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How to Increase the Value of Your Home

Shelly Skandrani Updated: March 21, 2024 • 9 min read
couple outside home

Key Points:

  • Smart enhancements: Prioritize kitchens, bathrooms, curb appeal, and go green. Minor tweaks like paint and hardware can have major effects.

  • Consider ROI before selling: Assess both the cost of improvements and the potential return if planning to sell.

  • Flexible payment options: Fund your renovations through personal loans, HELOCs, credit cards, or refinancing to fit your financial plan.

Location, location, location? That’s out of your hands. Some things that affect the value of your home — like its location, local demand for housing, and the economy as a whole — you can't really change. But fear not. Many savvy upgrades can still work wonders and increase your home’s value and appeal. 

Whether you want to sell your home, refinance your mortgage, take out an equity loan or HELOC, or be the king of your castle, its value matters.

So grab your hammer, paintbrush, this article, and a sprinkle of creativity. Let’s see what we can achieve with the 11 tips below.

Why Does Your Home Value Matter?

We all want to live in a beautiful, calming, inspiring home. Home is where your heart — and your family — is. But upgrading your home is not just about improving your lifestyle. It can also be an incredible investment and financial foundation for your family. 

Here’s what increasing your home’s value can do:

  • Boost your wealth: Increasing your home's value can significantly enhance your net worth.
  • Increase your profit when selling: A small investment can upgrade your home and make it more appealing to a broader range of buyers.
  • Expand your borrowing power: With more home equity, you have options like a home equity loan, mortgage refinancing, or line of credit—money you can then choose to invest.
  • Offers market downturn protection: A higher home value can provide some cushion against the impact of housing market fluctuations.
  • Eliminates mortgage insurance: Having your home reappraised at a higher value might help you eliminate mortgage insurance premiums.

In times of economic fluctuation, your home really does become your castle — protecting you and your family from the storm — by offering financial stability.

But upgrading your home means investing money. The bigger the renovations, the more you’ll invest. If you don’t have cash or savings available, taking out a small home improvement loan is always an option and can facilitate improvements on your home that could pay off later on.

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 11 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

Whether you want to sell or just want to grow the value of your asset, there are plenty of ways to make your home investment more rewarding. 

You could opt for some quick fixes or go for a complete overhaul. The choice is yours. Just make sure you invest wisely and don’t forget to have fun with it. 

1.Add Usable Square Footage

Their livable square footage determines the value and price of homes. Larger spaces are often more desirable in today’s market.

  • Convert underused areas: Transform attics, basements, or even large closets into functional spaces like home offices, guest rooms, or entertainment areas.
  • Build an addition: If space and regulations allow, consider adding a room, a guest house, or expanding your living area. This can significantly increase your home’s value.

As they say in Southern California, go big or go home. With the cost of land skyrocketing in many popular communities, making the most of the land you own could really pay off down the line.

2. Update Your Home’s Finishes

Revitalizing your home with updated finishes can breathe new life into your space, enhancing its aesthetic appeal and overall value.

  • A fresh coat of paint: Neutral colors appeal to the widest range of buyers.
  • Update hardware and fixtures: Modernize cabinets, doorknobs, and light fixtures to refresh your home’s look without a full remodel.

Updating small finishes is a cost-effective way to appeal to more buyers. It provides a high return on investment with a relatively immediate impact.

3. Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient

Energy-efficient upgrades can reduce your monthly utility bills and boost your home's market value. 

  • Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances: Look for ENERGY STAR-rated products to reduce energy consumption.
  • Improve insulation: Enhance attic, wall, and floor insulation to reduce heating and cooling costs.
  • Install solar panels: These can reduce your carbon footprint and offer substantial long-term savings on electricity bills.
  • Install smart thermostats: These can optimize your heating and cooling systems, increasing comfort and attracting tech-savvy buyers.

Refrigerators, dishwashers, and similar appliances account for about 15% of your home's energy expenses. So, invest in taking care of the planet, and you’ll also make some of that money back with your energy savings.

4. Give Your Kitchen and Bathrooms an Updated Look

Buyers often focus on the kitchen and bathrooms as a home's key features. Outdated rooms can lower your sale price, so a nice spruce is effective. These rooms often offer the highest return on investment. 

man in modern kitchen

  • Enhance functionality and style: Add storage solutions and optimize the layout or space for improved functionality.
  • Refinish or replace cabinet doors: This is a cost-effective way to change the look of your kitchen.
  • Upgrade countertops and backsplashes: Consider materials like quartz or granite for durability and style.

