5 Inexpensive Home Upgrades to Improve Your Property Value in Seattle

Jan 8, 2018

Most people know a fixer-upper when they see one: the exterior and interior paint is chipping, the landscaping is overgrown, and the doors and windows may even be boarded up. Even in today’s housing market, homes like this are in practically every Seattle-area neighborhood from West Seattle to Shoreline.

While some of these homes are falling apart and in need of desperate repair (or tear-down), other problems may only be cosmetic. In the latter scenario, the difference between a low market value and getting what your home’s truly worth may just be a case of a few home upgrades.

For those who own a home in need of a little TLC, first ask yourself: are my home’s problems strictly cosmetic, and therefore easier to fix, or does the issue go much deeper than that?

If your answer is simply aesthetics, it might be worth investing some time and money into some simple and inexpensive home upgrades to get your home’s true worth. On the other hand, if it goes deeper than that, or you just don’t simply have the resources to invest, scroll down to “Other Options for Selling Your Home.”

1. Update Your Kitchen

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What if you only have the budget to improve one room? Spend it in the kitchen. According to HGTV, remodeling the kitchen or bathroom is a great investment with past returns up to 100% upon selling. Unfortunately, a complete kitchen remodel can quickly become both expensive and time-sucking.

Instead of an entire remodel, consider inexpensive methods for improving it. For example, refinishing or painting the cabinets (more on that in step 2), re-doing the countertops, installing a new and modern backsplash, and repainting the faucets (or replacing them altogether) are fairly inexpensive ways to update the kitchen.

2. Refinish Cabinets and Doors

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As mentioned, kitchen and bathroom upgrades are two of the best areas in your home to spend your time and money updating if that’s the route you decide to take. A large part of that is the cabinets: you know, those creaky ones that are either a dark wood or painted bright green and haven’t been updated since the 90s?

When done correctly, repainting or refinishing the cabinets in your home can have an immediate effect on your property’s value. Dark cabinets that were previously sucking the light out of the room can instead reflect the natural light, making your newly improved kitchen glow.

Once you’re finished with that, consider looking into new hardware to match your newly updated cabinet doors and drawers. You won’t even recognize your kitchen and bathrooms when you’re done!

Don’t forget to refinish your front door as well! Updating your home’s curb appeal (more on that in step 4) is a crucial step to getting buyers interested in your home. Even in today’s hot market in Seattle, a great curb appeal can be the difference between selling the home in a week (or less) and having it sit on the market for weeks or even months.

Related Article: The Pros and Cons of Selling Home As Is Versus Fixing It Up

3. Refresh Your Floors

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When was the last time your carpets were replaced? How does your tile look?

If you can’t answer the first question and don’t have a positive answer to the second, these are two signs that it’s time to refresh your floors. It’s important to note that refresh doesn’t always mean replacing – which can easily become an expensive endeavor, although it’s definitely worth it if you’re looking to get top dollar.

If your tile needs a small refresh, you can simply paint it over with fresh neutral colors. If your carpet has been replaced recently, it’s worth investing in a carpet cleaning service. However, if not, it may be worth looking into replacing your floors, as even that small change can completely transform a place.

4. Upgrade Your Landscaping

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As mentioned in step two, curb appeal is crucial to getting buyers’ initial interest in your home. A re-painted door and some new landscaping could be the difference between the perfect buyer driving by and saying “keep driving” and “let’s go see what’s inside!”

New landscaping can be one of the most inexpensive home upgrades you can do, depending on what your goal for the end result is. If you plan ahead of time, you can grow additional plants for free from ones you already have and put them in your garden or front yard.

If you are interested in investing some money in some landscaping, there are certain landscaping trends you should keep in mind. According to a 2011 article by Seattle Magazine, consider the following Seattle garden trends:

  • Rain gardens – Heavily mulched depressions planted with water-loving species
  • Northwest Tropicana & Natural Natives – Stay with plants that are native to the area, as others may get overwhelmed by our winters and lack of sun
  • Grow Your Own Veggies – Seattleites love to grow their own fruits and veggies, so why not save potential buyers a trip to the farmer’s market and grow some in your own yard?

5. Put on a Fresh Coat of Paint

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Don’t put your paint brushes away after re-painting the cabinets and doors in your home! Whether your paint is chipping or that mustard yellow is just no longer in anymore, a fresh coat of paint may be one of the most inexpensive home upgrades to do, along with improving your landscaping.

When you’re considering new colors for the interior of your home, consider the following:

What if your home has some funky wallpaper or paneling? Although this may attract some buyers, it may not be appealing to the majority of them. If your home contains these features, you might want to consider removing those wood-paneled walls and peeling off the wallpaper.

Other Options for Selling Your Home

While these improvements are somewhat easy to do on a home that simply needs cosmetic updates, not everything is feasible in every circumstance. Your home’s issues may be beyond aesthetics or you might not have the resources to invest. Fortunately, there are other alternatives to selling your home as it stands today, no matter what condition it stands in.

If you’ve decided that fixing up your home may not work for you, then talk to us. We’re a local family-owned real estate investment company committed to helping you sell your home in a way that works best for you. Start today by requesting an all-cash offer.

425.278.HEIR (4347)