How to Increase Your Home Value With a Remodel That You Still Love

Homeownership is one of the fastest, safest ways to develop wealth in the United States. In almost every case, over a long enough time, your home will accrue additional value. Homeownership is a great investment — particularly since you need somewhere to live anyways!

On top of normal market appreciation, you can also increase your home’s value through remodeling, renovation, upgrades and repairs. But if you spend many thousands of dollars on home improvements to make everything modern and chic, will you still feel like it’s your own safe haven?

A house has many non-monetary benefits that you can consciously grow as you make updates and improvements. The challenge is to add to the value of your house without sterilizing it and stripping it of its homey feel.

In this article, we’ll explore a few ways for you to strike the perfect balance between trendy and comfy. We hope this will help you to boost your home’s value while maintaining what you already love about it. 

Read on to learn how thoughtful and strategic renovations can increase your home value!

Increase Your Home Value Without Losing Its Personality

It seems strange that making improvements to your home could make the home less comfortable to live in. You’d think that any improvement would automatically make things a little more comfortable. 

That said, whatever it is that makes a house a home can get lost in that storm of drywall, hammers, hardware and contractors. 

The first thing to do before you start renovations is take an account of what you think gives your house its unique quality. What do you love about your house? What could you do without?

What Makes Your House Home?

Look around your home and ask yourself what parts make you happy. Do the creaky floorboards really add to the ambience? Does the rattle of your screen door help to welcome you home?

How about the knobs on the kitchen cabinets? Surely those can go, right?

A collection of small things, the little details, are what give a home it’s personality. Those details are often found throughout the house. Bad floorboards in one room may foretell flooring problems elsewhere.

Once you’ve figured out what it is that you like, ask yourself what you’d be willing to change. There are bound to be some sore spots around the house, maybe some that have bothered you since day-one. Those issues would probably bother a potential buyer down the line, so they are a great opportunity to start thinking about possibilities for improvement. 

Before you call up a contractor, take an inventory of what you like and dislike about your home. Certain repairs and upgrades add more value than others: kitchens, bathrooms and flooring, in particular, tend to recoup the most investment when it comes time to sell. You might find that fixing those creaky floorboards could add thousands of dollars to your sale price. 

Renovate to Complement the Existing Home

It’s all too easy to select new features for your home without considering how they’ll fit into the grand scheme of things. 

You might see a nice bathroom fixture in a magazine and start imagining it in your own. The same could be said for just about anything that gets advertised and glamorized. 

This is where we lose hominess: When you force an expensive addition into a home where it doesn’t fit, and the entire vibe is thrown off. Renovations can improve the enjoyment you get from your home, if they’re chosen correctly, or they can easily also be a misguided and expensive effort.

A lot of these decisions are up to you and your personal taste. It’s always a good idea to choose new features that match with your existing color schemes, with beloved pieces of furniture, or just fit your idea of what the home needs.

The idea is to build upon what is already there, rather than tear down and restart. Small changes are easier, faster and cheaper. Start there!

Make Changes Close to Closing Time

Some of the things you love about your home might not fare well on the market. Deferred maintenance and upgrades might still be worth making before you sell, even if you won’t be around to enjoy them yourself. 

As veteran real estate agents, we know what buyers are looking for (and paying for!). Certain styles and finishes get more money for sellers, that’s just the way it is. If you are thinking of selling your home any time soon, we are happy to consult with you on the best strategic improvements that will appeal to the broadest swath of homebuyers.

Selling your home is a huge step, and it’s a very personal process. Whether you invest in upgrades before you sell or leave things as-is, the important thing is that you take with you the memories of your life in your home, the times you cherished with the people you love. That will never change, whether your walls are white or grey or lime green. (We don’t recommend lime green.)

Money-Making Remodels to Consider

When it comes time to make renovation decisions, take the following suggestions as food for thought. 

Right off the bat, consider a prospective buyer’s first impression of your home.

Think of the appearance of your yard, the cleanliness of your home, arrangements, space, and lighting. Altogether, this makes a world of difference. 

Another piece that gets overlooked is the garage. We often let the garage get tattered and old as we focus on more significant projects in the home. Make sure to get around to it, though. 

A new garage door and a clean paint job could add thousands to your home’s value. Additionally, you should consider finishing your basement if your home has one and it’s unfinished. 