According to the Remodeling 2023 Cost vs. Value Report, a minor kitchen or bathroom remodel can recoup an average of 67% to 86% of its cost in added home value. That means focusing on cosmetic changes rather than structural ones. In contrast, major upscale kitchen or bathroom renovations yield about a 32% to 37% return.

5. Work on Your Curb Appeal

Boosting your home's curb appeal makes a great first impression. It sets the stage for welcoming spaces inside. People do judge books by their covers.

  • Landscaping: Maintain a well-kept lawn, plant flowers, and trim the hedges.
  • Exterior maintenance: Power wash the siding, clean windows, and ensure your roof and gutters are in good condition.

By addressing maintenance issues early, you preserve the structural integrity of your home. In the long run, that could save you money. It’s also a relatively low spend with a high potential return.

6. Upgrade Your Exterior Doors

Upgrading your exterior doors is a simple way to boost your home's market value. The impact is immediate and makes a great statement about your home.

  • Front door: A new front door can dramatically improve your home’s appearance, security, and energy efficiency.
  • Garage door: Upgrading to a more durable and visually appealing garage door can also enhance curb appeal and keep your cars safe.

First impressions count. When guests or potential buyers enter your home, they’ll enter through that front door. More often than not, it will leave them with a feeling that affects their experience.

7. Finish off Your Basement or Other Unfinished Spaces

Finishing unfinished areas can unlock additional living space and enhance functionality. It also increases the feeling of a warm home, which appeals to buyers.

  • Create additional living space: A finished basement can serve as a family room, home gym, or extra bedroom.
  • Ensure proper insulation and ventilation: This makes the space more comfortable and prevents moisture problems.

Buying a house can be an arduous process involving research, viewing, and financing. After finally purchasing a home and moving, buyers often prefer to avoid dealing with unfinished projects. Fixing these areas can offer them peace of mind.

8. Make Your Home Smarter

Smarter homes streamline your daily life and upgrade your living space's safety. By integrating smart gadgets, you can add a layer of convenience, security, and modernity that appeals to today's tech-savvy homebuyers. 

woman with smart phone

  • Smart thermostats: Adjust your home's temperature from anywhere, increasing comfort and convenience, saving energy, and reducing utility bills.
  • Fire detectors: Get instant alerts on your phone if there's smoke or a fire in your home. You can call the fire service and protect your home remotely. 
  • Carbon monoxide detectors: Protect your family by detecting harmful CO2 levels quickly with alerts to your smartphone.
  • Security cameras: Monitor your home remotely for added security, preventative measures, and reassurance.
  • Smart door locks: Enjoy keyless entry and the ability to lock or unlock your door remotely. This is especially great for families with children — who tend to forget keys. 
  • Smart lighting: Control lighting from your smartphone or through voice commands, creating ambiance and saving energy.

Unlike major renovations like additional rooms or kitchen makeovers, many of these devices are only a few hundred dollars to buy. Additionally, you can install most of these gadgets on your own. 

While smart technology doesn’t always boost home value directly, it can entice a wide range of buyers, which could drive the price up. 

9. Make It Low-Maintenance

Update major components and opt for low-maintenance improvements before listing your home. This can assure buyers of a worry-free purchase, potentially leading to a higher sale price.

  • Replace critical elements: Replacing the furnace, water heater, or roof creates headaches for many homeowners. Knowing they’re updated gives buyers several years of stress-free homeowning.
  • Ease of maintenance: Choose materials and upgrades that are easy to clean and maintain. Swap stained carpets for hardwood floors or high-maintenance wood siding with tiles. 

The easier it is for homeowners to take care of their new home, the better, especially with today’s fast-paced and busy lifestyles. 

10. Clean and Declutter Before Showing Your Home

Cleaning and decluttering create a more welcoming atmosphere, making it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space.

  • Deep clean: Make every surface sparkle to give a great first impression.
  • Declutter: Remove personal items and excess furniture to make spaces appear larger and more inviting.

