Deb Tebbs Group

Cascade Sotheby's International Realty

4 Simple Ways to Increase Your Property Value

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The median value of an Oregon home was $239,300 in December, according to Zillow data. That’s up 5.6 percent from a year earlier. Bend homes have done even better over in that time period. Median values were $295,000, up 7.5 percent from December 2013.

There isn’t much you can personally do to control market volatility that ultimately dictates the value of your home. But there are several renovations, additions and maintenance items that can be performed to add instant value to your property. Here are four ideas to consider:

New Windows

A 2009 report by the Earth Advantage Institute found that Portland homes certified as “sustainable” by third-party agencies sold 18 days faster than non-certified homes. Certified homes also sold for 4.2 percent more than comparable non-certified units.

There are several steps that must be taken for a home to gain sustainable certification, including air sealing and new insulation. But the first, and typically most expensive step is replacing outdated windows. Basically you need windows with double or triple-pane glass, along with ENERGY STAR certification. Windows that have passed rigorous National Fenestration Rating Council standards are even better.

Tessa Smith, of custom home building firm Artisan Group, told the blog Triple Pundit that returns on energy efficiency investments can be less than five years in the Pacific Northwest. Exercise due diligence and get multiple quotes to ensure the best price on new installations.

     Landscaping

The National Gardening Association says creative, well-designed landscaping can increase property values by up to 19 percent. Most people think of trees, bushes and flower beds when they hear the term landscaping. Though the aforementioned will certainly boost property values, there are other ways to make your yard stand out.

Walkways and stone paths are two unique and relatively inexpensive ideas. The Landscaping Network recommends lighting along the walkway for both safety and aesthetic reasons. Patios and decks are always great additions as well. The imagination and budget are the only things that will limit the possibilities.

     Wood Floors

The consensus among Realtors is that hardwood floors add value to a home because buyers highly covet them. Further, a survey by the National Wood Floor Association found that 90 percent of real estate agents said wood flooring means a higher sale price versus comparable carpeted properties.

Wood flooring simply looks good, is easier to care for than carpet. It’s also durable, which is why it’s installed in so many gymnasiums. Installing wood floors yourself is relatively easy and can save you upwards of $1,000 in labor costs depending on the square footage. Again, make certain to get multiple bids to ensure the best price and service.

     Upgrade Storage

Older homes are notorious for having limited closet and storage space. Instead of busting down walls to increase space, simply re-think what you already have.

Use a service like ClosetMaid to virtually redesign your closets. You can then head to the local hardware store and buy the materials necessary to make the design reality. This Old House also provides several low-cost tips to create more space in your existing closets without complete renovation.

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