Adding Value To Your Home

Which items will add value to your home and help value when the time comes to sell?

The answer is: Only the ones that future buyers will also want and be willing to pay for.

As a general rule, choosing the functional over the merely cosmetic and choosing neutral over unusual or exotic will pay at resale. Taste and current trends can also affect the value of an update. Unusual colors have a limited appeal.

Which updates will add the most value to your home?

1. Clean and declutter
To help boost the value of your home, begin by decreasing the amount of stuff that’s inside it. Cleaning and decluttering are relatively inexpensive tasks, even in bigger homes. Professionally cleaning a four-bedroom home costs between $250 and $500, according to area statistics.

Of course, you could save money by doing the work yourself. Start by going through cabinets and closets and making donation piles. Then clean out drawers and other storage areas, making sure you’re not keeping anything you don’t need or want.

2. Add Usable Square Footage
Adding more usable space to an existing home can make a lot of financial sense, and that’s especially true in areas with limited available real estate where land and space are finite.

Homes are valued and priced by the livable square feet they contain, and the more livable square feet, the better. Adding a separate mother-in-law suite can also be a smart idea, most homes do not have this feature, so adding one sets you apart from the competition when it is time to sell.

The national average cost to build an addition is $49,562, according to estimates. The actual cost will vary depending on the type of room you’re looking to add. For example, tacking on a laundry room to your home might be as little as around $8,000, while adding a new bedroom with an en suite bathroom might run up to $100,000.

3. Fresh Paint Always Helps
One of the most popular home improvement projects in 2022 is painting or wallpapering from what we at have seen.

A simple fresh coat of paint can make dated exteriors and interiors look fresh and new, it’s not that expensive either!
Repainting any rooms with an “off” color schemes helps tremendously. For example, did you let your then-9-year-old daughter paint her bedroom hot pink 12 years ago? If so, that’s a good place to start.

Your painting budget will depend on which rooms you’re hoping to give a new splash of color. For example, painting a bathroom — usually the smallest room in the house will equate to somewhere between $150 and $350, while a 330-square-foot living room might cost as much as $2,000. It just depends on which paint, which finish, and how much of it is needed!

4. Work On Your Curb Appeal
From power washing your driveway to hiring someone to wash your windows and mow the lawn, improving curb appeal can make a big difference in your home’s value. In fact, curb appeal can account for as much as 7 percent of it, according to a 2020 joint study out of the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Alabama.

Upgrading your landscape can go a long way, In the Horry County marketplace our agents have seen significantly more traction with properties which are finely tuned from the outside and well kept, often selling for higher prices just by taking some time to clean and spruce up for the next potential homeowner. The first thing a possible buyer sees is the exterior of your home when they walk up to what could be their future place!

Some ideas: a fresh walkway, shrubs, planters, mulching or even a new paver patio or outdoor kitchen.

5. Upgrade Your Exterior Doors
Also in the vein of curb appeal, replacing an old front door can work magic.  Don’t forget the garage doors, too, at a 93 percent return-on-investment, you’ll get back nearly every cent you spend, according to recent studies.

The front of the home is the first thing you, your neighbors and prospective buyers will see. Garage doors often take up the most amount of space on the front of your home, so installing a modern glass panel door or a rustic wood door will dramatically improve your home’s appearance.

6. Give Your Kitchen An Update
Many buyers zero in on the kitchen as the central feature of a home, so if yours is outdated, it can definitely affect how much you make from a sale. Likewise, if you aren’t able to utilize your kitchen fully due to space, layouts or other concerns, you won’t be maximizing the space, or the potential profits. This will most likely be the most costly update on our list, but the comfort of potential buyers knowing they do not have to update themselves, helps with the price they are willing to pay!

If updating your entire kitchen is too big of an undertaking, a minor remodel could still have an impact on your home’s value — think coordinating appliances and installing modern hardware on your cabinets. Talk with one of our real estate professionals about what makes the most sense and what will command the most dollars from prospective buyers.

7. Stage Your Home
If you’re planning to list your home for sale, consider skipping cosmetic home improvements and go with a professional service instead. Seventy-three percent of staged homes sold for over list price — an average of $40,000 higher — and staged homes move off the market nine days faster than the average, according to the Real Estate Staging Association.

Since the pandemic, the possibilities for staging have become more evolved. HomeSearchSimply agents have access to plenty of virtual staging platforms that will make your space look great online in photos for those who can't visit in person. This tool of virtual staging has been utilitized by our agents with great success at a fraction of the standard Staging Companies price!

On average, staging a typical home in the area costs between $1,500 - $2000, but the cost varies based on your needs and home. Staging services range widely, from decluttering and depersonalization (for example, removing family photos or specific decor) to bringing in rented furnishings, repainting and more. Simply put, the more work involved to stage it, the more expensive the production will be. One of our real estate agents at Home Search Simply can help determine which staging services would make an impact on your home’s value.

Paying For Your Home Improvements

Whether you plan to sell your home or just want to enjoy it more while you live there, it’s important to consider how you’ll pay for these value-adding projects. You can work to save the cash to pay for home improvements as you go, but there are also plenty of financing options that can help you remodel your home sooner rather than later.

Personal loan
Personal loans allow you to borrow a fixed amount of money with a fixed interest rate. These loans are unsecured, meaning you don’t have to put your home or other property up as collateral to get approved. Many personal loan lenders let you borrow as much as $35,000 for home improvements— sometimes more — which you can then repay over time. The rates for a personal loan can vary widely, so be sure to compare options to get the lowest-cost loan for your project.

Home equity loan or HELOC
Home equity loans are similar to personal loans in that you receive a lump sum of cash with a fixed interest rate and fixed monthly payment. Home equity lines of credit, also known as HELOCs, work like credit cards, and come with variable rates and a line of credit you can borrow against.

These borrowing options require you to put your home up as collateral to qualify. The good news is, you could score a lower interest rate with one of these types of loans compared to a personal loan or home improvement loan. In addition, no matter which option you go with, the interest might be deductible if you use the money to make eligible home improvements.

0% APR credit card
If you need to borrow a small amount of cash for your home improvement plans, you might be able to skip the loan and go with a 0% APR credit card instead. Many cards have no interest payments on balances for up to 18 months, which can be ideal if you have a smaller-scale project in mind. A credit card can also work well if you’re able to pay your contractor with it.
Just remember - If you don’t pay your balance off by the time your zero-percent APR offer ends, your card’s interest rate will reset to a much higher variable rate, costing you more.

Cash-out refinance
If you have built equity in your home and you’re looking to do a major renovation, a cash-out refinance could provide you with the funds you need while getting you a lower rate on your current mortgage. The refinancing process is just as paperwork-heavy as taking out a mortgage, however, and there are closing costs to consider. If you go this route, take the time to shop around for the best refinance rates so you maximize your savings