Many homebuyers want a home with bonus finished space like an attic or basement or den. It adds to the living space of your home, and finished areas improve what could otherwise be considered unsightly. 

If your house is fully finished, it will be more appealing to buyers, and to appraisers later on.

Are You Ready to Start Making Changes?

If you’ve been thinking of selling your home, start thinking about the problem areas that might benefit from some updating! There are many steps to the selling process, so the sooner you have a plan, the better.

Explore our site for more resources on selling, improving, and buying homes, and of course feel free to get in touch any time and start a no-pressure conversation to discuss your options!

How Does Smart Home Technology Affect the Sale of My Home?



smart home technology


In the 1950’s, homeowners were wowed by dreams of the future, with flying cars, self-baking ovens and automated vacuums. Many of these concepts have come to life with smart home technology, though not necessarily in the way they were once imagined.


Smart homes today revolve around making life easier, letting you adjust everything from temperature to lighting from anywhere in the world. These types of improvements do a lot to attract millennial buyers who have grown up with technology and look forward to its integration into the home.



A Little Does a Lot

Having access to tech in a home office, kitchen and bathroom will set your home apart from other houses without such modern conveniences. Fortunately, unlike completely remodeling major portions of the building, adding value to your Orange County home with smart tech won’t break the bank.

Spending around $1,000 before putting your Newport Beach house for sale, a paltry sum where renovations are concerned, will result in significant gains on the housing market. Though these aren’t always monetary, it can result in a faster sale since these features are very attractive to buyers that would be interested in installing some of the same units themselves.

Read more here about other ways to add value to your Orange County home before putting it on the market!



Doorbells and Detectors

Many tech tools don’t take much of a time investment when it comes to installation but provide a host of benefits that you and future homeowners will inevitably enjoy. Some of the most common items that will help craft the perfect smart home include:



  • Video Doorbells – Security is always a major concern, and being able to keep an eye on your front door while at work or even in the shower makes a home feel that much safer.


  • Smart Locks – Another front-door option, these take a little more effort to install but the added security and keyless entry options make it a worthwhile addition.


  • Smoke Detectors – Knowing anytime when there’s a fire or batteries need changing is a definite boon, and the cost of multiple detectors can be offset by smart devices that listen for the alarms already present in your house.


  • Thermostat – The first real integrated smart device, this can ensure your home is always at the correct temperature and can even respond to voice commands when you’re relaxing on your couch!


  • Light Bulbs – Lamps on timers have been a mainstay of vacationers for decades, but smart bulbs will turn on with your phone, and many can even adjust color and brightness on a whim!


  • Smart Speaker/Hub – Alexa and Echo, Amazon and Google’s smart-home supermodels, are just two examples of units that respond to your voice and tie all of your tech together into a cohesive unit.



These simple upgrades will transform your home, and even though they seem like superficial additions they let possible buyers see your house as more than building. Safety and security are just as important as comfort and convenience, and when it’s all integrated it becomes one irresistible package!



Room to Improve

While all of this technology does wonders for your home, you also need to consider which rooms will benefit most from electronic additions. Every area can be upgraded, but certain tech fits more easily in specific locations.


Living rooms or gathering spaces are definite spots to create a centralized hub for technology. Having your smart hub where everyone congregates makes it much easier to control and monitor the house while entertaining, and hose-shoppers will take notice when the primary living space is set up to be a control room for all of their toys.


Another space that benefits from these upgrades is the kitchen. While a smart refrigerator is more expensive than other options, adding high-tech appliances to the most complex room in the house makes it that much more alluring. Even something as simple as adding receptacles with USB ports by the nightstand can be a deal-maker!



Selling My Home With Savings

It’s not just a fancy screen on a dryer that makes it a big selling point. Making your home smarter also makes it energy efficient. If lights turn off when you aren’t home and thermostats regulate heat and cooling efficiently, homeowners are going to see a drop in their energy bills. High tech security also looks good to insurance companies, so fire alarms and video doorbells are a definite win for you and potential buyers.


Getting your house ready for the Orange County real estate market is never easy, but make sure you keep smart home technology in mind as you prepare to put your Newport Beach house for sale. The added value comes in a variety of ways, and if spending around a thousand dollars helps you make the sale more quickly, it’s an investment any homeowner can get behind!


If you find it time to buy or sell your home in Orange County, I hope you’ll think of me!