Downsizing Benefits and How to Increase Your Home’s Value
You’ve sent your last child off to college, and now you and your spouse are left with a rambling four-bedroom home with 2 1/2 baths. You know you don’t need such a big house anymore. It was perfect when it was bursting at the seams with rambunctious kids—yours and half the kids in the neighborhood. But now there’s just the two of you. So maybe it’s time to think about downsizing.
Benefits of Downsizing
If you downsize to a smaller house, you might receive a variety of benefits. There are many hidden costs when you own a home. By downsizing, you may enjoy a smaller mortgage, lower property taxes, and cheaper utility bills. Your homeowner’s insurance and HOA fees may decrease as well. Smaller houses require less upkeep. There may be less lawn to maintain and fewer shrubbery to trim. And, of course, homes with less square footage have less rooms to clean. As you move toward retirement, downsizing to a low-maintenance house may be the right decision. After all, once you reach your golden years, you probably don’t want to be bothered with a large house, especially if it has two stories.
Increasing Your Home’s Value
Before you place your house on the market, do everything possible to increase its value. Some simple home repairs and renovations can go a long way to getting you top dollar for your home. According to HGTV.com, when you want to increase your home’s value, “make a plan.” Don’t plunge headlong into renovations without carefully thinking about which upgrades are the most beneficial. Create a list of renovations you’d like to tackle. Then systematically go through your wish list, deciding how much each will cost in time and money.
If budget is an issue, consider making small changes to the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the rooms that potential buyers look at first. Install new faucets, replace cabinet handles, and add energy-efficient lighting. If you have more to spend, invest money into stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. If you want to really impress potential buyers, install quartz countertops in your kitchen. Quartz is resistant to heat, stains, scratches, and cuts.
The bathroom is another area buyers love to see updated. Today’s buyers want bathrooms that have a spa-like feel. Discover.com reports that installing a jacuzzi, steam shower, or a shower seat can bring more value to your home. Throw in double sinks or heated floors, and you’ll really impress any potential buyers. You also can’t go wrong if you add additional storage space to your bathroom.
Freshen up the paint in your home in order to increase its value. Today.com reports that sticking with natural colors like pale gray and various shades of blue can automatically attract home buyers. Neutral hues make your house appear larger, and they also help potential buyers imagine themselves living there.
Declutter your home to have it looking its best. No one wants to buy a home crammed with furniture and knickknacks. Get rid of furniture and items you don’t use on a regular basis. Pack them up and place them in storage. Better yet, if you can live without these things, haul them off to a local charity or have a yard sale. After removing the extra stuff from your home, stage the rooms. Arrange furniture so the rooms look open and spacious. Dust and mop and sanitize until everything is squeaky clean. If you need advice on staging your home, go online to learn more or call an expert to help you get the job done.
Your kids have left the nest, and your home seems a lot bigger than it used to be. It’s just you and your spouse. Why not downsize to a smaller house and save money? You’ll love the smaller mortgage as well as lower utility bills and other housing-related expenses. If you decide to downsize and to sell your home, increase your home’s value by making improvements that will attract potential homebuyers.
By: Seth Murphy