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Update An Old House: Renovation Ideas For Peak Curb Appeal (And Resale Value)

Getting your home ready to sell can be incredibly stressful. Especially if your home could use a little work but you don’t have a huge budget to burn, it’s important to choose projects that will get your home attention, but that will also recoup some of the cost of renovating in the first place when you sell. Huge projects rarely pay dividends, and very personalized remodels can actually make your home more difficult to sell. So when choosing renovations to improve your home’s resale value, it can help to focus on a few specific areas.

Highlight the Original Architecture

Original flooring is difficult to maintain or restore, but the resulting quality is a great perk to advertise to buyers (by Mahoney Architects & Interiors)

Unless it was built within the last few decades, there’s a good chance your home has some unique original features that have either gotten covered up or worn down over time. It’s really trendy right now to unearth those features, which means working with the original bones of your home is both more affordable and more appealing to buyers than trying to plaster over or replace them. Original brick, wood flooring, or woodwork give your house a charm that newer homes can’t replicate, which puts you at an advantage in terms of resale value. And no renovation is faster than slapping on new paint in worn-out areas to better draw attention to the original fixtures.

Replacing your porch lights with ones that better reflect the style of when your house was built gives it an aged charm (by Affordable Interiors)

Many times, vintage details are hidden or “updated” for modernity, but to the detriment of the house. Salvage and uncover what you can, and find similar style replacements (eg gas lamps) to mimic the historical fixtures. Not sure how your older house used to look? Go to your local library to find records and blueprints of the area to learn more about your house.

Add vintage knobs to your cabinets to give each room an updated but true-to-original feel (by Amish Loft)

Once you get potential buyers inside your home, detail work can make all the difference between you and your neighbors. Vintage doorknobs, cabinet pulls, and other such finds from antique stores lend authenticity to your home without taking it completely back a century or two. These small changes won’t cost much, and while they also won’t add much to the actual resale value of your home, they’ll make your home feel like it needs less work, which can make buyers more eager to make an offer.

A touch of intricate molding around your support beams or a fun roof tile are ways to make your house stand out while not breaking the visual trend of the overall neighborhood (by Dig Design)

Stay in the Neighborhood

You want your house to stand out against the competition in your area, but don’t do so by making it an eyesore. Flair is a risky venture when renovating your home, so pay attention to what your neighbors are doing before reinventing the wheel. One way to make you memorable to potential buyers without being too extra is a non-traditional (but still functional) mailbox. It’s a great way to distinguish your driveway from others and shows off a fun aspect of the exterior many modern houses lack. If you’re looking for a DIY project to make your porch unique, try adding carvings or side molding and painting it to match your exterior to give it a more ornate feel.

Whether it’s natural plants on your front lawn instead of high-maintenance grass or a fun mailbox, show off how your house is unique inside and out (by Landcraft Studio)

Functional Landscaping For Maximum Resale Value

Keep lawn shrubs and flowers that are native to your climate to prevent the ugliness of wilting, weather shock, browning, and death without constant maintenance (which can be expensive!). Even better, you aren’t always obligated to keep your front lawn as grass. Depending on the homeowner association rules in your area, you may be able to convert a portion into a hedge line or garden. This means there is less overall lawn to mow, which is a benefit potential homeowners are looking for today.

Renovating your home to maximize your resale value can feel like a daunting venture, but there are many big and small ways to stand out among the other houses for sale that can fit your time and budget.