If you are planning to sell your home in the near future, or are merely looking for ways to increase its overall value, it’s always a good idea to know which investments will actually increase its value. For most folks, their biggest asset is their house and nearly two-thirds (65%) of U.S. homeowners believe the value of their home will continue to rise over the next 10 years. Therefore, making upgrades is a wise decision to make that belief a reality.

These days, there are so many resources readily available for enhancing the esthetics and functionality of your home. Quality exterior products like weatherboard cladding, which requires less upkeep and shows beautifully for sale and eye-catching stock wood cabinets and components which come in at a fraction of the cost of custom woodwork are only some of the options for upgrading. Not to mention, a wealth of design ideas and unique decorative products available online.

Whether you are working with a real estate broker or selling your home yourself, you’ll increase your home’s value and ultimate sale price by focusing on the following five areas.

1. Curb Appeal

Your home’s exterior is the first thing anyone sees and serves as the gateway to your abode. Creating a welcoming look will attract visitors and prospective buyers. Maintaining or upgrading your house’s exterior elements like siding, cladding, stucco, paint, and roof tiles are some of the first steps in achieving curb appeal. A beautifully manicured lawn, fixed driveway cracks, and added bonuses like new windows and a stately front door make a huge difference in transforming the outside.

Don’t forget attention to detail. Better Homes and Gardens notes, “House numbers, the entry door lockset, a wall-mounted mailbox, and an overhead light fixture are all elements that can add style and interest to your home’s exterior curb appeal.”

2. Landscaping

Good landscape design can increase your home’s value by up to 20%, according to Bob Vila. Upgrading your landscaping can become a costly proposition, though there are simple and cost-efficient ways to enhance your exterior garden. Container gardens are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to incorporate colorful appeal to the front or backyard. By simply cleaning up garden beds, getting rid of dead and unsightly shrubs, and replacing everything with new and fresh greenery and bright flowers will result in a complete exterior transformation. Low-voltage landscape lighting provides safety and nighttime effect. Affixing on trees or the house is an easy fix for a big statement.

3. Kitchen and Bath Upgrades 

Real estate agents agree that outdated kitchens and bathrooms can keep a home from obtaining its highest valuation and list price. According to Trulia.com, “The rooms buyers most closely inspect (and judge) in a house are the kitchen and master bath. These are the interior spaces where the most value can be added during a sale, so they need to look their best.”

For budget-conscious homeowners, a minor kitchen remodel can bring a return of 81% of its cost in added value on average, versus 53% for an upscale kitchen remodel with stone countertops, custom cabinets, and commercial-grade appliances, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report.

4. Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Monthly cost savings and the desire to be more green has made energy-efficient home upgrades a popular choice for homeowners around the globe. Moreover, home buyers are becoming aware of the benefits of energy-efficient homes. “Energy-­efficient” was second only to “safe community” on the list of attributes that would most influence a purchase decision, according to a 2015 survey by the National Association of Home Builders. Therefore, consider installing double-pane windows, enhanced attic insulation, LED lighting, and efficient appliances.

5. Add a Deck

Decks are replacing patios and are more desired by home buyers. A new wood deck will recover 106% of its value when the house is sold based on the NAR/NALP study and ranked third out of the ten projects addressed by the study regarding cost recovery.

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