A Helpful Guide To Increase The Value Of Your Home

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Real Estate

Time to sell your Hawaii home?

For many Hawaii homeowners, the decision to sell a home is not always an easy one. But there are ways to increase your Hawaii home's resale value and make it more appealing to buyers that you may not have considered before.

This guide will help you identify what needs improvement when it comes to making your home look better for buyers and will show you how to increase the value of your home.

According to Remodeling Magazine's experts and the National Association of Realtors taking some or all of these steps are sure to help you get top dollar for your home.

And, not all solutions to making your home more attractive cost a lot of money either. Imagine increasing the price per square foot of your home just by cleaning it.

It's true. You can protect your home equity just through elbow grease and initiative. Here are some great (some are very low cost) home improvement ideas.

Make your Hawaii home more attractive

Homebuyers are looking for specific things when they look at homes.

Things that may seem like an eyesore to you, such as dirty windows or unfinished projects around the home can be deal breakers for someone who is considering purchasing your home.

It's important not only to consider what will make your home more attractive but also what will make it more marketable.

Just cleaning windows could increase your home value.

Such a simple task and who knows you could make a few extra thousand when it is time to sell. Real estate can be tricky but everyone likes clean and attractive.

Increase curb appeal

The exterior of your home is what potential buyers will see first before they step inside. Make sure that the front lawn is mowed and weed free, as well as any landscaping or bushes in need of trimming get taken care of.

What does your garage door look like? Is it time to get a new garage door?

Make an honest assessment of your home's curb appeal and make the fixes necessary. Each little bit of home improvement will add value to your home and increase your return on investment.

Meet with a Honolulu real estate agent early and often

A Hawaii Realtor is part of a national association and has insights to your neighborhood that others won't have. Need to know what upgrades are popular?

Maybe you are concerned about how much money to spend on a project.

Your agent can help you with all these questions and more. He or she should also be able to give you an estimate on a good listing price for your home in its current state and with upgrades. They'll know home prices in your neighborhood down to the square foot.

Maybe you don't need to replace everything or maybe you do.

Improvements and upgrades can be tricky and normally don't pay back $1 for every $1 spent but they will generally increase home value and could help you sell your home faster.

Don't wait until it is time to sell. Meet with your agent today and start coming up with a plan on how to build home equity and to determine what upgrades might be best.

Spruce up your bathroom

The bathroom can be an important selling point for a home.

When searching on Zillow, buyers often look at what bathrooms have been updated in the homes they are considering purchasing (even if this isn't their top priority).

Remove any wallpaper or tiles that don't fit your style and update plumbing fixtures. Replacing old appliances such as cabinets or countertops can also help with the overall look of your bathroom.

If you can't afford a bathroom renovation, here are some low cost bathroom upgrades.

Try adding a new shower curtain and hooks, do a deep cleaning and scrubbing, add new toilet seat covers and spit shine mirrors and faucets.

Add more space to increase home value

Whether you're looking to sell your home or just want it to feel bigger, adding more space through renovations is a great way to make your house seem larger than what it actually is and will almost certainly increase your property value.

Adding an addition can be a highly effective solution for this problem but also costly. Many homeowners choose instead to focus on their existing outdoor spaces such as patios or porches.

By making a few changes to your outdoor space, you can increase the square footage of your home and also make it seem more appealing.

Go green and be energy efficient

Installing solar panels is a great way to make your home more marketable, as well as ensure that you're doing your part for the environment. Nothing says energy efficiency like solar panels.

You can also add energy efficient appliances and windows in order to lower monthly utility bills (and potentially increase value).

What are your monthly energy bills? Are you proud of how smart and energy efficient your home is? Then leave your energy bills with your Real Estate Agent so she can show them off when showing your home.

Be sure to tout all your improvements and upgrades and let buyers know how much money they will save with their lower energy cost.

Increase your home's value with a kitchen upgrade

Home buyers often spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Make sure that it is clean and updated with new appliances, countertops and cabinets (kitchen remodels are one of the most popular renovations). You can also add fresh paint or replace flooring to make this space more appealing.

Sometimes a full blown kitchen remodel might be necessary. Nothing increases home value like a kitchen upgrade.

It might be a good idea to check with a real estate agent in the neighborhood before undertaking such an upgrade.

Update the essentials

Making sure that your home is up to date with modern amenities and looks well maintained goes a long way.

For example, adding new carpeting or paint can make an outdated home feel more fresh (HGTV suggests using neutral colors when choosing what you will repaint your walls).

You should also change light fixtures if they are damaged or not working. How are the lamps in the dining room and living room looking? Do they need replacing?

Ross Dress For Less, Target or Hobby Lobby are all great places to nice inexpensive home furniture items and these won't max your credit cards out.

