Sometimes, there is more to putting your home on the market than simply listing a house and waiting for it to sell. Most of the time, there is some degree of money involved in listing a house. This could involve your use of a specific realtor or agency, as you could pay them to independently advertise your home. If you’ve already moved out, perhaps you’re juggling the space where you currently live and the payments or upkeep of your house for sale. Either way, you don’t want to waste time waiting for your home to sell when taking on some simple home improvement ideas could make the difference you need.
Many hate the idea of renovating their homes before selling those properties, as they view it as putting money into a project that they won’t be able to enjoy. The fact is, however, that a lot of people who sell homes after updates find that they receive a surprisingly high return on their investment. Home improvement ideas could be what stands between selling your house and waiting for it to sell, potentially for years.
Looking at a house that you’re content with (or at least relatively content with), you may be stumped as to what you can do to improve it. One easy way to find home improvement ideas is to watch house remodeling shows. You may find one specific remodeling idea stands out above others. One remodel that’s become increasingly popular has to do with the basement. Say your home has an unfinished basement or one that is finished but not as well-updated or utilized as it could be. Lots of people find that a well-finished, upgraded basement can be what makes their house stand apart from other homes for sale. Still, a basement remodel can be somewhat intimidating. Is it worth the money? How can you pay for it? And what should you do to make your basement a more appealing part of your house, and an asset to potential buyers? These are some of the questions that we’re going to address below — let’s see what you can do to upgrade your basement and move your house off the market!
Looking Beyond Storage
A lot of people see their basements merely as extra storage space. There’s nothing wrong with using your basement for storage. Much of the time, a basement doesn’t need to be finished in order to hold your extra pieces of furniture or other objects, like gardening equipment or power tools. The reason why so many great home improvement ideas center around basement remodels, however, is that basements tend to have a lot of extra space. When considering a basement remodel, look at what other people in your area tend to do with their basements. Basements tend to trend in certain areas; people who live in area close to the ocean, for example, often lack basements. Therefore, there are probably people in your neighborhood who have finished basements. You can also consult online resources when beginning your hunt — which is also a great way to look into how you can pay for your home improvement ideas to become realities!
If you’re looking to sell your home already, you may not want to take out a loan to improve the house unless you run a business flipping homes. You should be smart about the investment you make into your projects — the fact is that you will be selling your home, and need to keep the potential return in mind. For that matter, if you find that you need to make more of an investment than you can immediately afford, you can also consider using your credit card. Of course, you shouldn’t do so unless you’re sure that you can pay your card off in a timely manner. If you’re able to keep your payments on track, you should be able to finish paying it off after your home has sold and you no longer need to worry about keeping it on the market! As with any investment, deciding how much you’re willing to pay for your basement remodel, and whether or not it will be worth it — is really a matter of individual opinion, and making intelligent choices.
Improving Your Basement’s Safety
Some home improvement ideas have to do with personal taste; others are meant to be more practical, rather than indulgent. If your basement is unfinished, it’s probably somewhat vulnerable — to home invasions or to general damage. Should you plan on finishing your basement, you need to make sure that it’s just as safe as the rest of your home. Potential buyers may be put off by the idea that the home they’re considering is vulnerable to damage down the road. A lot of potential home invaders use basements to infiltrate the home.
Therefore, before you move along with any other home improvement ideas, you should consider outfitting your basement’s entrance with a security system. Having an alarm in place, or perhaps a security camera, will make people feel much more solid about their potential purchasing decisions. This is particularly true if you live in a very urban area or in a remote location far from the authorities. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that you’ve taken the proper fire protection measures. This could mean installing a simple smoke alarm — which an unfinished basement is also bound to lack — or installing fire sprinkler systems, as well. A fire is just as likely to start in your basement as it is in any other part of the house; but the fact is that they’re often harder to put out if they start in the basement. They also are more likely to start once your basement is finished. Don’t forget, however, that even if you live in an area that is on the drier side, your basement will be vulnerable to water damage. It needs to be reinforced against that damage. The more time people spend in their basements, the more risk they’ll stand of being affected by that kind of damage. Erosion, mildew, and insulation issues can all accompany water damage to basements. Don’t finish your basement without making sure that it’s been properly reinforced against such problems.