This small task can significantly impact your home’s saleability and is a potentially free endeavor. Make it a weekend task — put on some music and prepare the boxes. Get rid of everything that doesn’t give you joy. And if you need some advice, Marie Kondo can tell you all about it.

11. Stage Your Home

A well-staged home sets the stage for a swift sale. Its charm draws in buyers and can possibly fetch a higher selling price.

  • Furniture and decor: Arrange rooms to highlight their best features. Consider hiring a professional stager for the best results.
  • Lighting: Make sure your home is well-lit to enhance its appeal during showings.

If you’re considering selling your home, researching and consulting with some experts could be a good idea. They’ve sold homes before and know what attracts the most buyers.

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Financing Options Available for Home Improvements

Finding the right financing option is crucial when looking to increase your home's value through improvements. Here are some ways to fund your home renovation projects:

Personal Loan

  • Borrow a fixed amount at a fixed interest rate without needing collateral.
  • Loans vary depending on the borrower's credit score, income, debt-to-income ratio, and the lender's policies. 
  • Personal loans for home improvement can range from as low as $1,000 to $50,000 or more.
  • Some lenders may offer up to $100,000 under specific conditions.

Home Equity Loan

  • Equity is the difference between the current market value of your home and the amount you owe on your mortgage. 
  • Lenders typically allow you to borrow up to 80-85% of your home's equity.
  • Offer fixed, usually low, interest rates over the life of the loan.
  • Set repayment term is often 5 to 30 years to pay back the principal and interest.
  • Interest on the loan may be tax-deductible if used for buying, building, or significantly improving the home securing the loan.
  • Risk of foreclosure if you don’t make payments, as your home is used as collateral.


  • Similarly to a Home Equity Loan, you’re borrowing with your home as collateral.
  • Rather than borrowing a lump sum, it is a credit line to draw from as needed, up to a certain limit.
  • Borrowers can pay interest only on the amount borrowed as needed.
  • The draw period often lasts 5 to 10 years, and the repayment period usually lasts 10 to 20 years.
  • HELOCs commonly have variable interest rates, which can fluctuate based on changes in market rates.
  • Interest may be tax-deductible if used for qualifying home improvements.
  • Risk of foreclosure if payments are not made, as your home is used as collateral.

Credit Cards

  • Convenient for immediate expenses and smaller projects but come with potentially high interest rates.
  • Look for cards with 0% introductory rates and pay no interest for up to 18 months to minimize costs.
  • Make sure to pay the balance before the promotional period ends to avoid higher interest rates.

Cash-Out Refinance:

  • Replaces your mortgage with a larger one and receive the difference in cash.
  • Can be used for significant renovations but may increase your monthly payments.
  • Involves closing costs and a paperwork-heavy application process similar to a mortgage.

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The Bottom Line

Boosting your home's value isn't just about making it look pretty — it's a savvy way to secure your finances. Sure, you can't move your house or fix the economy, but a few cunning upgrades and renovations can make your home shine and shoot up in value.

And hey, it's not all about the money you’ll make when you sell. It's about making your home a more functional, appealing, and efficient living space. One that you and your family can flourish in. Plus, with a bit of savvy planning and the right financing, you can make those improvements count now and enjoy the perks immediately.

Wondering how much to spend on those upgrades? Websites like HomeAdvisor and Houzz can give you a rough idea, and it's always wise to shop around with contractors for the best deal. Remember, if selling is in your future, think about not just the cost but also how much of that investment you'll get back.

Remember, this process can be fun and creative and a great family activity for everyone. It’s a way to connect and build together. So have fun with it.



What home improvements can increase my property's value?

Strategic upgrades such as renovating kitchens and bathrooms, expanding living space, and enhancing energy efficiency are effective ways to raise your home's value.

How can I finance my home upgrades?

Depending on your financial situation and the project's scope, you have several options to fund your renovations, including cash-out refinancing, home equity loans, home improvement loans, and credit cards.

Will I get back the money I invested in home improvements if I sell?

While not all improvements offer the same return on investment (ROI), focusing on high-ROI projects like kitchen and bathroom updates and boosting curb appeal can significantly increase your chances of recouping your investment.

How do I decide which home improvements to prioritize?

Consider your current home value, the typical ROI on potential upgrades, your budget, and how long you plan to stay in your home. Prioritize projects that offer a high ROI and align with your personal and financial goals.