When you live in an up-and-coming neighborhood, you have a unique situation when it comes to increasing your property value. Traditional updates, like granite counters and master bathrooms, may not quite net the increased value they would in a more upscale neighborhood. However, there are a few updates that will really make your home coveted and easier to sell in a neighborhood that's just beginning to make a comeback. Here's a look.
A Driveway Gate
In most up-and-coming neighborhoods, safety and security are still on the list of priorities. One of the best ways to make your yard appear more safe and secure is with an automated gate across the driveway. This ensures that nobody can pull into the driveway and invade your space without you triggering the gate and letting them in.
If you do not already have a fenced-in yard, that's a good upgrade to make before you also add the automated gate. When opting for residential gate installation from a company like City Wide Fence Co, make sure the fence is made from a strong, sturdy material like wrought iron or wood. A privacy fence may be ideal of the neighbors are loud or disrespectful. Buyers will pay more for a home that feels private, secluded, and secure.
Even if the rest of the yards on the street are still a bit lacking, having a nicely landscaped yard will increase your property value significantly. Everyone wants to be able to say "my house is the one with the nice bushes and flower beds in front" and have it obvious which house they mean! If you can't afford to hire a landscaping contractor to completely re-do your landscaping, there are a few little tasks you can tackle that make a big difference:
- Edge the garden beds to create a definite border between them and the lawn.
- Add some bushes with good fall color, like crab apples or crepe myrtles, so your yard looks bright year-round.
- Put down a layer of wood mulch to keep weeds at bay and create a cohesive look.
- Plant some colorful annuals like pansies and snapdragons.
In a more upscale neighborhood, updating the windows may be something you do primarily to improve energy efficiency. But in an up-and-coming neighborhood, replacement windows will improve your property values by improving safety and security. New windows often lock directly into the frame, making them harder for someone to shimmy open from the outside. You can also buy windows with a security film, which is a coating that keeps the pieces of glass attached if the window shatters.
Replacing the windows can be expensive, but a home with secure windows is a lot easier to sell. If you're on a really tight budget, you may want to consider replacing the windows in the downstairs only; you don't really have to worry about someone breaking in from the upstairs windows.
Visit a local nursery, and purchase a few 2 - 3-year-old trees to plant in the yard. This serves a unique purpose in an up-and-coming neighborhood. It suggests confidence in the future of the neighborhood. If you are planting trees that won't mature for years, then you must be confident the yard will be worthy of them at that time -- or at least that's what home buyers will subconsciously assume. Of course, newly planted trees look good, too.
Some fast-growing trees to plant in your yard include bald cypress, box elder, and cottonwood trees. Your local nursery can recommend varieties that grow well in your climate.
If you make some or all of the improvements above, you'll earn more for your home in an up-and-coming neighborhood and will probably have an easier time selling it, too.