Preparing your home for the market can be a daunting task, especially if you have a long list of deferred maintenance. The best ways to add value to your home is to continually keep up with your home’s maintenance. Not only will it eliminate stress, but it will increase property value. Adding value to a home will create a good first impression. As a result, buyers will become emotionally attached to your home, which is exactly what you want when selling a home. With a budget in mind, here are some of the most cost effective ways to add value to your home.

1. Add Value with Paint

When it comes to adding value to a home, painting is one of the most budget friendly options. Whether you splash it across an accent wall or paint an entire room, it will completely transform your space, making it feel updated, clean and new. Keep in mind, neutral tones will appeal to a greater number of buyers, therefore increasing the opportunity for your home to sell quickly. Popular neutral colors among buyers are tans, grays, and ivory. With paint costing approximately $30 a gallon, what are you waiting for?

In theory, we all know how to paint a room, but the return on your investment with a good paint job is great. With that in mind, these 5 simple steps will assure you a professional, quality finish that will last for years to come.

2.  Why Popcorn Ceilings Must Go!

Nothing dates a room more than popcorn ceilings. Originally used in the 1950’s as an easy application to hide imperfections, nowadays, this technique does nothing more than ward off buyers.  If you are ready to bid farewell to this dated appearance, consider these options for removal.

Scrape the Ceiling – Option #1

Popcorn ceiling removal is a messy job. Although there are less messy ways to tackle it, this method is the most cost-effective. Before beginning, you will need to determine if your ceiling was done prior to 1978.  Paint and finishes applied before this time are at risk of containing asbestos or lead paint, which is toxic when airborne. If there is evidence of either, do not scrape the ceiling. If you are not sure, then consult a professional and have it tested.

Once you confirm your ceiling is not at risk for lead paint or asbestos, spray down the popcorn surface with water and let it soak in. It is important that the moisture does not absorb into the ceiling drywall. Next, use a 4″ putty knife or drywall knife to scrape away the popcorn finish. Once removed, hide imperfections by skimming the ceiling with a thin layer of joint compound. Finally, sand it smooth and paint.

If your popcorn ceilings have been painted, its porous surface most likely absorbed the paint. In this case, removal is nearly impossible. Thankfully, there is an alternative solution which we will introduce next.

Install New Drywall – Option #2

This is the preferred process if you determined the presence of lead paint or asbestos, or are just looking for a neater application. The advantage of this technique is that the final product will be a new, smooth finish if the tape and mud are professionally applied. Alternatively, there is more cost involved and this is not a one-man job. Furthermore, if you have crown molding, it will need to be removed and replaced.

Prior to the drywall application you will need to install a hat channel, also known as a furring channel, over the existing popcorn ceiling. This channel gets its name due to its hat shape. Once installed, affix new lightweight drywall to the hat channel. This technique will drop the ceiling about an 1/5″, but without the popcorn finish, it will actually make your ceiling feel taller.

3. A Clean Home is a Valuable Home

There is not a second chance for a first impression, so a sparkling clean home is not an option, it is a must. Even if you clean on a regular basis, you are not exempt. Go over your home with a fine tooth comb. Start at the ceiling and work your way down. Our helpful checklist will ensure that your home meets buyers expectations.

4. Replace an Old Front Door.

The sale of your home begins at the front door. Not only will it add curb appeal to the home’s exterior, but it will provide you one of the best returns on your investment.

Estimated cost of new door: $1,561
Resale value with new door: $1,517
Return on investment:  97.2%

Garage door replacement also provides a nice return on your investment.

Estimated cost of garage door: $1,293
Resale value with new garage door: $1,267
Return on investment:  98%

Discover which other mid-range remodeling projects offer the highest returns on your investment.

5. Minor Kitchen Remodel

An updated kitchen is one of the best ways to help add value to your home. Typically, this approach only works if you have a kitchen floor plan that would be attractive to home buyers. A minor kitchen remodel is defined as painting the cabinets, changing out the hardware, replacing dated light fixtures, new counter tops, new flooring, or new appliances. When it comes to appliances, replacing with stainless steel grabs buyer’s attention. Once you start changing kitchen cabinets, it becomes a major remodel.

The 2016 cost vs. value report indicates a minor kitchen remodel for the southeast region of the United States averages $18,907. For this sum of kitchen updates, the resale value is approximately $16,425. This equates to an 86.9% return on your investment. Even more important, it makes a huge difference with buyers when selling your home. In comparison to 2015, the return on investment on a minor kitchen remodel has increased from 77.8%  to 86.9% in 2016, which is proof that this tactic works.

top home improvements to increase value


6. Update Plumbing

In older homes, plumbing will eventually need replacing.  If your home is showing warning signs that the plumbing is on its way out, it is advantageous to address it for a couple of reasons. First, it diminishes the risk of unexpected flooding from leaking pipes that might give away. Second, home appraisers take plumbing into heavy consideration when determining the homes value. Re-piping old copper plumbing with CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride), is a win-win situation. Not only does it add value, but buyers like updated plumbing when shopping for a home.