Let the light in

One of the easiest ways to make a home look bigger is by making sure that there are plenty of windows.

If you cannot pay for an entire addition or renovation, adding new draperies can add more light as well and potentially reduce your utility bills. This type of project will save money in the long run too.

It also makes it look like your home as more square feet of living space.

You should also clear out any clutter on window sills and remove anything blocking exterior views (HGTV also suggests adding a window box to show off any plants you may have).

Replace the tired and tattered with freshness.

A bouquet of flowers costs next to nothing and is one of the best home improvements there is.

Get the decorators in

If you're not very artistic, hiring a professional to help with your decorating can make all the difference in making your home look more appealing.

Many homeowners choose to hire designers or interior decorators who work closely with their style and budget.

You should also think about whether there are any walls you would like to paint or wallpaper. Price could be an obstacle here so if a professional decorator is too much, then see if you have a friend or family member that has a flair for these types of improvements.

Upgrade your appliances

Buyers will often look for updated appliances to match the overall modern look of their new kitchen.

Definitely consider replacing any old or outdated ovens and microwaves as well as refrigerators, replacing old ones with stainless steel models. 

If there are broken appliances that need fixing before sale, make sure this is included in the renovation budget.

Upgrade your landscaping

As with any outdoor space, landscaping is one of the best investments you can make to increase a home's value. Think about what seasons your area experiences and plant accordingly so that flowers are in full bloom during warmer months when buyers will be looking at properties more often. Consider adding colorful containers or planters outside.

Deep clean

Cleaning your home thoroughly is one of the most important (and often overlooked) factors in increasing its value. Buyers will be looking for any signs that a house has not been well maintained and this may reduce their interest.

Make sure that you have all blinds, drapes or curtains cleaned as well as having hard floors washed and vacuumed.

Cleaning is the one of the most cost effective home improvements available and it is often times one of the most overlooked ways to add value.

Not only should a home be deep cleaned before it is is listed, it needs to stay that way.

Add insulation to the attic

Adding insulation to the attic helps keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. It's a relatively inexpensive project to help with heating costs, but one that can significantly increase how much buyers will be willing to pay for your house. If you have a smart home, i.e. one with a programmable thermostat, iPhone operated lights, etc then this is a necessary compliment to that.

Eliminate bad odors from your home

Bad smells can be a turn-off for home buyers and you should make sure that your home doesn't have any. Make sure to clean out the refrigerator regularly, as well as spraying air fresheners in bathrooms and other rooms where odors may build up. No one wants to smell cat litter or dirty laundry. Bad odors will impact your home value negatively and will leave home buyers wondering where the smell is coming from.

Paint the exterior of your home

Painting the exterior of your home can be a quick and easy way to improve its curb appeal. While many homeowners choose neutral colors if they are going to repaint, you should consider painting your house in an eye-catching color that will stand out from other homes on the market. Check with your Homeowner's Association before spending any money on a painter or painting.

While this upgrade is an expensive one, it could make all the difference in the world and could mean the difference between getting asking price or not.


Cluttered rooms can make a home seem smaller and less appealing, so it's important to declutter before you put your house on the market. Make sure to remove any and all personal items that you want to keep in your house.

You should also make sure to clean out closets, which can often be filled with junk from years of not being used. This makes the home seem cramped and cluttered.

This another very low cost method to increase home value and almost every real estate professional will tell you it is one of the most necessary things that must be done.

Decluttering can overwhelm someone so it is best to take small steps and go room by room. Get a storage locker if necessary. One thing is for sure home buyers have a hard time looking through the clutter and a cluttered house might make your home look less appealing.

Add smart technology

Adding smart technology to your home can make it seem more modern and up-to-date. You should consider installing a programmable thermostat, LED lighting, or even a device that lets you control the lights in various rooms from an app on your smartphone.

A smart home is not something of the future it is something today and is just another one of the modern ways to increase your home's value.

Update your light fixtures

Updating your light fixtures can be a quick and easy fix that will make the rooms in your home look more modern. You should consider installing new light fixtures that have been specifically designed to fit with whatever style of decor you are going for, including vintage or rustic themes.

Trim your trees

Your home's value is determined in part by its exterior appeal. A well-kept lawn and garden are important, but your trees also contribute to how a potential buyer will see the house. If you have scruffy or overgrown trees, it can detract from buyers' first impression of the property.

Trim them back so they don't block the view from the street, and make sure there aren't any dead limbs hanging down. Rake your lawn when necessary and pick up any extra sticks or branches each day that may have fallen overnight.

Paint with neutral tones

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a home. Consider painting several rooms in neutral tones to keep the house looking open and spacious. You should also avoid bright colors that will make buyers feel confined or closed off from their surroundings. Neutral shades help convey elegance without making any specific statement about who lives there.

