15 Cheap Ways to Increase Home Value, You’ve Never Heard

by Tara Caruso

Updated

The question of how to increase value of a home is a common one. Many people think that making expensive renovations is the only way to do it.

But there are actually a number of cheap ways to increase the value of your home.

You may be surprised at how much even a small change can make when it comes to home value.

Keep reading for 15 cheap ways to increase home value!

1. Natural light

sunset-sky

One of the most effective ways to make your home look more valuable is to let in more natural light. Brighter homes tend to feel more spacious and inviting, which is appealing to potential buyers.

Tips to get started: Takedown heavy curtains and replace them with lighter-weight fabrics.

In addition, washing your windows inside and out will help them to look bigger and brighter. These small changes can have a big impact on the perceived value of your home.

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Even if you’re not looking to sell, this is a good tip to quickly improve your home to make more money on Airbnb or to earn extra cash with rental properties.

Value add potential: Up to $1,000 (Velux)

Trend on the Rise

Adding solar tube skylights. Solar tube skylights are a type of skylight that uses a small lens to direct sunlight down a tube into your home. These are easier and cheaper to install than traditional skylights while still providing increased natural light.

2. Add Water Filtration System

waterfall

There are many inexpensive ways to increase house value, one being a water filtration system.

Not only will it make your water taste better, but it will also remove impurities and contaminants.

This is a great selling point for potential buyers, especially if you live in an area with hard water.

Whether you’re using an alternative way to sell your home or going through an agent, this is definitely an upgrade worth mentioning.

Tips to get started: Research different water filtration systems to find one that will work for your home.

You’ll need to decide if you want a whole-house system or one that is installed under the sink.

Value add potential: $500 – $4000 (The Science of Water, LLC)

3. Technology Upgrades 

Installing smart technology in your home is a great way to increase its value.

Smart thermostats, door locks, light bulbs and more can be controlled remotely via a smartphone or tablet, making your home more convenient and secure.

Plus, buyers are willing to pay more for homes with smart technology installed.

One way real estate developers make money is by upgrading old homes, so skip the middle man and make these upgrades yourself.

Tips to get started: Research which smart devices are most popular and would be most beneficial for your home.

Look at energy efficiency technology. Making your home more energy-efficient is not only good for the environment—it’s also good for your wallet.

Value add potential: Can raise the value of your home up to 5% (One Smart Shelter)

Best types of technology to add to your home:

  • Smart Thermostat – Can be controlled by an app to remotely to raise or decrease the temp in your home.
  • Smart Door Locks – You can let people in remotely with a code or an app, adding an extra layer of security to your home.
  • Smart Light Bulbs – These can be controlled by an app to turn on/off, change colors, and even create a schedule.
  • Smart Carbon Monoxide – These can be monitored remotely and will alert you if there are high levels of carbon monoxide in your home.
  • Security Cameras – These can be monitored remotely and will alert you if any suspicious activities are going on around your home.

4. Refinish Bathtubs

Instead of gutting your bathroom, you can simply refinish your bathtub. This will save you a lot of money and it’s a relatively easy project to do yourself.

refinishing-bathtub-pros-and-cons

If you are looking to move into a next home, these simple improvements to increase your current home’s value combined with these tips to save money for a house will quickly set you on the right path.

Tips to get started: You can buy a kit that includes everything you need to refinish your tub. Just follow the instructions and take your time.

Value add potential: Potential to add $1,000 to your home (HomeServe Blog)

5. Install New Shower Heads

Installing new showerheads is a relatively simple project but can make your shower look and feel luxurious. This is a great way to upgrade your bathroom without spending a lot of money.

Tips to get started: Buy a modern showerhead from your local hardware store. Most of them will come with instructions on how to install them.

YouTube is always a great resource if you need any help.

Value add potential: $400 per bathroom (Gehman Remodeling)

Tactic for Success

Rainwater showerheads have high perceived value but don’t actually cost that much. You could replace all of the showerheads in your house for under $200 and see a return of $800 or more.

6. Add a Patio

tableset

Creating an outdoor patio is a proven way to increase the value of your home. Not only will it provide you with extra living space, but it will also make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Tips to get started: First, decide where you want to put your patio. You’ll need to make sure that it’s in a level spot or be able to level it.

Value add potential: 8-10% to your home value (ExtraSpace.com)

Tips to make a great patio:

  • Lay Pavers – This is a great way to create a level surface for your patio.
  • Use Gravel – This is an alternative foundation for your patio and an inexpensive way to add drainage.
  • Potted Plants – Add color and life to your patio.
  • Outdoor Rug – This can help to define the space.
  • Water Feature – Like a fountain or pond, can create relaxation.
  • A Couple of Chairs – Will provide a place to sit and enjoy the outdoors.