7. Minor Bathroom Updates

It is said that bathrooms and kitchens sell a home, and I couldn’t agree more. When selling a house, it may not be advantageous to do a full remodel, but light updates will definitely go a long way. To appeal to the largest amount of buyers, keep things neutral. When selecting new colors, think white. This not only keeps it neutral, but it is a budget friendly option as well. When it comes to toilets, sinks and tubs, manufacturers make and sell more in white, therefore the mass production brings the cost down. Additionally, white subway tile costs far less than other types of tile, plus it is a clean and attractive look. If you want to kick it up a notch, add a linear band of glass tile. It will add a touch color and sparkle to the room.

Below is a list of budget friendly bathroom projects that you can use to update your space. Consider which options will work best in your room and for your budget. Keep in mind, you don’t need to do them all. Decide which will produce a look that stands out from your competition.

8. Visually Increase Your Homes Square Footage

In addition to kitchens and baths, an open floor plan tops the list of  “wants” for most home buyers. Too much furniture or over sized furniture in a small space will make a room look off balance and disrupt the flow of the room. The first step in making a room appear larger is to remove large furniture, clutter and heavy drapes.

A common misconception is that a room will appear larger if furniture is pushed against the wall. Not only will this disrupt the flow, but it fails to create intimacy. If the size of your room allows it, float furniture away from the wall in cozy, conversational groups.  If there is a focal point, such as a fire place or a water view, position the furniture around the distinctive feature.

9. Add Low Maintenance Landscaping

A book is judged by it’s cover, so it’s safe to say that curb appeal matters. An inexpensive way to add appeal to your home exterior is by adding low maintenance plants. This not only makes your home stand out, but it shows neighbors and buyers that you take pride in your home and neighborhood.

Examples of low maintenance landscaping include:

Paver brick walk ways

Beds of mulch instead of grass.

Low maintenance plants such as ornamental grass, lavender, or Black Eyed Susan.

10. Replace Worn Flooring

If you question whether or not you should replace your flooring, then it is probably a sign that it needs updating.  When contemplating new flooring, the first thing you should do is to compare your home to other homes on the market. If they are advertising new flooring, then you’re only helping to sell their home, and not yours. Your home will highlight the fact that they have more updates than yours. Although buyers say they would consider adding new flooring, most end up choosing homes in which it is already done for them.

If your finances allow it, new carpet, tile or hardwood floors are a wise investment. Basic ceramic tile can be purchased for $2-$3 per square foot. A current popular trend is a tile that looks like wood. Not only is it attractive, but it easier to maintain than hardwood floors. Some places to shop for budget-friendly tile in the Sarasota, FL area are Floor & Decor and Your Flooring Warehouse.

Consider refinishing hardwood floors that are more than 5 years old and look scratched or worn. The same goes for carpets. If they are stained or worn looking, new carpeting makes a huge difference in the overall appeal to buyers. Market your home with new carpeting, new hardwood floors, or new ceramic tile and see how fast it sells!


If you ask yourself, “I wonder if I should replace my floors, then the answer is most likely yes.


Take a good look at your home, both inside and out, and make a list of all the items that need repair or replacement. Individually, these repairs may seem insignificant, but when you have a large list of small repairs, buyers leave with the impression that your home has been neglected.  Add as much value to your home as possible by keeping up with your home’s maintenance.

You might be wondering, which are the best home renovations to increase value?  Unfortunately, this question does not have a definitive answer.  It depends on many variables including, but not limited to, the home’s location, the local market, or the local economy. You local real estate agent should be able to provide you an idea of the best home renovations to increase value for your home.

I would love to hear your opinion. Please be sure to comment below on what you feel are the top 3 things that increase property value. 


Are You Preparing Your Home for the Market?

Need Help Buying or Selling a Home?

Our experience in real estate, renovations, and home design is a valuable tool when working with clients interested in buying or selling a home.

Home sellers can take advantage of Ursini & Company’s ability to determine the best way to add value to a home.

In addition home sellers will benefit from Ursini & Company’s successful home preparation and home staging tips for selling a home. Not only do we provide real estate tips for sellers, but we will assist in the coordination of vendors, furniture placement, and color selections, all complimentary to you.

What is Your Home Worth Now?

Use our home market value estimator  to get an instant estimate of your homes value. This is solely an estimate using real estate listing and sold properties gathered from the internet. When you are ready to sell your home, we recommend an in-house home evaluation. Ursini & Company are professional Sarasota real estate experts who provide this service as a courtesy to you. Contact us today.

10 Best Ways to Add Value to Your Home
Article Name
10 Best Ways to Add Value to Your Home
What are the best renovations to increase home value? With a budget in mind, here are some of the most cost effective ways to add value to your home.
Publisher Name
Ursini Real Estate Agent
Publisher Logo

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!