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7 Smart Ways to Increase Your Home Value in the First Year

Whether you see yourself staying in your home for the rest of your life or just another year or two, there are ways to increase the value of your home within the first year of purchasing it. Sinking even a few thousand dollars into energy-efficient windows or hardwood floors in your kitchen can make a huge difference in your resale value. Here are seven smart ways you can increase your home’s value in the first year.7 Smart Ways to Increase Your Home Value in the First Year

1. New Driveway

Your driveway plays a crucial role in connecting your home to the street. It’s also a big part of the first impression people get when they pull up to your house. The more exciting or aesthetically pleasing you can make your driveway, the more you can help draw the eye to different places in your home. New driveway trends such as cobblestone or a curved shape can make your home stand out among others on the street and add value when you’re ready to sell.

2. A Modern Kitchen

Millennials are now the bulk of first-time homeowners, and a modern kitchen is essential to this generation. Even a small investment in your kitchen can help you install new appliances, counter tops and flooring. Try adding stainless steel appliances and quartz counter tops to your new kitchen. It could give you a potential 3 to 7 percent bump in the sale price.

f you have some extra money in your budget, try adding new cabinets. Slate gray cabinets can turn into a focal piece of your kitchen and offset your hardware and counters. Plus, new cabinetry is excellent for storage for a larger family.

3. Hardwood or Tile Floors

One of the more expensive renovations you can make is ripping up carpeting and replacing it with hardwood floors. Oak, maple and walnut floors are incredibly popular and run about $5 to $10 per square foot. While the initial price seems high, it’s well worth the initial investment. Carpet can discourage buyers and adding hardwood can significantly increase your home’s value. For example, adding hardwood floors to a home in Atlanta can add $5,440 to the home’s median value.

4. Greater Energy Efficiency

Making your home more energy-efficient not only increases your home’s value, but it can also lower your utility bills and a future buyer’s bills. More home buyers are becoming aware of the importance of energy-efficient homes, and buyers will pay more for a “green” house with certain upgrades. Invest in more energy-efficient appliances, windows, HVAC system or even solar panels to make your home more desirable.

5. Make It Age-Accessible

Another upgrade that increases your home’s value in the first year is making your home more accessible for seniors. Changes can be as simple as installing grab bars in your bathrooms or even renovating a first-floor bedroom and bathroom. As Millennials with aging parents look at homes, these features can turn into a selling point for families who may have aging family members moving in or for baby boomers thinking about their future after retirement.

6. Remodel the Bathrooms

Like the kitchen, bathrooms are also high-traffic areas people care about in a home. Appraisers also tend to look at your kitchen and bathrooms first, since they know these are critical areas to home buyers. You don’t need to completely gut your bathrooms for higher resale value. Replace items such as vanities, toilets, and fixtures to make your bathroom look brand-new.

7. Create an Open Floor Plan

Open floor plans aren’t just a buzzword. One study found open floor plans can help appreciate your home by 7.4 percent a year. Instead of putting an addition on your home, knock out a few walls or even hire a contractor to help you design your home to look more open. Once it’s complete, your home will look bigger without even adding any extra rooms.

Make Your Home an Oasis

Putting the money into your home now will help you reap the rewards when it’s time to sell. In the first year, try increasing your home’s value by renovating the kitchen, redoing the driveway or installing energy-efficient appliances or windows. Even little tweaks will make a big difference when you go to sell your home.