7. Install a Garden

One simple strategy is to add a garden to your outdoor space. Adding plants and flowers, or even a raised garden bed, can make your yard more attractive and inviting.

Additionally, adding fresh dirt or mulch can help to cover up existing pathways that might be showing signs of wear and tear.

Tips to get started: You can buy a raised garden bed kit at your local home improvement store. Just be sure to choose a spot that gets plenty of sunlight.

Value add potential: Can increase home value by 5% (Gardening Etc.)

Tactic for Success

Adding window garden boxes. This is a great option if you don’t have a lot of outside space, or if you want to add some greenery to the exterior of your home without having to do too much work. Plus, they can be a great source of fresh herbs and vegetables for your kitchen!

8. Replace Light Switches and Outlet Covers

This is a small and relatively inexpensive change that can make a big difference in the overall look of your home.

Replacing old or outdated light switches and outlet covers can give your home a fresh, new look.

Tips to get started: You can purchase new light switches and outlet covers at your local hardware store.

You will want to make sure they are all uniform in style so they match throughout your home.

Value add potential: Up to $600 (Southern Living)

Trend on the Rise

Outlets with built-in night lights. These are becoming increasingly popular as they are substitutes for nightlights and allow you to see where you are walking in the dark without having to turn on a light.

9. Kitchen Backsplash

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house when it comes to increasing value. One way to make a big impact in your kitchen is to add a backsplash.

This is a relatively cheap and easy way to update the look of your kitchen, and it can make a difference when it comes to resale value.

Tips to get started: You can hire a professional to install a real tile backsplash or you can use stick-on tiles and do it yourself.

Real tile backsplashes will add more value, but the stick-on tiles are much easier to install and visually make a difference. When in doubt about style subway tiles are always a safe option.

Value add potential: Up to $1,200 (CBD Glass)

10. Refresh Bathroom Grout

inside-bathroom

Renewing the grout in your bathrooms can be done relatively easily using specialized tile pens that contain sealants and other compounds.

Not only will this improve the look of your bathroom and make it more appealing to potential buyers, but it will also save you from having to shell out large amounts of money for more expensive renovation projects.

Tips to get started: Simply apply the pen along the seams between tiles, and let it sit for a few hours before using it. You may need to apply multiple coats depending on the severity of the stains.

Value add potential: Can potentially add $800 per bathroom to home value (Angi)

11. Add a Grill Area

If you have the space, adding a grill area is a great way to increase your home’s value. This is especially true if you live in an area where the weather is nice year-round.

This will help potential buyers create an emotional attachment by envisioning themselves hosting BBQs and parties in their new homes.

Tips to get started: Choose a spot for your grill area that is close to your house but not too close. You’ll also need to make sure you have enough space for a grill, a prep area, and seating.

Value add potential: Can return 100%-200% of the improvement cost (Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens)

12. Pressure Wash Outside

If the outside of your home is looking a little lackluster, you can quickly and easily increase its curb appeal by pressure washing it.

This will remove any dirt, grime, or mildew that has built up over time on your house siding, driveway, fence, deck, and sidewalk.

Tips to get started: You can rent a pressure washer from your local hardware store. Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully so you don’t damage your home.

Value add potential: Can improve home value 5-10% (License to Wash)

13. Install Closet Organization

Custom closets can add a lot of value to your home, but they can be expensive. A cheaper and easier option is to install a closet organization system yourself.

This will not only make your home look more valuable, but it will also make it more functional for potential buyers.

Tips to get started: You can find closet organization systems at your local home improvement store.

Be sure to measure your space before you purchase anything so you know what will fit.

Value add potential: Up to $2,000 (HomeServe Blog)

14. Paint Back of Stairs

The back of your stairs is often one of the first places that show wear and tear. A fresh coat of paint can make a big difference in making your staircase look new and updated.

Plus, it’s a relatively inexpensive and easy project to do yourself.

Tips to get started: Choose a high-quality paint that will hold up well to foot traffic. You may also want to consider using a primer if your stairs are particularly worn.

Value add potential: Up to $1,000 (Home Painters Toronto)

15. Steam Clean Carpets

Instead of replacing your carpets, you can steam clean them. This is a quick and easy way to make them look new again. Plus, it’s much cheaper than buying new carpets.

Tips to get started: You can rent a steam cleaner from your local home improvement store. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully so you don’t damage your carpets.

Value add potential: Up to $2,000 (Alex Cooper Auctioneers)

Wrapping Up

There are a number of cheap and easy ways to increase the value of your home without breaking the bank.

By making a few small changes, you can add value to your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

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About the Author

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Tara is a licensed real estate agent in Southwest, FL. She helps buyers and investors find their dream home by educating them about real estate and how they can use it as an investment.