11 Ways to Increase Home Value on a Budget

11 Ways to Increase Home Value on a Budget


It’s true that boosting the value of your home can get expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. From embracing the natural light inside your home to improving your curb appeal, there are many home upgrades that can increase home value and make a big impact, without breaking the bank.

Whether you own a house in Seattle, WA, and simply want to maintain its value, or own a home in Alexandria, VA, and want to boost its value for resale, here are 11 projects to increase home value on a budget that will not only bring a return on your investment but will also add joy to your life.

Photo of Redfin listing

1) Declutter to increase your home value

It happens to all of us, the storage closet that was once empty is now overflowing, and belongings that should be stored away have found new homes elsewhere. If this sounds familiar, now is a great time to begin eliminating things you no longer need.

Decluttering is one of the most inexpensive ways to increase how much your home is worth. Even if you’re not planning to sell in the near future, maintaining a clutter-free environment is crucial for long-term benefits. Focus on key areas such as the kitchen, bathrooms, and living room, which often serve as a home’s primary selling points. Approach decluttering systematically, tackling one room at a time to prevent accumulating an overwhelming pile of items. Organize belongings into three distinct categories: items to keep, “maybes,” and donation items. Return to the “maybe” pile after a few days to make final cuts.

Follow these tips as you begin decluttering:

  • Streamline your bathroom organization, starting with countertops and progressing to linen closets and medicine cabinets.
  • Declutter your home office by filing or shredding old papers, clearing your desk, and concealing cords with zip ties.
  • Discard expired items in the kitchen, pantry, bathroom, and medicine cabinet.
  • Simplify your closet by removing excess hangers and donating clothes and shoes.
  • Keep kitchen countertops clear and hide appliances to enhance the sense of space.
  • Create a more spacious living room by minimizing throw pillows, blankets, and decor.
  • Organize bookshelves and display cabinets. Wipe off the layer of dust, remove trinkets, and arrange and style books.
  • Clear out the refrigerator, freezer, and under sinks.
  • Establish a dedicated area for children’s and pet toys, implementing a practice of returning them to their designated space after use.
  • Create an inviting laundry space by clearing countertops and organizing cleaning products.

Managing clutter alone can be an overwhelming undertaking, so working with a professional organizer may be the best option.

A decluttered room like this one can help increase home value

2) Deep clean your home

After you’ve decluttered, the next step is to deep clean your home. That means it’s time to wipe and dust every surface, mop, and vacuum carpets and floors. Dig deep into the kitchen, make your bathroom shine, and tidy up your living room. 

Swiftly addressing odors is crucial, as persistent smells—whether from pets, kids, or food—become increasingly challenging to eliminate the longer they linger. Unpleasant odors can leave a lasting negative impression on potential homebuyers when it’s time to list your property.

Keeping your house clean can be a time-consuming task, and let’s face it – sometimes it’s hard to find the time to clean your home from top to bottom. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service as they’re less likely to overlook something that may not be on your cleaning checklist. They’ll also be able to reach every nook and cranny of your home to leave it shining so you can increase home value, sell your house quickly, and (hopefully) for more money. 

3) Paint your home, inside and out

Steer clear of vibrant and busy colors, as they have a tendency to divert attention from the home itself. Opting for a neutral color palette when painting the interior of your home is a cost-effective investment that often results in increased home value.

While painting the exterior of your home may incur a slightly higher cost, the boost in curb appeal can significantly enhance its overall value. Take a stroll outside and assess the surroundings. Are there any cracks or signs of peeling? Has the color faded? If the answer is yes, it may be time to invest in a fresh coat of paint.

Consider hiring a professional painting company so they can eliminate the risk of using the wrong brush, buying low-quality paint, or using too much or too little, which could result in your paint appearing uneven.

A neutral colored living room with a fireplace, 2 chairs, and a sofa

4) Replace the garage door

Chances are, your garage door has endured considerable wear and tear over the years. While you may overlook dents from various mishaps, potential buyers are likely to notice. Also, check the door sweep – if rain easily penetrates, critters might follow suit, indicating the need for a replacement. For less than $5,000, on average, you can increase home value and recoup your cost, averaging nearly 103% when you replace it.

5) Add manufactured stone veneer

Elevate your home’s aesthetic appeal and enhance its market value by considering stone veneer. Opting for manufactured stone can seamlessly complement various house styles, adding a touch of richness to the overall appearance. 

