Buying a home is one of the best investments that you can ever make because property always appreciates in value given enough time. At minimum, you can expect the value of your home to keep pace with the value of money – and during a seller’s market, the value of a home can increase even more quickly. A home is an asset that you can use against loans for investments and business interests. Some people even make businesses out of buying homes with the intention to sell them for a profit right away.

No matter what your long-term plans might be, your ultimate goal when buying a home is always to one day sell it for more than what you paid for it or to give it to your spouse or offspring. Either way, you definitely want to do whatever you can to help the process along. Improving your home is always money well spent, and here are some of the fastest ways to increase your home’s resale value.

Stop Smoking in Your Home

Smoking cigarettes is just about the worst thing that you can do in your home if you care about its value. Research suggests that the smell of smoke can reduce a home’s value by as much as 30 percent, which is a colossal amount of money for even a small house.

Tobacco companies are some of the richest corporations in the world, and the reason is because their core product is incredibly addictive and difficult to stop using. In the past, people thought of quitting smoking as an almost impossible task – but today, it’s more realistic than ever thanks to the existence of vaping. Switching from smoking to vaping is actually quite easy thanks to the existence of today’s easy-to-use pod-based vape kits. Buy yourself a vape kit and some JUULpods, and you’re ready to make the switch.

If you’re not willing or ready to switch to vaping, though, there is an alternative: You can go outside to smoke. It’s still incredibly unhealthy for you, but it’ll at least ensure that you aren’t damaging your home’s resale value.

Clean Your Home and Remove Clutter

If you’re getting ready to sell your home in the near future, there’s a good chance that a deep cleaning was already on your to-do list. After all, a dirty home isn’t exactly going to encourage prospective buyers to pay top dollar. When it’s time to start showing your home, though, it shouldn’t just be clean – it should also be as free of clutter as possible.

Decluttering your home in preparation for a sale isn’t just a matter of making sure that things aren’t left out in the open – you don’t want your closets, basement and attic to be stuffed to the gills either. When people view your home, you want them to picture what it would look like filled with their things – not yours. If people can picture themselves living in your home, that’s a good way to make a sale. People should look at your home and view it as a place that has plenty of space for their belongings – plus some room to grow.

If you’re planning to sell your home in the immediate future, it might be a good idea to rent a storage space like a Pink Storage unit for the things you aren’t actively using.

Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

People have different priorities when they shop for homes. The one thing everyone can agree on, though, is that paying too much for utilities isn’t a lot of fun. What’s more, if your home is older, there’s a good chance that you’re already paying more for fuel and electricity than you should. With those things in mind, increasing your home’s energy efficiency is a great investment because it can reduce your utility expenses now while also increasing the property’s value.

Like property values, utility costs only go up over the long term – so there’s really no reason to wait when it comes to improving your home’s energy efficiency. In fact, there are tax breaks available in many cases to help defray the costs of more expensive upgrades like the installation of solar panels.

If your budget doesn’t quite have room for solar panels, there are many other ways to make your home more energy efficient – and some of them are surprisingly affordable. For example, you can install a smart thermostat to gain greater control over when and how your home uses energy. You can also buy more efficient appliances, replace drafty windows or upgrade your home’s insulation. Anything that reduces utility costs will benefit you – and your home – over the long term.

Upgrade Your Home’s Kitchen

Everyone eats, so the kitchen is always one of the most-used rooms in any house. With that in mind, prospective home buyers will often pay a little more attention to the kitchen than they do the rest of the house. On one hand, a major kitchen remodel may not add quite as much to the value of your home as what the project costs. On the other hand, though, a kitchen that’s full of old and outdated appliances can also drag down the value of a home disproportionately – so if your kitchen looks like a relic from the ‘90s, it’s probably time to put a little work into it.

If you don’t have the room in your budget for a major kitchen remodeling project, you can still spruce things up in a major way by buying matching appliances and installing new cabinet hardware.

Add Square Footage to Your Home

It isn’t cheap, but one of the fastest ways to increase your home’s value is by adding square footage. Home are valued by the amount of living space they have, which guarantees that your house will be worth more than it is today if you add a new room unless there’s a major change in the market.

Even if there is a change in your local market in the near term, adding living space is still a good investment in the long run because a home with unusual features will always enjoy a higher level of demand than homes with more standardized features. Adding a new bedroom with an en suite bathroom, for instance, is a great way to make your home stand out because few houses have this feature.

About the Author

author photo

Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.