Many things can add value to a property. Most of these have something to do with improving or renovating the property in some way. However, a property can also increase in value due to appreciation, which is attributable to the improvements in the current real estate market conditions compared to conditions at the time of purchase. And all of these are different from the amount of value that the actual owner has in the property based on how much equity they have, but that’s a topic for another day.
Taking care of deferred maintenance issues can add value to a home because those are items that the next owner will not need to take care of immediately or prior to being able to use the property. These can be expensive items such as roof or plumbing leaks, pest damage to support structures or decking, electrical wiring and fuse replacement in older homes, or they can be routine things such as replacement of smoke detectors to the new standard of 10 year battery life, installation of carbon monoxide detectors, landscape maintenance, or a coat of paint.
If your home has no deferred maintenance issues, the next items a homeowner with an eye to improve their home’s value will want to address are renovations. Homes older than 20 years are going to have been built with the latest styles of kitchen and bathroom design of their day, and by now those items are starting to look dated (or even antiquated). Remodeling an outmoded layout in order to change room size and shape, as well as replacing cabinetry and/or appliances (the most common renovations), tubs and toilets, flooring and countertops, can add value to a home by bringing it into the new age; freshening and brightening its face and doing away with items that have become functionally obsolete or just outright eyesores.
Improvements are items added to the property since its purchase by the current owner to improve his or her enjoyment of it, or specifically to increase its value. These include additions and upgrades. Adding appliances such as dishwashers, trash compactors, garbage disposals, ceiling fans or air conditioners where none existed previously; installing pools, home theater systems, water purification systems, grey water systems,
solar panels, home control and security systems, backup generators, or upgrading driveways, landscaping, and windows will all add value and bring the home into the new millennium with finesse.
Finally, a home’s value can increase due to appreciation, as I mentioned before. This occurs when the market improves after you have purchased your home and the value of your home goes up because all other comparable homes on the market are now selling for a higher price than when you purchased your property.