To A Professional
Living in the Pacific Northwest means committing to specific preventive maintenance absolutely necessary to maintain the structural integrity of your home. Washington State sees more annual rainfall than almost anywhere in the nation. Not to mention wind and snow. Looking for Inspiration? Aside from necessary repairs and maintenance, you may be at a loss as to where to begin when it comes to improving your home’s value.
One way to get some inspiration for a good home value improvement plan, is to talk to a professional. This doesn’t mean you need to rush our and spend some money to hire someone (unless you want to). There are a lot of options. Start with your most recent home inspection report.
Related: View Your Home Inspection Report
If you recently purchased your home you likely had a home inspection done prior to closing on the property. Go ahead and dig up the paperwork. Give that inspection report a good read. The home inspector’s report should show you all the little details you may need to address right away. If your home inspector was good, the property inspection report should also be a great place to find suggestions for long term needs and home value adds.
If you didn’t have a professional home inspection at the time of purchase or it’s been a while since you bought your home, consider scheduling a professional home inspector to come and give your property a good going over. Most home inspectors charge 500 dollars or less, and their inspection is very thorough.
Interior Designers, Architects, Articles DIY Programs
Designers, architects, organizational professionals, and even your local librarian. All are great professionals to have in your pocket when it comes time to improve your homes value. Seek out the advice of a contractor, most are willing to offer free estimates. Seek out designers and creative organizational professionals that offer free consultations.
If you are on a budget, research home value improvement blogs or DIY gurus. Grab an interior design magazine at your local library for inspiration. The good people at your local library are likely to have access to lots of different media options that are sure to give you some inspiration that will get you moving in the right direction.
3. One Room At A Time
Now that you have your list put together and prioritized, you are ready to get your hands dirty. After closing on your home, you may find yourself on a strict budget for home improvements. A home has a lot of moving parts. Home improvement projects can be very deceptive. Don’t get overwhelmed, especially if you are considering taking on some of the projects by yourself.
Take it one room at a time. If you try to do too much, you risk doing a second rate job which may actually hurt the value of your home. When budgeting time for your projects, consider how much time it will take to get the project done, then add 2 days for a buffer. Often times you may discover new issues as you repair others.
Focusing on one room at a time helps to minimize the impact on your living space as well. Home value improvement activities often hinder access to spaces you use on a daily basis like your kitchen or bathroom. When planning, be sure to consider how the project will interrupt daily access to that area of the house.
4. Slap On A Coat Of Paint
Whether you’re talking about the inside of your home or out. When it comes to improving your home’s value this next suggestion is a “layup”. Painting may be one of the best ways to quickly add value to your home without much of an investment. There’s nothing that feels quite so clean as a fresh coat of paint. A clean application of exterior paint will immediately elevate your curb appeal and home value. Inside your home, the right paint can brighten any room adding to an illusion of more space.
Another bonus? If you are trying to save money this could be a great opportunity. Put on some old clothes and grab some buckets and rags. Let’s plan a DIY weekend project. If you follow a few simple tips even amateurs can do a pretty good job getting some paint on the walls. This is another good opportunity to check out some home improvement blogs.
In the meantime here are a couple of crucial painting tips:
- Prep Prep Prep: Take the time to lay down tarps and plastic. Don’t get sloppy with the tape. Remember prepping is all about protecting the places where you don’t want the paint.
- Always have a clean wet rag: The easiest way to clean any mistakes is to do it as they happen.
Clean tools, Clean Job
- Keep your tools clean and your surfaces and walls will be clean as well.
- Start At the Top. Start With The Ceilings: Whenever you paint, don’t forget the ceilings. Ceiling paint is cheap, easy to apply, and brightens any room immediately
If you have the money to invest, a professional painter really makes a big difference. While painting presents a wonderful opportunity for DIY adventurists, paint applied by a professional can have an immediate effect on value and the quality of your home life.
