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Buyer buys home.
Buyer makes improvements to home.
Buyer expects home’s value to increase.
Buyer learns that the money spent on improvements did not add value to the home.
Buyer is wrecked.

I’ve seen this too many times to even count. Homeowners spend their hard earned dollars on improvements that they believe will make their home worth more, but it really only makes a home more desirable. Allow me to explain.


The value of a home is based on a number of things, some of which cannot be changed. The age of the home and its location are two things that no amount of improvements can alter. However, finished square footage and additional features are two of the main components that can be improved upon and thus increasing the value of a home.

Ways to Increase Value:

  • Increase finished square footage with an addition or finishing a basement

  • Upgrade the kitchen with quality products like custom cabinets, granite countertops, new appliances, and new fixtures

  • Add outbuildings like a detached garage, shop, or in-ground pool

  • Ensure structural maintenance is up to date and in good condition

  • Adding a bathroom or bedroom

  • Update a Master bathroom with quality products

  • Install new windows

  • Update the HVAC system to increase the homes efficiency


Let’s say you have two homes that you’re considering purchasing. Both homes are in the same subdivision, are roughly the same size, and are priced comparably. How do you choose between the two? The answer to this may be completely obvious, but if you’re considering selling your home, you need to put your “buyer hat” on.

As a buyer, you consider the features of the home that are most appealing to you. Maybe one of the homes is painted with very neutral colors that you love, while the other home’s walls make you dizzy. Maybe one of the homes contains wall to wall carpet, and being a pet owner, you prefer the home with no carpet. These differences alone don’t necessarily alter the value of either home, but they may tip the scale on which home a buyer would choose to purchase.

Ways in Increase Desire:

  • Paint walls a neutral or light trendy color

  • Restore trim by painting or re-straining

  • Install decorative backsplash

  • Update light switches and outlets

  • Update door hinges and knobs

  • Tidy up flower beds

  • Paint exterior doors and shutters

  • Have wrinkled carpeting stretched

  • Install additional cabinetry or shelving in the laundry room, garage, or storage area

Creating desire may help your home sell faster than the similar home down the street, but please remember, it may not increase the value. If you’re planning to update your home for sole purpose to increase its value, please do your research before you invest. Consulting with a licensed Appraiser or Realtor could save you time, money, and added frustration down the road.