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Your home is most likely your biggest financial investment. Whether you’re in it for the long run or about to put it on the market, it can pay to maintain and increase its value.

The good news is, you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Here are a few tips for increasing your home’s value in today’s market.

Spend an hour with a professional: Invite your Realtor® or hire an interior designer for a small fee to evaluate your home, and give their professional suggestions as to how you can improve its look and feel.

Inspect your home: Hire an inspector to check all the areas of your home, especially those that you don’t see, such as your roof, electrical systems, etc. so you can fix small problems before they become larger and more expensive repairs.

Landscape: Landscaping can go a long way in increasing the appeal of your home and can work with all budgets. Don’t have the money to hire a professional? No problem. You can cut down on your costs by doing a lot of the labor yourself.

Make small spaces feel larger: Remove unnecessary furniture, hang mirrors to double perceived space, and open blinds and curtains to let the light in.

Update your bathrooms: Making small updates, such as tearing down wallpaper and putting on a fresh coat of paint, replacing an old toilet with a newer, water-saving one, installing a new vanity and updating your fixtures can make a world of difference. If your budget allows, consider replacing your old floors with new tile, granite or hardwood for an even greater “wow” factor.

Update your kitchen: Evaluate what needs to be done, consult your budget and go from there. It’s easy to get carried away investing a lot in kitchen updates, so only do what really makes sense for you and your budget. Replacing old appliances with new, stainless, energy-efficient models will go a long way in improving your home’s aesthetic appeal, while putting some savings in your wallet. Updating countertops and freshening the paint on cabinets can also make the room more attractive.

Go tankless: If your budget allows, upgrade your standard water heater to a tankless model. Tankless water heaters only heat the water as you need it, as opposed to older models that keep gallons of water hot at all times. This will help you save money now, and add an attractive feature to your home.

Make a great first impression: Pay special attention to your home’s entrance. If your front door is old, outdated or worn, replace it with a newer, more energy-efficient model. Adding a new coat of paint to a door that’s in good condition can do wonders and help add curb appeal. (Black, red and white are popular choices.) As a finishing touch, add a few potted plants to make the entrance more inviting.

Save on air conditioning: Consider installing a whole-house fan – a green home improvement that only uses one-tenth the electricity of air conditioners.

Brighten up your space: A well-lit room not only makes your space more cheerful and welcoming, but also makes it feel larger and cleaner. You can do this with table and floor lamps, or consider hiring an electrician to install recessed lights or wall sconces.

Bring the outdoors in: Consider turning two standard windows into an opening for French or sliding doors. Full-view glass doors brighten up the space and make it more attractive. As an added bonus, installing new doors that are energy-efficient will help you cut down on heating and cooling costs.

Add storage: Consider installing an organizer system or cabinets in the closets and garage. This will help keep you more organized, and potential homebuyers will appreciate it.

For more tips on preparing your home for sale, take a look at our Home Selling Checklist.

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