Purchasing a house is the most important investment most North Americans will ever make, and buying a house in a good location and procuring a reasonable mortgage that allows for steady, manageable payments all but guarantees a serious return on investment and a lifetime source of equity.

But in order for your home to really appreciate in value, you also need to make regular investments to keep it in the best possible shape. If you want to be strategic about home improvements and aren’t entirely sure where to start, here are a few simple ways to increase your home’s value without undergoing a major renovation.

  1. Give It A New Coat Of Paint

Looks matter, and sprucing up your house with a new coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to make it stand out. Most homeowners tend to be fairly good about regularly painting the interior of their house (in part because it is an easy DIY project that makes the living space more comfortable), but it is equally important to paint the outside regularly as well. Flaking trim and stained siding creates an immediate negative impression, and evidence shows that a house with a new coat of paint can be worth as much as 2-5% more.

painting house - 4 Ways To Increase The Value Of Your Home

  1. Re-Do The Bathroom

The bathroom is simultaneously one of the most important rooms in the house, and one of the hardest to look after. No matter how carefully you clean, the humidity and constant moisture is bound to take a toll. A full renovation can be very expensive, but you can do a lot to counter the ravages of time by regularly upgrading the tiling and fixtures so rot and rust don’t set in and create major problems.

  1. Install New Windows

Perhaps because we spend more time looking through windows than at them, it can be easy to forget that windows play an important role in everything from insulation to the overall aesthetic value of your home. This is why you should be sure to get new windows this summer — it is a fantastic way to immediately raise the value of your home, and they are an upgrade that pays for itself: the money you invest in purchase and installation, you will quickly make back in lower heating bills.

installing new window - 4 Ways To Increase The Value Of Your Home

  1. Deep Clean Regularly

When it comes to cleaning, too many homeowners focus on making things look nice on the surface, but neglect to do the kind of regular deep cleaning that a house needs in order to remain in good condition. Cleaning areas that are not often seen (like behind the stove) or that require more than just a wipe with a cloth (like attics, unfinished basements, and plumbing fixtures) can extend the life of your house and make it worth more to future buyers.

Despite the difficulties of getting into market, a house is still the best investment for most North American families, and investing in your home will not only raise its re-sale value, it will also make living in it more pleasant. And you don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a full re-modelling to increase its price and make it more hospitable — giving your house a sensible makeover can be as easy as slapping on a new coat of paint and ordering a new set of windows.

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Also published on Medium.