Turning Your Basement Into a Dream Room
Many of the home improvement ideas surrounding basements will probably have to do with turning your basement into a special kind of bonus room — a dream room, really. It’s the kind of room that a lot of people leave unfinished specifically because they don’t need it to be finished. Therefore, you may want to turn into the kind of space that people want, rather than need. This could set your house apart from the competition in a big way. But you’ll want it to appeal to a somewhat broad range of people. Among the many increasingly popular home improvement ideas that appeals to virtually everyone is the inclusion of a wet bar. This will help turn your basement into a party space, where people can make craft cocktails, relax, and enjoy time with their friends. You can highlight the fact that the addition of perhaps a pool table, or even an old arcade game or two, can turn the space into an adult game room. More and more often, people are looking for home improvement ideas that they can’t find just anywhere. Adding a bar to your basement is certainly one relatively low cost way in which you can make your home stand out as one-of-a-kind.
You may also want to consider, if a bar wouldn’t appeal to people in your area, turning the basement into a theater space. Lots of people love the idea of having a home theater in their houses, and a basement is the perfect place to host that kind of feature. The dim lighting and additional space will allow people to watch movies to their hearts’ content. People’s ideas of dream rooms could vary, and sometimes just having a finished basement — with hardwood floors and temperature controlled rooms — will allow potential buyers to imagine what they can do with the space. They just like the idea of having the groundwork laid for them before they buy the home.
Expanding the House Through the Basement
Many different types of homes have basements as additions. A finished basement could turn your home from a one story ranch style house, to a house with multiple levels, making it much more appealing on the market. The fact is that a lot of people buying homes are buying their first home, with the intention of building or expanding a family. Therefore, the more space you can offer a family, the more appealing your home will be to these types of buyers. Rather than simply utilizing your basement as a bonus room, you may want to have it turned into a new bedroom (or two). Depending on the size of your basement, it could very well become an expansive new level of your home. If you do decide to add on a bedroom or two, you should also consider adding at least one bathroom. This may not always be possible, depending on how your home’s plumbing system works. But remember: while you always need to ensure that your basement is completely finished no matter what specific project you’re undertaking, bedrooms require an additional level of comfort. The last thing you want is for people to feel as if they got conned because the bedrooms “upstairs” are properly heated or cooled, and the bedrooms “downstairs” are stuffy or freezing.
Converting a Basement Into an Apartment
This might be more of a project than other home improvement ideas — and you may not want to do this before putting your home on the market if you plan on selling soon. But if the sale is more of a long term goal, and you don’t plan on moving immediately, converting your basement into an additional living space could add a lot of value to your overall home. This is actually quite a common project in certain cities, like Washington D.C. Turning a basement into a small studio apartment, with both a living space and a bathroom, allows potential buyers to not only have a “mother in law suite” for guests — but a possible additional income as well. The popularity of websites like Airbnb make these types of apartments the perfect rental spaces. A homeowner could easily live upstairs, while offering a rental space for guests that is private and accessible. Now, if you live in a residential area that isn’t central to any hotspots, this addition may not be as “worth it”. But it’s one of the more unique home improvement ideas that homeowners can choose, and it’s unlikely that buyers will see it as a con, even if they don’t make any extra money off of it.
There are many reasons why people choose to buy a home — and the market is likely better for buyers than sellers at the moment. Therefore, you’ll want to do whatever you can to make your home stand on its own. With that being said, the investment is as much for you as it is for buyers. You’ll likely see a payoff — not simply in the speed with which your home sells, but in the price it sells for.