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I get asked all the time, “What can I improve on my house that will give me the biggest return upon selling?”. The answer to these questions is usually, a kitchen or bathroom remodel or an unfinished basement build out.

Look online and you will find articles galore about how homeowners can and should save on various home ownership expenses. It may range from outlet furniture to different types of bargain paint. In this article I am going to discuss 5 key home investments that calls for the fearless side of spending by the homeowner. It’s your home and sometimes you can splurge on yourself. It is a place where you spend so much time, so why not treat yourself for all of your hard work over the years. After all, the following do generally help increase the value and attractiveness of a home.

Yard/Garden Supplies – This point is especially true if you reside in the suburbs and live with just your spouse. A nicely manicured lawn can turn wild in the blink of an eye. We spend so much on the insides of our homes, why not the outside? Attempt to invest in the best organic fertilizers and lawn mowing tools you can lay your hands on. Anything that is efficient will save you a hand full of money in the long term. Even sprinkler systems can be set up to automate this aspect of the maintenance process. Get a cordless weed whip, a leaf blower and maybe get some solar pathway lighting to highlight a flower garden.

Real Estate for Pets – Have you considered giving your pets open access to the outside? I have used quality “doggie doors” over the years with magnetic flaps that keep it closed in high winds. If your yard is fenced and the pets have all of their shots, let them go inside and out on their own leisure. This is a huge convenience and saves you having to “let them out”. Ensure that you invest in a spacious dog house or fenced in kennel. Cats may appreciate one of those carpet tree stands to crawl up on and watch the world go by out a window.

Tool Kits – Not just men need their “man cave” full of high-end power tools. Gather an arsenal of tool kits that include quality screw drivers, hammers, nails, etc and place smaller kits on various levels and areas of your home. I keep a tool box with the basics upstairs where our bedrooms are and another kit in my car trunk. Having multiple next tools within a few steps is so nice, and allows you to more easily install the home improvement items that you purchase for your property. Essentially, anything that may and will come up eventually when you own your home. These can come in very useful if you need to repair the odd leaky tap or even hang a picture frame. Some other essentials include, levels, tape measures, plumbing wrench, power drills, drill bits, pliers etc.

Appliances – To be exact, high quality appliances. These can not only add to your home’s personality but can add to the saleability when it comes time to sell. A homeowner shouldn’t hesitant about putting in the best oven or stove, a grill, or furniture that compliments the home. You say “but I am rent out this property”… well, this is still a perfect scenario for adding features that make the living experience convenient can go the extra mile in attracting the right kind of renter. Aside from appliances, don’t forget proper lighting and energy saving as a way of adding that extra touch for resale.

Security – This is a given, but we have to mention this. Locks and quality entry points are key to not only upping your resale game, but the peace of mind can make the difference while you are living in the home. Replace all of the existing locks and keys if you have to. Especially if you are buying a property that is pre-owned. Do not hesitate to spend big here and on alarm systems too. This is a must for anyone but especially if you have a family. Check the locking mechanisms on each window and be sure to install bright exterior lights. I have a good quality motion light on the front and back of my house. I also found a place to purchase little stickers for the windows around your doors that state you are protected and the house in monitored by some security service. Sometimes it’s ok to bluff like this if you can’t afford the real thing.

And lastly, we’re seeing a trend in wireless home surveillance. I’ve been hearing commercials for a smart doorbell that includes a small HD camera that, when someone rings, will trigger an app or alarm that includes a real-time video of the person outside your front door. The eye-hole “peep through” cameras are also a thing. Hide your passage camera in this location if the doorbell is too obvious.

I’m a licensed Realtor in the state of Minnesota and am eager to get your feedback on this article or better yet, discuss your next real estate transaction. Please text or call me anytime. 507-581-5038.

Tim Freeland
Edina Realty