Seven Hacks to Boosting the Value of Your Home 

It’s officially home buying season and according to Business Insider, the best time to sell is quickly approaching. In early May, houses sell faster and for more money than any other time of the year.

If you’re like most Americans, eager to take advantage of the bustling real estate market and maximize profits, but don’t have a big budget for trendy upgrades, don’t worry. FirstBank has you covered. Here’s seven ways to boost the value of your home on a shoestring budget.

1. Clean and get rid of clutter

For the small price of some good cleaning products and an honest day’s work, cleaning, removing excess furniture, uncluttering kitchen counters & closets, can make a decent impact on your home’s value. According to HomeGain’s annual survey, which collects feedback from mortgage and real estate professionals nationwide, cleaning and decluttering your home can give you the biggest return on investment (ROI): about 403 percent. Not bad for some elbow grease.

Craftsman style home2.  Add some curb appeal

This doesn’t involve spending thousands of dollars or hiring a landscaper. Instead, mowing your lawn, adding fresh mulch to garden beds, lining your deck or terrace with potted plants and replacing that outdated entry-way door can sometimes be the only facelift needed. A recent US News & World Report story also found that putting in a new front door can deliver one of the highest ROIs compared to other home improvement projects.

3. Make minor updates to your kitchen

A vast majority of real estate professionals say the kitchen is among the most important rooms to upgrade. Luckily, when it comes to spiffing it up, you don’t need to spend tons installing high-end counter tops or stainless steel appliances. Simple things like refinishing or repainting old cabinets, replacing outdated hinges and drawer handles can drastically transform your kitchen – and it can be done for less than $100.

4. Spruce up your bathrooms

Installing new tile or marble in your bathroom is a big ticket item, but doing smaller, more cost effective upgrades can be almost as impactful. For instance, installing new fixtures, re-grouting the shower, replacing old bulbs, adding a new mirror and brightening up the room with some paint can make a drastic difference and for not much dough.

5. Maximize light

Homes that are brighter, lighter usually sale faster. Why? Lighting can be a natural mood booster. Plus, according to a HomeGain survey, lighting noticeably enhances a home’s appeal. Doing things like adding new light switches, replacing old light ceiling fixtures with newer, more modern ones and cleaning windows to let in more natural light, dramatically changes a space.

6. Freshen up paint and worn carpets

According to real estate site, Trulia, one of the easiest ways to transform a room involves a can of neutral-colored paint. Taking away any dark or drab walls and giving them a fresh cream or white coat of paint, gives homebuyers “a clean palette” to envision how their own décor would look. Also, replacing worn carpets or rugs with new carpeting can upgrade a space and it’s a fraction of the cost compared to other flooring options.

7. Try going green to cut energy costs

 The Appraisal Journal estimates that cutting your home’s energy costs can add twenty times the annual savings to the value of your property. So let’s say you install a new energy efficient washer/dryer and a thermostat, saving roughly $1,000 in energy costs a year. These changes can potentially add $20,000 to your home’s value. Even doing simple, inexpensive things like insulating your attic or caulking around doors and windows can conserve tons of energy in heating and air conditioning costs and be a potential draw for homebuyers.

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