At some point, every home owner will undergo some sort of home upgrade, large or small. For example, a typical homeowner might decide to renovate the master bathroom upstairs, hoping that such an update might pay off down the line. Another person might switch out all outdated light fixtures for energy-efficient models.
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But even homeowners who swear off large home improvement projects can increase their property's value. Everyone knows that kitchen and bathroom updates pay off the most—but what about outside the house?
Most realtors agree that curb appeal can make or break property value. In fact, smart homeowners can add noticeable value to their property by considering these 7 summertime additions:
1. New Garage Doors
Few details take up as much exterior real estate as garage doors. Homeowners may put up with dented, outdated, or faulty garage doors and mechanisms for years. Those who want a dramatic new look might well consider an upgrade.
Homeowners who can't afford a new garage door system aren't out of luck, however. By applying a little sweat equity, property owners can apply a new coat of enamel paint. The right paint job may even hide minor dents and scuffs, as well.
2. Solar Panels
Prospective buyers sometimes ask about utility costs during a walk-through. When this happens, homeowners can impress would-be buyers by showing off solar panels on the roof.
This option isn't for the penny pincher; solar paneling has come down in costs over the years, but most solar panel systems still represent significant costs. Still, solar paneling pays for itself later. Anyone who wants to sweeten the deal might look into even minimal solar options. At minimum, replace all light bulbs with eco-friendly versions.
3. Gutter Systems
If homeowners ignore their home's gutters, they do so at risk to their home (gutters can leak into the surrounding roof). Moreover, overflowing or unsightly gutters can detract from any home's appearance.
At minimum, clean gutters each season. If gutters are loose, call a repair company. If the situation warrants it, replace bent or rusting gutters altogether.
4. New Entry Doors/Windows
The entry door is the gateway to any home. To send the most complimentary message to prospective buyers, look into a new door. If the old entryway doesn't offer natural light, pick a style with a fanlight, sidelight, or half-panel window.
Meanwhile, don't ignore windows, particularly those that face the street. It may take a while to save funds for a full-house window update, but such upgrades pay real dividends when it comes time to sell.
5. Trees and Shrubbery
Nothing turns off neighbors and prospective buyers more than an unkempt lawn, dying shrubs, or forlorn trees in the yard. It's true—foliage does accentuate property while hiding architectural flaws. But sad-looking bushes and weeds everywhere are almost worse than no landscaping at all.
To boost curb appeal and property value, plant a few saplings in attractive locations. Talk with a landscaper for ideas (better yet, hire one to design a yard with immediate visual appeal). Regularly prune trees and bushes for optimal growth and beautiful appearance.
6. Above-Ground Swimming Pool
Homeowners who live in a mild climate—preferably a climate with many warm days each year—shouldn't overrule the idea of a swimming pool in the back yard. Today's above-ground pools are built well; plus, they come in multiple sizes and styles for any outdoor space.
A reputable pool installer can match each pool to the home's architecture and install the pool so that it blends well with landscaping. In the end, a well-maintained pool can be a real selling advantage.
7. Patio Furniture
While a pool can boost any home's value, attractive patio furniture doesn't hurt alongside. Choose sturdy, weatherproof deck chairs, patio tables, umbrellas, and dining chairs that will last longer than just one summer or two.
To avoid mold, take cushions inside during the off season. Clean and maintain each accessory, and watch for rust or other corrosion.
By following these seven hot ideas, any homeowner can improve property value and outdoor fun besides. Simply pick a project and get started!
About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. The information for this article was provided by professionals at Blue World Pools.