What homeowner doesn’t want his or her property value to go up?

Question is: what are the smartest ways to make this happen? In answer, we present 10 wide-ranging, comprehensive ways to bolster that value in the most efficient way possible.

• Come hither, curb appeal. How does your home look to a prospective buyer? To get a fresh set of eyes on the situation, look critically from all angles. Keep the following in mind: accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. Those aren’t just song lyrics. They’re good advice.
• Emphasize energy efficiency. Get an energy professional to do an audit on your home, then follow his or her recommendations. They may include plugging leaks, shoring up insulation, sealing ducts, or installing a programmable thermostat to make climate control more efficient.
• Pull out the paintbrush. You’d be amazed what a fresh coat of paint can do for the appeal of your home. You might also try refreshing your cabinets with a faux-wood finish – simple and effective.
• Prioritize property care and maintenance. It’s simple logic: a house that is properly maintained will not only show better, but sell more quickly and with fewer hitches. The idea of properly caring for your property touches every aspect of the home, from the insulation in the attic to the grass in the front yard. A simple rule of thumb: if you think it needs to be fixed, it does.
• Maintain rent at market levels. This is as key to maintenance as unplugging toilets or replacing kitchen fixtures. Your property value is largely determined by the amount of rent that is collected. Don’t cheat yourself.
• Cleanliness counts. Your place may look good to you, but look again with a set of fresh eyes. Do you need to scrub the tub? Declutter the living room? If you need to bring a friend in for an objective perspective, do it.
• Remodel in a reasonable manner. Make upgrades based on intent, not impulse. Ballpark costs should be around 20 to 25 cents on the dollar, with the rest going directly toward increased home value.
• Smart small. Little steps can you take far if you persist. Try making two lists: upgrades you want to make for yourself and those that will add to your home’s value. Try doing a little bit of both through a methodical approach and you’ll be surprised at the results.
• Go room by room. Take that methodical approach a step further and work one room at a time. This not only keeps your improvement projects manageable, but it will likely spare your sanity.
• Kill ‘em with kitchen kindness. The kitchen is the number-one place where you’ll see return on your investment, so make it a priority. Some design suggestions: a mobile center island, stainless-steel appliances, and install a pot rack and wine-bottle holder. This presents a mix of the practical and the pretty – and the combination works.

Don’t be daunted. Take it one step at a time and you’ll succeed!

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