10 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

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Man adding a light fixture and light bulb to his home
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There are many ways to increase your home’s value without taking on expensive remodeling projects.

In fact, many remodeling projects don’t even pay for themselves, as we detail in “11 Home Renovations With the Worst Payoff.”

So, instead of hiring a contractor, focus on the things you can do yourself — and appreciate the things that might boost your home’s value without you having to do anything.

Following are several surprising things that can increase the value of your home.

1. A nearby Starbucks

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You can’t control when a new Starbucks coffee shop will open within your ZIP code. But each time one does, it stands to boost your home value, according to a study from Harvard Business School.

The addition of one Starbucks in a neighborhood within a given year is associated with a 0.5% increase in neighborhood home prices, researchers found.

Home values increase by the same percentage each time a new Starbucks opens, researchers found. So, if you own a home worth $300,000 and two Starbucks open nearby, your home value should increase by 1%, or $3,000.

2. A blue bathroom

Light-blue bathroom
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Painting your bathroom light blue can boost your home’s sale price by $4,698, on average, according to a 2021 analysis by real estate website Zillow.

On the other hand, using the wrong shade can hurt your sales price. Painting a kitchen mint green may cause you to bring in $1,830 less than you expect, according to the analysis.

3. Your neighbor’s lawn

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Sometimes it’s not enough to take care of your own property. A poorly maintained lawn next door or across the street from your home can make your property less desirable. This is especially bad news if your home is for sale.

If you have a neighbor whose lawn is a mess, offer to mow the neighbor’s lawn!

4. New ceiling light fixtures

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When people spruce up their homes, they often overlook the ceiling light fixtures in bedrooms and hallways. It’s not enough for the light covers to be functional. If they’re cracked or discolored, they’ll make your home seem worn out and outdated.

Jacksonville, Florida, real estate agent Bryne Duren tells Money Talks News that anything that makes your home look lighter, brighter and cleaner can increase its value.

Lighting covers typically are inexpensive to replace. Don’t forget to make sure that your hallway light covers match.

5. New light switch and outlet covers

A man flips a light switch
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Sometimes, it’s the small details that add value to a home.

Discolored or cracked covers on light switches and outlets can make your home seem neglected. Real estate agent Jeremy Browne of Falls Church, Virginia, tells Money Talks News that replacing these covers is an easy way to make your rooms look better.

They typically are inexpensive to replace.

6. New bathroom caulk

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An unattractive bathroom will reduce your home’s value. The caulk around your shower and bathtub protects your bathroom walls from leaks. When caulk becomes moldy and cracked, it’s a turnoff for guests and potential homebuyers. Replacing it will create a noticeable improvement in your bathroom’s appearance.

“Given that the cost is minimal, it makes sense to do this,” San Diego real estate agent Gary Kent tells Money Talks News.

Caulk is relatively easy to replace. It takes patience, but no special skills. You can use a caulking gun for larger jobs, but caulk is available in squeezable plastic tubes for smaller projects. Just note that before you can apply new caulk, you’ll need to remove the old material.

7. Tightened door knobs and hinges

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Nothing says neglect louder than a door that’s loose or rattles when you open it. If prospective buyers think your front door is ready to fall out of its frame, don’t expect them to make offers on your home.

A cheap and easy way to add value is to make sure that all door handles, locks and hinges are in good working order, Forbes reports. This doesn’t require any special expertise, and a screwdriver may be the only tool you’ll need.

8. A treehouse

Boy and girl in a treehouse
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Adding a treehouse to your home’s property boosts both your sense of fun and your bottom line.

Homes with this kid-friendly feature sell for 2.2% more than expected, according to Zillow.

9. Steam oven

Steam oven
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A steam oven can boost your sale price by 3.7%, according to Zillow — and that’s not just hot air. These fancy appliances cook food by boiling water, and that helps them retain nutrients, according to some.

10. Trees

Home in Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Finally, a little ardor for arbor can go a long way. Homes with trees on the lawn have as much as 15% more value than a home without trees, according to research. They offer beauty, a home-cooling effect you can measure in dollars off your summer utility bill, and environmental benefits.

Be careful, though: Poorly placed or maintained trees can harm your home value.