9 Easy Repairs That Will Help You Retain Your Home’s Value

Hand in a yellow protective glove painting a wall in apartment in gray colour with a roller brush.
Berezko / Getty Images/iStockphoto

In a sizzling hot real estate market where the value of homes is soaring, sellers seemingly don’t have to do much to attract buyers. That said, springing for a few upgrades and repairs can help elevate (or at the very least, protect) your home’s value, often delivering a hefty ROI. Additionally, they can help prevent any disturbing surprises during inspections, when even minor issues are majorly exposed.

See: 8 Affordable Ways To Upgrade Your Primary Bedroom
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While full-on renovations are sometimes in order, calling for a substantial investment of money and time, there are plenty of small-scale refurbishments and revamping that can spruce up the look and worth of a home. Many of these improvements can be DIY-ed, often for not much money when looking at the big picture.    

Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint Indoors

“A fresh coat of paint in your home can do wonders for the overall look and value of your home,” said Chevie Publicover, marketing specialist for home service businesses at Siege Digital Marketing. “The amount of work relative to the value that is gained is greater than the costs of any other home services. A new paint job can change the feel of your home when it comes time to sell.”

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Publicover estimates that a fresh paint job can be a DIY project spanning three to five days although a professional company can likely cut that time in half. 

“Costs can range from a few hundred dollars as a DIY project, to a few thousand to hire a professional company depending on the size of your home,” Publicover said.  

Learn: Avoid These Home Renovation Horror Stories

Upgrade Bathroom Fixtures

“New shiny bathroom fixtures are always more attractive for future home buyers, even if you don’t spend a fortune on them,” said Sean Chapman, a professional carpenter and the founder of Tools’n’Goods. “A small renovation of fixtures can be a good DIY project for your next weekend and cost you around $150-$200 for the sink faucet and $200-$350 for an average high-quality shower kit. The fresh look of new fixtures will last for over a year and has an average ROI of 80% as home buyers are less likely to negotiate if they like the fresh look of the bathroom.”

See: 5 Affordable Ways To Make Over Every Room in Your House

Insulate the Attic

“This upgrade costs from $1 to $7 per square foot and has an average ROI of over 110% due to its positive effect on the house’s energy efficiency rate,” Chapman said. “It will also notably reduce heating costs, so homebuyers will be very happy to see this feature because it’s not something they are likely to want to do once they move in. The average cost of insulating the attic can vary from $500 to $1,500 and takes a weekend to accomplish.”

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Find: 26 Home Makeover Ideas That Each Cost Less Than $500

Upgrade Lighting

“Lighting sells — any real estate agent will approve it,” Chapman said. “Take a tour around your house with all the lights on and think about how you can make them work better for the interior and practical benefits. You may notice that some rooms need more powerful light bulbs, while the others will look better with several new light sources. You should consider installing only LED systems in order to start saving up right after the installation.”

Replacing all the bulbs in the house will cost you $500 on average, Chapman estimates, while adding new light sources can turn into thousands — “but will be worth it in terms of the house’s final price.”  

Discover: Home Improvements That Are Not Legal To Do Yourself

Install a New Garage Door

“The garage door is one of those investments that can instantly make a big impact on how your house looks,” said Rasha Ingratta, mortgage agent at Shop Mortgages. “Having a shiny new garage door can really increase the curb appeal of the house. With the average garage door costing around $3,500 – $10,000, you can expect to recoup 93.8% of that cost. Garage door replacement is fairly straightforward and will take less than a day.  

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Add Crown Molding

“Adding crown molding to your home is a surprisingly easy upgrade to your home,” said Andra DelMonico, the lead interior designer for Trendey. “You can buy raw wood or prepainted molding from your local hardwood store and then use a nail gun to attach it to the walls in your home.”

DelMonico faded that crown molding is associated with high-end and elegant homes, so adding it to your home can elevate your home’s value. 

“You can buy molding that’s simple for a small budget or ornate for a larger budget,” DelMonico said. “Average costs range from $7-16 per linear foot.” 

Patch Holes and Cracks

“One of the best things you can do to retain your home’s value is to routinely find and patch any cracks, holes, gaps, or other places where water, wind or pests could get in,” said Leonard Ang, the CEO of iPropertyManagement. “Whether this is caulking around your windows, patching stucco, tarring corners of your roof, or sealing your foundation, these are the kinds of repairs that are going to keep your house from sustaining further damage, and they’re also pretty cheap — usually between $10 and $50 for materials and only an hour or two of labor that any able-bodied homeowner could do themselves.”

Flip It: 28 House-Flipping Rules You Should Never Break

Refinish Hardwood Floors  

“If you take the steps to refinish your home’s hardwood floors, it will go a long way in making your house appear freshly renovated,” said Rodrigo Gonzalez, real estate investor with We Buy Texas Houses Now. “This is also a great investment as these floorboards will last for many years if properly refinished. Depending on the size of your home this could take you from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, typical prices range from $1,074 and $2,485.”

Remove Dead Trees/Tree Stumps

“If you have a dead tree in your yard that is posing a risk to your home, removing it can help boost your home value,” said Codey Stout, head operations manager at TreeTriage. “The average cost of tree removal ranges from $155 to $2,020 depending on the size of the tree, and tree stump removal may cost around $175 to $500 per stump.”

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.

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