If this isn’t your forever home, stone veneer can be a compelling selling point, contributing to a quicker sale and potentially commanding a higher price. The timeless and versatile nature of stone veneer creates a visually striking facade that not only captures attention but is also durable. This relatively simple upgrade can yield significant returns, making your home stand out in the real estate market and attracting buyers.If you have vinyl siding, incorporating manufactured stone veneer is a great way to enhance your curb appeal and increase home value. On average, you can cover 300-square-feet of the bottom third of your home’s street-facing facade for almost $11,000 and recoup102.3% of your investment, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2023 Cost vs. Value Report.

6) Increase home value by upgrading your kitchen

The kitchen has evolved into a multifunctional space, serving as the heart of the household. It’s a central gathering point where family and friends come together, fostering not just the preparation of meals but also creating space for shared moments and conversations. Basically, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen these days, and it would certainly benefit from a couple upgrades. 

Budget-friendly and simple improvements include repainting cabinets, adding a backsplash, and replacing the sink. You can also opt for eco-friendly options and upgrade to a low-energy microwave, select water-efficient features, and energy-efficient lighting. Whichever kitchen improvement project you decide to undertake, the goal is to enhance your overall enjoyment of the space. In fact, upgrading your kitchen has a “joy score” of 9.8, according to the National Association of Realtors 2022 annual Remodeling Impact Report.

7) Pay attention to your yard

First impressions make all the difference, and sprucing up the exterior of your home is just as important as the interior. Here are some easy, budget-friendly curb appeal ideas improvements you can try today.

  • Repaint or replace your front door for a fresh look that boosts appeal.
  • Update exterior lighting to create an inviting entryway or illuminate landscaping features.
  • Upgrade your worn fence with new materials like wood, vinyl, or wrought iron for increased privacy and property value.
  • Opt for a low-maintenance landscape design; consider hiring a professional landscaper for a polished look.
  • Keep windows and siding clean with regular professional cleaning to prevent dust, dirt, and grime buildup, avoiding potential issues like paint stripping and mold.

It’s undeniable that maintaining curb appeal serves as an ongoing investment in your living experience and prevents the accumulation of arduous tasks. But, when you’re ready to sell, curb appeal also helps bring buyers through the door, sell your home quickly, and can increase the value of your home up to 7%, according to a recent study. 

A well-kept yard with trimmed shrubs and freshly mowed grass can increase home value

8) Let the light in

More lighting can bring life into a room. While a poorly lit room can feel small, dark, and cramped, a brightly lit space does just the opposite. Natural light, with its soft and dynamic qualities, can create a sense of openness, warmth, and connection to the outdoors. Incorporating artificial lighting strategically further enhances the ambiance, making spaces more functional and visually appealing. Well-lit rooms often appear more spacious, cleaner, and inviting, contributing to a positive perception of the property. From modern fixtures to well-placed windows, the careful consideration of lighting elements can not only elevate the aesthetic appeal of a home but also serve as a valuable investment, which could ultimately increase its market value.

9) Focus on the bathroom

Bathroom updates are a key investment that can significantly enhance a home’s value. Bathrooms play a crucial role in the overall appeal of a property, and modernizing them can leave a lasting impression on potential buyers. Simple yet impactful updates include replacing outdated fixtures, refreshing the paint, upgrading bathroom hardware, and installing energy-efficient and stylish lighting. Upgrading to a contemporary vanity and investing in quality, low-maintenance flooring can further elevate the space. Additionally, considering water-efficient appliances not only aligns with sustainability trends but can also add value.

10) Pay attention to the details

Even the smallest updates have the ability to dramatically improve the appearance of your home. Check out these quick and budget-friendly improvements that can increase home value:

  • Updating knobs on kitchen cabinets and doors
  • Fix loose wires and leaky faucets
  • Add attic insulation
  • Wrap up home projects and little repairs
  • Replace faceplates and wall switches
  • Refinish your hardwood floors
  • Regrout floor and shower tile

Beautifully updated kitchen with black hardware, white granite countertops and wood floors

11) Convert the guest room into a multi-use room 

Today, the demand for a dedicated office space is higher than ever. If you have an extra bedroom or a guest room, think about transforming it into a versatile area that serves both as a bedroom and an office. This dual-purpose setup not only provides a practical and efficient workspace for you but also offers a convenient and adaptable environment for your guests. It’s not only a functional and useful space for you and your guests to enjoy, but is also the most popular home trend this fall.

11) Hire a home inspector

Enhancing your home’s value doesn’t always require a hefty budget. By focusing on cost-effective upgrades such as fresh paint, updated lighting, and simple bathroom renovations, you can breathe new life into your living space without breaking the bank. Tackling projects like creating a multi-functional office or refining your curb appeal can contribute not only to your immediate enjoyment but also to the long-term investment in your property. With a bit of creativity and attention to detail, these budget-friendly improvements have the potential to elevate your home’s market value, making it a more appealing and lucrative asset for the future.


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