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Easy ways to add value to your home

Date posted:  6/19/14 09:45:00 AM Renovating a kitchen can add value to your home but is more expensive than some other upgrades.

Just how big is a home's curb appeal to prospective buyers?

According to Steve Brown, president of the National Association of Realtors, the exterior of a home is the bait you put on the end of your hook. If you want to reel in the right kind of buyer, you better have the right kind of grub that they're willing to take a bite from.

"A home's curb appeal is always critical, since it's the first impression for potential buyers," Brown told Parade Magazine. "That's why exterior replacement projects offer the greatest bang for the buck. Projects such as entry door, siding, and window replacements can recoup homeowners more than 78 percent of costs upon resale."

Many Americans like to window shop when they start searching for a new residence. They look up the listing in an area, hop in the car and drive by to check out the neighborhood and how the home looks. If you're trying to sell your home and the property doesn't look so hot from the outside, chances are those drivers won't put their car in park and take a closer look.

NAR reported that curb appeal sparks‡ nearly half of all homes that are sold on the market.

Meanwhile, Zillow Digs reported this happens because buyers often make assumptions about a home before they make their way inside. Creating a strong impression through the exterior of a home can help spur interest and drive up bids.

"A clean entrance can go a long way toward establishing a positive first impression," said Cyndi Lesinski, a Zillow agent advisory board member. Lesinski added that "fresh potted flowers to increase the life and energy of the entrance" can also help make your home standout.

One simple way to give your home a well-groomed look is by adding a fresh coat of paint to the front door. Zillow Digs reported that neutral colors and reds ‡ such as cranberry or burgundy are currently the most popular colors, which can add style without dominating the entrance.

Cost-efficient tips for a pleasing exterior
Parade reported some easy - and cheap - ways that you can improve the look‡ of the exterior of your home. The publication reported that before you list, you should improve the landscaping, update the light fixture at the front door and install a new mailbox.

Prospective sellers should also consider replacing the window treatments inside the house if necessary.

"Take a look at the window treatments in the rooms on the front of the house," DeeDee Bowman, a Realtor in Pennsylvania, told Parade. "How do they appear from the street or front walk? Update or eliminate if needed."

Adding value in other areas
If you've already mapped out your exterior renovations and would like to consider some interior projects to improve the value of your home, consider giving your kitchen space a facelift.

New cabinets and granite countertops will improve the look and add value. If those projects are too pricey, but still high on your list, consider looking into a home equity line of credit from your bank or financial institution. This type of credit allows homeowners to make renovations to their property that can immediately add value to their home.

A home equity line of credit asks an owner to put their home down as collateral, and in turn, the financial institution lends a line of credit that can go to home improvements, student loan repayment or down payment on a car.

This type of credit allows you to use the equity in your home to add value to your property. Many people choose to remodel their kitchens or add an extra bedroom when taking out a home equity line of credit for renovation purposes.