It feels like you’ve just won a marathon – you dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s on your paperwork, and now you have the keys to your new home! Phew! It’s time to relax now, right?
Nope! Now is the perfect time to start planning for improvements.
“But why make improvements on a home I just bought?” you may ask. Well, think about it.
It’s seen as good practice to get a tune up and change the oil on your car – even if it’s brand new – after so many miles instead of waiting until there’s a problem. You customize and upgrade your computer after purchasing for a smoother experience. Why not adopt the same philosophy when it comes to your house?
Your first step (if you haven’t already done so) is to figure out where there’s room for improvement by having your home inspected, and make plans to tackle projects as soon as possible. Letting projects go for too long can cost you more in the long run as prices inflate and problems compound. In other words, don’t let your to-do list get too long!
Once you start making improvements, keep track of every project from start to finish, including date, approximate costs, and contact information for any contracted work. If you have your home inspected, be sure to track these results as well.
Think of it like regular tune ups for your home. You’ll be reassured that your home is safe and you’ll be able to put your own personal touch on the property. As an added bonus, if you decide to sell in the future, prospective homebuyers will be drawn in by the care you put into the home right from the start.
As you work out your new budget and get into the groove in your new locale, you may be wondering which home improvement projects are worth investing in right now. Here are some projects that are well worth your time and will increase the value of your new home:
1. Paint the walls
This is perhaps the best project to tackle right after getting your keys. Painting the walls is easily DIY-able, and with $25 being the average cost for a gallon of paint, you won’t have to break the bank to add a personal touch to your new home. Go for a neutral color like beige, white, or pale gray for design flexibility. Then, add a splash of color on an accent wall (or get creative and paint your ceiling!).
Pro Tip: Paint before moving day to eliminate the added step of covering furniture and working around personal belongings!
2. Unclutter your gutters
After you get settled, take a peek at your gutters. They’ve likely been neglected for a while, and may even be clogged. This is unsightly, but it can also have bigger implications. Keeping gutters clog-free, and diverting water properly away from your home, will prevent serious and costly damages such as foundation and structural issues.
Pro Tip: Prevention is key here. After taking care of your clogged gutters, do yourself (and any potential homebuyers in the future) a favor: get a low profile form of gutter protection, like LeafFilter, to boost curb appeal and save yourself the headache of cleaning your gutters again.
3. Add a backsplash in your kitchen
It’s well known that kitchen improvements yield the most return when it comes to home value. You may not have it in your budget to do a complete overhaul (which can set you back tens of thousands of dollars), but a simple and functional improvement is a good place to start.
Look around your kitchen. Do you see unsightly food residue splatters behind your sink or stove? These can be extremely difficult to clean up from a painted wall. You risk dulling or chipping the paint, and some stubborn spots may even leave stains. Give your kitchen a quick facelift that will help you tackle these messes by adding a tile backsplash.
Pro Tip: Find a modern pattern or timeless color to personalize in a way that will be appealing to potential home buyers in the future for a greater ROI.
4. Give your front entrance a face lift
Are you planning on throwing a house warming party or having guests over for your first Thanksgiving in the home? Give your visitors (and future prospective homebuyers) a good impression of your new home.
Update your front door by giving it a new look (maybe you could paint it your favorite color to give it a personal touch) or replacing it altogether. Fix cracks or blemishes on your porch. Add a few potted plants to give your entrance a fresh, inviting feel.
Pro Tip: Every small improvement counts – if you don’t have much room in your budget, an update as simple as changing the house numbers next to your front door to a more modern font can help boost your curb appeal and add a little value to your home.
5. Lighten up!
Your house, that is! Proper lighting can do wonders for a home. A bright space can make rooms seem bigger, cleaner, and much more inviting (especially to prospective home buyers than a dimly lit area.
Replace existing lightbulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs that emit a natural warm-toned light. Additional lighting, like modern track lighting, recessed lighting, sleek sconces, or even decorative table lamps will give your space a personal touch.
Pro Tip: Replacing lightbulbs is a cheap and easy DIY project you can tackle in less than an hour, but wiring new lighting can be tricky. Consider hiring a professional electrician if you’re adding additional lighting.
It’s never too early to give your home a little TLC.
By planning ahead and prioritizing projects that increase your home’s value, you’ll be a step ahead of other homeowners when it comes time to think about relocating.
What simple improvements have you made to boost your home’s value?