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5 DIY Improvements That Will Increase Your Home’s Value

Home improvement can be a daunting endeavor, as homeowners and sellers want to see worthwhile returns on their investments and efforts.

Revamping a home may be a labor of love, but it doesn’t need to be an overpriced undertaking. We’ve tapped five of our Leverage Global Partners for money-saving methods for building home equity. Whether you’re seeking to raise the appeal of a property for a sale or develop your own home equity for the long-run, here are some tips on wallet-friendly ways to take your home value to the next level.

Refreshed Paint Jobs

Drew Wilkerson and Justina Colunga of Vanguard Properties both recommend fresh paint as a commonly missed opportunity that can go a very long way in updating a home to sell faster and at a higher price. “A freshly painted facade and interior is the highest return on investment of any type of pre-sale update,” shared Colunga. She also advises that neutral colors are non-polarizing and a safe choice to appeal to a large buyer-pool, while Wilkerson advises double-checking with experts for trending colors to make the most out of your investment.

Updated Storage Solutions

Optimized storage has become much more important to buyers who are spending more time at home these days. Libby Clark of HM Properties recommends swapping dated pedestal sinks in your bathrooms for more tasteful vanities that grant both under-sink space and counter space. “Many vanities can give off that custom feel that buyers are looking for, but at a fraction of the price,” Clark adds.

Incorporate Smart Technology

Adding smart tech to your home can skyrocket its appeal without breaking the bank. Josh Tucker of HM Properties adds that one way to set your home apart from competitors similar in design and style is to add smart home technology. “I have had smart home technology be the deciding factor for buyers over competing homes that didn’t have it,” says Tucker. A lot of tech that centralizes control to a smartphone or tablet has become incredibly affordable in recent years. Look for smart thermostats, wifi-enabled light switches, and smart security systems. Some brands that Colunga recommends include Nest thermostats, Eufy security and home products, Ring doorbells, Apple HomePod, and Google Home devices.

Cheaper Than You'd Expect: Kitchen Remodels

Chris Fajkos of Tahoe Mountain Realty shares, “Kitchens are the heart and soul of a home.” So that is the place to start when re-energizing a home. According to Fajkos, buyers and sellers alike tend to overbid on kitchen remodels. Rather than remodeling from scratch for $50,000, a kitchen can be completely transformed for $5,000-$10,000 if you’re smart about it. “All it takes is some new quartz countertops, new subway backsplash, painted cabinets, and new cabinet hardware.” Fajkos and his wife did this to their very own kitchen remodel for under $5,000. “A lot of DIY was involved, but if we had the big-box retailer to do it all, I’m sure it could have been changed for under $10,000.” 

Wilkerson agrees that updates such as refinishing flooring, replacing countertops and updating cabinet hardware can all have big returns. “We often utilize these tips to help our clients achieve significantly higher sales prices, sometimes $100,000 and up, than had they not made any improvements prior to selling.”


Deep Clean and Manicure

While those recommendations can work for long-haulers seeking improved home equity, sellers who are looking to impress buyers should immediately focus on curb appeal and home-showing highlights. For exteriors, Tucker advocates for a simple landscape redesign –– updating shrubbery, changing out mulch and adding flowers which will bring immediate visual value. Colunga also recommends power-washing all exterior surfaces. For interiors, Colunga also emphasizes “Check for caulking and grout in bathrooms, cabinets, under sinks, in the stove and fridge, the windows, the entirety of the garage and in the tracts of windows and doors. Make sure all lightbulbs match in tone and brightness, which can also transform a space for showings.”


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