How to Improve the Value of Your Home while Stuck Inside

How to Improve the Value of Your Home while Stuck Inside


I recently sold a home to an investor, and it was in pretty rough shape. The film The Money Pit started to run through my head as I toured the home with my client. As my client and I were discussing the amount of work that was needed in the home, he just shrugged and said, “What else am I going to do this winter?”


I contracted Covid-19 at the beginning of January. If you read my last post, this solidifies that January IS the WORST month. Luckily, my symptoms stayed mostly mild and after a few days of achiness and exhaustion, I was stuck in my home under quarantine ordering groceries and takeout from my couch. But after about 24 hours of binging television (I finally finished The Handmaid’s Tale) and eating bonbons, I was ready for some projects in the house. 


The first project that I completed was cleaning and decluttering. Now this does not necessarily add equity in your home, but it does feel great. And if you are planning on selling this year, it will simplify the process of staging your home when it is time to sell your home. I took on baseboards, doors, and door frames with Clorox wipes. It is amazing how many hand prints and unidentifiable marks show up in these places. After wiping down those surfaces, I went through my closet and took out most of the clothes I haven’t worn in the last year to donate. In order to make the donation process simple going forward, I added two storage bins in my garage. I use one for the items that are in good enough condition to donate and one for clothes/electronics that I need to recycle. Once they are about full, they go to their new homes, and I feel just a little bit lighter. 


Another way to build equity in your home without spending too much money is painting and not just your walls. Chalk paint on old or blemished furniture is a great way to refurbish worn case goods. And if you’re really ambitious, painting your cabinets is another great way to increase equity. I have mulled this over hundreds of times in my head. I even purchased the primer that is recommended to get them ready, but I just can’t commit. This improvement takes a lot of effort and a commitment to patience and perfectionism that I haven’t yet been able to embrace. But if you have painted your cabinets or plan to this winter, please take a before and after and send them my way. For whatever reason, before and afters are sometimes all that I need to get going. 


If painting furniture and cabinets doesn’t appeal to you, painting the walls in your home has an amazing effect and creates value for under $50. My only words of wisdom on painting walls is to buy the good paint. Every line of paint has cheap, good, better, and best. Buy the best. If you haven’t done a lot of painting in your home, you may think, “why spend $50 on paint when this one is only $20?” Only once did I go for the cheap, and I will never make that mistake again. Coat after coat and streaks and drips. Never again. The one I buy rings in just under $50 per gallon, and it is worth every penny. 


My last suggestion for increasing equity is to accessorize. This one is probably the most fun, but it is also economical. Changing things like the hardware on your cabinets, the bathroom shower curtain and rug, and buying new hand towels has a dramatic effect on the room itself. Pair that new shower curtain and rug with a freshly painted room and a matching hand towel, and you have an (almost) new bathroom. 


Before you know it, the snow will melt and the grass will start to turn green again. You’ll have a lawn to mow and seeds to plant. The older I get the more I appreciate the renewal of life that happens every spring. I hope the spring also brings you that same sense of renewal and appreciation.


As always, thank you for trusting me with your friends and family. I am honored and humbled by the business that you all have sent me since my move to full time. If you ever have questions about the market conditions or how to become an investor or how the looming rise in interest is affecting the market or just want to catch up, please reach out.