10 Steps to Boost Your Home Value

Budget-conscious homeowners will love this tip: Pressure-washing the dirty siding and deck, as well as the oil-stained driveway and faded walkways is an extremely cost-efficient way to increase your home's curb appeal. If you don't own a pressure washer, you can rent one from your local home improvement store for the day.

Step 1: Plan Your Remodel

Don’t just start knocking walls down. Plan it out -- the fastest way to increase your home's value is to make upgrades intentionally, not on impulse. Home improvement projects cost about $0.20-0.25 on the dollar. The other $0.75-0.80 spent goes directly back into the home through increased value.

Start slowly. It's a marathon, not a sprint. List the things you want to change and the updates you would like to make. Don't worry about organization, just write it all down. Take a guess on how long you may want to live in the house. If you're planning on selling, talk to your real estate agent and make a selling plan.

Next, categorize your list by how much it may cost, including your time and money. Be realistic! It's OK to list an outdoor pool with a waterfall, but keep your financial picture in mind.

Look at your categorized list and prioritize what is a real "must-have" and what is more of a dream. Try to find a reasonable balance.

Once you have a plan, do research or talk to a real estate agent to see what sort of return those improvements may bring. Some improvements will add considerably more value to your home than others.

Take your time in deciding what improvements you'll make.

Step 2: Tackle One Room at a Time

Easy there tiger. Don’t get too excited and start fixing up every room in the house. Keep projects manageable by tackling one room at a time. Whether it's a simple coat of paint or knocking down a wall, focus on one room to keep projects achievable.

Make a list of all the things you dream about doing, break your list down into categories based on cost and write down how much time each project may take. This will help you get results. If you only have a day or a weekend, choose a project that fits within your time frame, comfort level and financial commitment.

If you set out to paint a living room wall on Saturday, and you know what it will cost in time and money, it gets done. By the end of the day, you have a stylish upgrade that will add value to your home. By strategizing, you will see your dreams take shape as you transform each room before moving on to the next.

Stay within time and budget constraints with home projects.

Step 3: Add Sense and Style

New sink or new sofa? You really need a new bathroom faucet, but stylish drapes would brighten up the living room. Don’t sacrifice decor to make the upgrades you need to increase your home’s resale value -- do a little of both.

Make two lists -- upgrades for your home value and upgrades just for you. Upgrades for your home may consist of replacing old faucets, permanent lighting and doors. Upgrades for you are furniture, artwork and window treatments. Throw out the dartboard approach to picking projects and then wondering if what you are doing is really making a difference.

Stick to one upgrade per month. If you already blew through your budget after one upgrade, make small changes for the next couple of months. Upgrade a couple of electric plugs or buy a small lamp.

A little window dressing does wonders for a home's worth.

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Home Value
Staging
Home Improvement

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