The real estate market is hot, meaning you can get a pretty penny for your property. If you’ve considered moving, you might be tempted to jump ship now with prices the way they are. However, you should know that many people consider moving a step above divorce on the life-stress scale. You shouldn’t undertake it on a whim. Instead, consider making these eight renovations to your property before you list.
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1. Increasing Your Storage Space
Moving might not net you more space. A hot market can earn you more money for your property, but it also means paying a hefty sum for a suitable replacement.
While renting was once a palatable alternative, it can now leave you trapped in the poverty cycle. Rents in some areas like the southwest skyrocketed more than 20% — much greater than your typical annual raise. It doesn’t take much time before your expenses outstrip your income and you find yourself trapped in a hardscrabble existence.
Instead, consider adding to your storage space if you feel cramped. Many people have ample room in their basements, garages, and attics once they clean them up, hang pegboards and shelves, and clear the clutter.
If you have stuff strewn hither and yon, you might discover that thorough housecleaning creates ample storage space in one area, leaving another briefly barren. It shouldn’t take too long for you to repurpose that empty room into a craft room, game room, or children’s play area. It’s like adding an addition to your home without hammering a single nail.
2. Going Greener
Sustainability upgrades don’t only enhance your property value and do right by the planet. They also put more green in your pocket each month in sweet utility bill savings.
For example, replacing incandescents with LED bulbs makes each lamp use 75% less energy. They also last 25 times longer than traditional bulbs, saving you money on frequent replacements.
You can save even more by converting to solar and reap tax benefits if you act quickly. Some regions have such successful solar programs that they sell the surplus. You could reduce your monthly electricity bill to zero — how’s that for an incentive to stay in your current property?
3. Freshening Your Facade
When you pull up to your front door, you should smile with welcome-home delight, not sigh at your unsightly lawn and peeling paint. Freshening up your facade increases your property value even if you don’t sell and makes you feel better about returning to your casita each night.
Start with a fresh coat of paint. Ideally, you want to wait for a warm, not hot day where you have at least 24 hours of clear skies for everything to dry. If you can’t do your entire exterior, concentrate on your garage door, entry and shutters — perhaps add a striking hue to upgrade your look?
Take a look at your interior while you have your brush handy. The right paint job features a return on investment of 107% and you can complete most work in a single day. Even if you don’t want to fully repaint every room, a stunning accent wall provides a lovely space for featuring your family photographs, perhaps highlighting each one with a miniature art gallery lamp.
Does your landscaping leave you sweating over a lawnmower every Saturday? Why waste your weekend on all that maintenance? Instead of moving to an apartment, consider a green overhaul of your property, opting for natural xeriscaping to minimize water use and necessary upkeep. The right design means you’ll only need to pull weeds and trim bushes a few times a year instead of devoting your valuable downtime to mowing.
4. Adding Accessibility Options
Maybe you’re considering moving because you now have an empty nest, and you worry about climbing the stairs when you get older. Adding accessibility options allows you to take advantage of the aging-in-place trend, maintaining your independence and preserving your familial home for your heirs.
It’s not too tricky to install grab bars in bathrooms, although you might need to reinforce your walls to make them sturdy enough to support the weight. These can prevent slip and fall injuries if you develop mobility challenges later.
You can find mechanical chair lifts that take the fear out of climbing stairs. Another more labor-intensive idea is to convert your home into two separate living quarters, one upstairs and one down. This solution might work if you’re one of the many multigenerational families with adult children, perhaps even grandchildren, sharing one roof.
5. Letting There Be Light
Natural light is much better for your mental health than artificial. It is one of the innovations that bring a new look to your home. Additionally, you can take advantage of passive solar with the right treatments.
One method is switching your curtains. Opt for gauzy numbers that let light flow into the room if you must have a covering. Another idea is a one-way film that maximizes your view of the outdoors while preventing outsiders from looking in and protecting your furnishings and flooring from fading UV rays.
Skylights enhance the natural light in your home and aren’t as hard to install as you may think. However, all but the most intrepid DIYers should probably hire a contractor to ensure you don’t end up with a leaky roof.
6. Investing in Outdoor Living
The COVID-19 pandemic increased interest in outdoor living — and it wasn’t lacking previously. Do you want to put a bit more spa in your living space? As one of the important innovations, why not investigate installing an in-ground pool? You may never want to go on vacation again when you can sip mai tais at your home swim-up bar.
However, you don’t want to drip all over your interior floors when you get hungry. Build some counter space around your grill to create an outdoor kitchen, adding a miniature refrigerator or even a keg-orator for a convenient drink stash while sizzling the perfect steak.
7. Upgrading Your Bathrooms
Your bathrooms can show your home’s age like few other spaces. There’s a difference between retro-chic — like an antique clawfoot tub — and a room that resembles something from “The Brady Bunch.”
Little details, like a heated floor, as one of the innovations, transform your home into a spa-like paradise on chilly winter days. Separate tubs and showers are all the rage, as are dual shower heads that allow you and your partner to share an intimate experience without one of you getting cold — or simply accelerate your morning grooming routine.
8. Making WAH Comfortable
You might be one of the many people working from home permanently. If you haven’t yet upgraded your space to make your area more productive and comfortable, now’s the time.
Start with separation. This step is one of the common renovations. You might want to build a half-wall to divide a shared office space or convert a walk-in closet into a separate study area for online learning.
You need a comfortable desk that puts everything you use during the workday within your fingertips’ reach. If you’re short on space, consider a set of shelves with a fold-down table space that makes the most out of a cozy corner. Upgrade your chair, adjust your lighting and add personalized touches like an aromatherapy diffuser or desktop game that says, “this space is officially mine.”
Want to Move? Consider These Renovations First
You might be considering moving to take advantage of today’s hot real estate prices. However, a crazy market can mean biting off more new mortgages than you can chew or getting trapped on the rental roller coaster.
If you want to move, consider making these eight home renovations first. You’ll enhance your curb appeal and increase your enjoyment of your current property so much that you may not want to leave after all.
In case you have any architectural, structural, and MEP design including fire sprinkler design requirements, or need renovations including structure, and HVAC design, feel free to contact us. We provide you with the full permit set design + T24 for your request.
Rose is the managing editor of Renovated. She’s most interested in sharing home projects and inspiration for the most novice of DIY-ers, values she developed growing up in a family of contractors