By Erin Langford
Whether you’re interested in taking advantage of the hot real estate market or looking to make your house more livable, there are a number of inexpensive home design trends that increase your property value.
Upgrade Your Kitchen
One of the best ways to increase your home value is to upgrade your kitchen. It’s the place where you likely spend most of your time, and an inviting kitchen makes entertaining guests easier and more enjoyable. A side benefit of a nice kitchen? It makes it more fun to cook at home, saving you money in the long run.
The most obvious upgrade to a kitchen is new appliances. On top of giving your kitchen a new look, the right appliances will make your home more energy-efficient. Many new refrigerators and ranges come with smart home features that are popular with Millennial homebuyers.
Appliances and flooring may be the biggest kitchen upgrades, but new countertops or cabinets will also give your kitchen a new look. Other profitable upgrades include a new kitchen sink, a backsplash, a range hood, and new lighting.
Today’s homebuyer is concerned about their carbon footprint. They also want smaller utility bills, so an energy-efficient home makes cents (and dollars). Energy Star appliances will make your home more eco-friendly.
On the more expensive end, these upgrades can include renewable energy systems, such as solar panels, a solar hot water system, or a ground source heat pump. Simpler upgrades can include energy-efficient appliances and new windows. Many of these upgrades may qualify for government rebates, making them more attainable.
First impressions are crucial when selling a home, and your landscaping can make or break a deal. A pristine yard with a lawn that’s neatly mowed and edged tells people your property is well cared for. The right landscaping can add as much as 13% to the value of your home.
Low-maintenance landscaping using native plants tells potential buyers they don’t need to spend their weekends working in the yard. The larger the flower beds, the less grass they’ll have to mow. In addition, native plants need less water, maintenance, and fertilizer as a manicured grass lawn.
Hardscaping is also an easy way to cut down on water use and gives your outdoor space a unique look. A well-done stone pathway is an easy replacement for a boring concrete sidewalk, and a patio for outdoor cooking and entertaining expands the amount of livable space in your home – a huge selling point.
Outdoor lighting is another easy outdoor upgrade. Solar-powered LED bulbs make it easier to use your grill on warm summer evenings and increase safety.
Privacy is Paramount
Now that you’ve added these valuable design trends, you want to be able to enjoy them without neighbors or passersby peering into the yard. Features that add privacy to your yard are a major selling point. While the obvious solution to backyard privacy concerns is a fence, this can also include trees or other tall vegetation. A hedge or a retaining wall can also be an attractive-looking addition that shields your patio or deck from view.
Today’s homebuyer wants a presentable home, but also one that’s functional. Telling Alexa or Siri to “turn on the patio lights” or “turn up the thermostat” is a huge plus. Smart home features will also allow you to lock and unlock the doors, turn on outdoor lighting, and turn on the automatic sprinklers while you’re away from home.
Ring doorbells and nest cameras are huge selling points when it comes to home security. These upgrades are just as important as new floors, window treatments, and paint when it comes to making your home look new.
Accessory Dwelling Units
An ADU is a small habitable space on your property. It can be a detached tiny house in the backyard, a basement with a separate entrance, or an over-the-garage apartment. It’s a trending way to host overnight guests without giving up your privacy.
As more people work from home, these extra spaces add a lot of value, allowing people to “go” to the office without leaving home. Keep in mind: This upgrade may not be allowed in your city, so check your zoning and homeowner association laws.
Worried about the cost of these latest home design trends? The return on investment is high. By spending a little now, you could make a substantial profit when it’s time to sell.
Erin Langford is a home stager and landscape design writer. She loves entertaining and playing in her backyard, but she hates yard work. She recently expanded her patio and added an outdoor kitchen so she has less grass to mow.