5. Easy Value Added Updates For Your Home’s Interior
Now that you have the paint up, let’s go inside and take a look at a few easy ways to boost your home’s value. One big thing to remember in the home value improvement game is, Small generally pays off big. It’s easy to get stars in your eyes and think you need to redo the whole kitchen for instance, to see any real value improvement.
While everyone loves a clean updated kitchen. Its very easy to overspend on kitchen, bathroom or other improvements thereby counteracting any increase in value. The lesson? Keep it simple. There are lots of small things you can do that carry a minimal price tag and have a huge impact your home value.
Here are a few:
- Add/Upgrade Lighting Fixtures: Adding light is a great way to add value.
- Upgrade Home Appliances: Nothing grabs more attention in the kitchen than new appliances.
- Change out door knobs switch plates and outlet covers and drawer pulls: This is a cheap and easy way to freshen up the look of any room. Switch plates and outlet covers crack easily and get dirty and are very easy to replace. Drawer pulls and door knobs can update your look immediately.
- Switch out the front door: While this may be a little more expensive project, it can be a relatively low cost way to freshen up the look of your home and add value.
- Go Green: There are lots of easy things you can do here like switching over to LED bulbs or installing solar exterior lights. You can also up “the ante” a bit and install a tank-less water heater. Of course, if you have the money to invest consider going solar.
- Install new bathroom vanities, toilets, sinks and bathroom hardware: You don’t need to do a “gut remodel” of your bathroom to see added value. Vanities, toilets and sinks are a low cost way to update the look and feel of any lavatory.
- Add Crown Molding: This is a great way to add a touch of class and desirability to any room.
6. Curb Appeal
What is the first thing someone sees when they arrive at your home. Are you staged to give a visual treat? Is you lawn well maintained? Does the exterior of your home look clean and bright. How is the roof?
You only get one opportunity to make a good impression. Nothing speaks to your home’s value with more volume than a well manicured exterior presence. From your lawn to paint there are lots of ways to quickly improve the value of your home’s exterior, consider these options;
- Take care of your lawn: DIY opportunity; spend a few hours every week maintaining and upgrading your lawn. If it’s in the budget, hire a professional. Many homeowners swear by their lawn service. At the end of the day, it’s not a bad investment.
- Aquaculture: What grows in your region? When you are considering what plants and flowers to add to your landscaping, go local. What kinds of flora and fauna are native to your area. If you plant what’s native, you’ll have a better chance of getting it to grow, and it will be much easier to maintain.
- Get rid of any junk or yard debris: You may have overlooked the steady accumulation of yard debris that tends to collect over time. Get rid of it! Take a trip to the local landfill, donate that old rust bucket to a local charity. Just get rid of the clutter.
- Paint the trim: Here’s another DIY opportunity. However, if it’s in the cards, a professional can make your exterior trim shine.
- Power-wash the walk / Deck: Exercise caution. While it may be tempting to go to your local rental service and grab a pressure washer for the day, it is easy to do property damage. Never start spraying directly on the work surface. Test the pressure and functionality first Concrete surfaces are the best places to start.
- Outdoor Decor: Another low cost way to improve the exterior value of your home is to make it comfortable. Add a patio set, or consider some chairs and a fire pit. Be careful, don’t clutter up your space. Pick a few items that serve a utilitarian purpose and offer a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
7. Keep It Clean
One of the best ways to improve your home’s value is to maintain it. Keeping your home in pristine condition will mean protecting your homes intrinsic value which rises over time. Keeping everything clean and in good repair is the easiest way to improve your home’s value over time.
Need a Mortgage?
Although it takes time and planning, Improving the value of your home is easy. Whether you are looking to buy, refinance, or just have questions about your home value, consult your trusted home mortgage expert at Sammamish Mortgage today. Let the professionals at Sammamish Mortgage guide you.
Family owned and operated since 1992, we know what you value. Let us help you understand the ins and outs of home financing and more. Sammamish Mortgage offers a variety of loan programs including FHA and VA mortgages. Regardless of your situation, we can guide you through the process. Proudly serving Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. Please contact one of our friendly staff members today. We look forward to serving you.