Spring fever? Turn your home into a money maker!

Jeff Peterson
Jeff Peterson
Published on February 16, 2017


February, in many parts of the country, is that month when spring fever starts to set in. The phenomenon is no old wive’s tale, either, Sanford Auerbach, M.D., director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Boston University, told Web MD. That itch to spend time outdoors and the increase in energy can all be chalked up to very real chemical and hormonal changes that take place within us when the sun makes its reappearance.

If 2017 is the year you plan on selling your home, take that energy and a little bit of money to channel it into transforming its exterior into your neighborhood’s cash cow. We’ll help you do just that, with some suggestions from Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value report.

Cost vs. Value

Would you be surprised to learn that although bathroom and kitchen renovations offer the best return for your money on your interior remodeling? Several exterior projects bring similar returns, yet cost less!

For instance, replacing the garage door will run you about $1,700 (nationwide average), according to Remodeling’s report. The return on investment when you sell your home, however, is almost 77 percent. A kitchen upgrade, on the other hand, costs far more and the ROI is about 65 percent.

Now, if your kitchen is in such poor condition that buyers will be repelled, by all means, make its updating a priority. But, all else being equal, you’ll spend less money and get higher returns with several exterior projects.

Ah, Alfresco Entertaining

Spring and summer usher in the seasons of dining and cocktailing outdoors on patios and decks. A home for sale in either season, therefore, is far more attractive when the stage is set for already enjoying the outdoors.

Homebuyers find patios and/or decks appealing for a number of reasons. The additional “point of egress from the home to the yard” tends to add value, according to DB Design Builders in Maryland. Mostly, however, patios and/ or decks are ideal entertaining spaces, which have been in high demand over the past decade.

In North Texas, a backyard entertainment area is extremely popular.  If your home lacks an outdoor fireplace, consider adding one. The cost of a simple built in fire-pit costs around $500.  If you want an actual built in fireplace, then you could spend up to $4,000.  Add some outdoor furniture around your fire-pit or fireplace to make it appear welcoming.  When potential home buyers feel welcomed by your outdoor living area, they are more likely to feel at home.  This is money well spent! 

Curb Appeal Projects

It’s a well-known fact that if the exterior of your home doesn’t beckon, buyers won’t bother viewing the interior. So, put that spring fever energy boost to good use by amping up the appeal of your home’s exterior.  Some of this only costs time, not money.

This is the time where you really take a hard look at your landscaping and view it from someone else’s eyes.  Since you view your landscaping on a daily basis, you don’t see the pitfalls that could be lurking there.  Do you have overgrown bushes or trees that need major trimming? I also recommend planting new seasonal flowers to give your yard some color and character.  It’s only a little bit of money but offers a big reward to potential buyers looking at your house.

There are many studies of everything from how much value a single tree can add to your home (see the National Arbor Day Foundation’s National Tree Benefit Calculator), to the ROI of a complete landscape makeover. Merely “good” landscaping may add up to 28 percent to the overall value of your home, John Harris, landscape economist tells houselogic.com. Transform it to “excellent,” condition, however, and you’re looking at an additional 6 to 7 percent on top of that.  Since the landscaping offers your home’s first impression, it only makes sense that making it more appealing to potential buyers should be job one.

A good majority of North Texas’ garages face the street.  If you have an aluminum garage door, it’s time to give it a fresh coat of paint.  If you have a wooden garage door, this needs to be sanded and given a fresh coat of stain.  This will give the appearance of being fresh and new.  Immediately this will add value to your home over someone else.  Besides, the money you spend on this will have an almost 100% ROI.

The front door is probably one of the most important, yet overlooked items with regards to curb appeal.  When potential buyers are just about ready to enter your home, you want to make sure that entrance is inviting.  Get rid of spider webs, wasp nests, or anything else that will give buyers the willies!   It is also a good idea to repaint or re-stain your front door.  There is only a small amount of money to spend on this project but it will get people in your door.  If you really want to give an amazing appearance, replace your front door with one made of steel.  The cost is around $1,400 and you will get about 91% ROI.


Simple Investments – Not Money Wasters

Have you always liked decorating your kitchen with wallpaper that has apples or chickens or something of the like?  Well now is probably the time you can say you enjoyed that and it’s time to move on.  Someone looking to buy your house may not like wallpaper at all!  You can spend a weekend removing this wallpaper and repainting that room to a neutral color.  This will only cost a small fee to rent a wallpaper steamer and some paint.

Do you have lights that have burned out and you simply haven’t gotten around to changing them?  Now is the time.  A well lit home when showing gives potential buyers a welcoming feel.  To spend a few bucks on light bulbs is money well spent!

Broken fence boards give the appearance that your house has been neglected.  Replace any broken fence boards and stain them the same color as the rest of your fence.  If you visit your local home improvement store, you won’t spend a lot of money.

As the season changes and the serotonin and melatonin wane, release that pent-up energy on the exterior of your home. You won’t regret it when it comes time to sell.

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