Create an outdoor oasis

Don't neglect your yard! Outdoor living spaces are important for increasing the value of a home, and including them in your renovation plans can give you a leg up when trying to sell or rent out your property.

Keep the lawn well-maintained so that buyers don't get any false impressions about the upkeep of your property, and consider adding some accent lighting around these outdoor spaces to make them look more inviting.

Power wash your house
It's important to make sure that everything looks clean and inviting. If there is any dirt or grime on the exterior of the house, consider power washing them down so they don't look like an eyesore.

You can also try painting dark shutters a lighter color to complement your front door for further curb appeal.

Make your front porch look inviting

The first thing many people notice when they visit a house is the exterior of its curb appeal, and if you're looking to sell or rent out your property, it's important to make sure that people in the market to buy are wowed by this initial impression!

Try adding some potted plants on either side of your front door, and make sure that the walkway is clear so you don't look like a slob. If possible, paint or stain your front porch to give it a more cohesive appearance with the rest of the house.

You should also think about adding some exterior lighting in order to make these areas feel well-lit at night. This will not only make the exterior of your home look more inviting, but it can also increase safety and security.

Fix the fencing

Also, consider adding a fence to your backyard, as well. This will make the house feel more private and secure while also providing you with an additional selling point for potential buyers.

If possible, try painting or staining it so that it matches the color of your home.

While fences can seem like an outdated feature in today's world of open floor plans, they are still important for creating a sense of security and privacy in your backyard.

If cost is too big of an obstacle then do what you can to ensure boundary lines are apparent and easy to see.

Convert your loft, garage, or basement into an apartment

Another thing you can do is convert your loft, garage, or basement into a separate living area that's more attractive to renters and buyers alike.

This might seem like it takes away from the square footage of your home itself, but creating another bedroom with its own bathroom will make your property feel bigger than it actually is, and it can also increase your home's value.

Remove your carpet

Carpet has become somewhat outdated in the past few years, and its dark colors are not as appealing to a buyer as they were decades ago.

It's also important to remove any stains before you try selling your home because buyers will be able to see them, which can make the carpet look dirty or unkempt.

If possible, replace your carpet with hardwood floors or tile. This is an almost surefire way to increase home value and wow people.

Hang a mirror in the hall 

Adding a mirror in your front hall near your front door can make it feel more luxurious and spacious, especially if you put one up over the fireplace mantel!

Try to choose something that is as simplistic as possible so that it doesn't take away from other accessories like plants, vases, etc., but this will instantly improve its appearance without costing too much money.

Put a bar in your kitchen

If you're selling the house, try to think about what features might make it more attractive to potential buyers and renters alike as they step inside for their first impression!

A great way to do this is by adding an additional countertop or island that has been turned into a mini bar.

This will not only give the kitchen a more modern look, but it can also be used as extra storage for drinks and glasses so you don't have to keep your bar or liquor cabinet in another room.

While not a full kitchen remodel it does add pizzazz to your home and in a tough real estate market this could make the difference.

Install a fire pit

Building a fire pit in your backyard can help to turn it into an inviting place for social gatherings, or just relaxing outdoors on a beautiful day.

While you might not have time to do this before you try selling the house, having one available as an option will definitely make prospective buyers feel more inclined to purchase it!

Keep in mind that gas fire pits are more energy efficient and will also be easier to maintain, but you can always build a traditional one if that's what you prefer.

A fire pit costs anywhere between $1000 and $5000 but can be a fun family project and will pay for itself with family and friend fun and when it is time to resell your home.

Build a deck or patio

Another great design feature for your backyard is building either an outdoor deck or some type of patio area where guests can gather and relax!

Try setting up comfortable seating with plenty of space for drinks and snacks.

This will also be important if you're looking to rent out your home because it can instantly create a sense of belonging in the homeowner, especially when they are outside enjoying the gorgeous weather with their family or friends!

Finish your basement

If you have finished space in your basement that is currently unused, try figuring out whether it can be used as a bedroom or living area.

A great way to do this would be by installing another bathroom so renters and buyers alike will feel like they're getting more for their money!

Just make sure the lighting is nice and bright with plenty of windows, and you'll be ready to go.

Remove the bathtub

Bathtubs are a great feature in the bathroom, but they can also be one of its biggest space-eating enemies!

If you're selling your home and want to make it feel more spacious overall as well as improve its value, consider getting rid of all or part of your bathtub.

Talk about upgrades!

You could replace it with an updated shower or a gorgeous freestanding tub, which can be used for decoration as well.


Adding these design features to your home can not only make it feel more spacious and luxurious, but they will also greatly improve its value! These are just some of the many ways you could increase the value of your home.


Kapolei Real Estate Agent

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