New Homeowner Checklist: 6 Best Upgrades That Will Boost Your Home’s Value

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Are you looking for a new homeowner checklist to upgrade your sweet home?

As a first-time homeowner, you may not have plans to spend the rest of your life in your first home. However, upgrading your property can make all the difference if you decide to sell it later.

And while you’re there, it will make your space all the more homey.

With adding value in mind, it’s important to consider easy upgrades that can add value to your home in 2023.

Below are some tips to get you started.

New homeowner checklist
A new homeowner checklist can help organize your tasks.

CONTENTS — In this article, you will find some extraordinary tips in this new homeowner checklist, which will add value to your property, including:

Why Plan Upgrades?

As a first-time homeowner, you may or may not be considering your first purchase as your forever home.

According to a recent article published by the National Association of Realtors, the average homeowner spends about of 13 years in their home.

But just because you don’t plan to stay in your first home throughout the duration of your life doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enhance it.

Upgrades can make all the difference to your experience living there, and increase its value should you decide to sell later.

Whether your first home becomes your forever home or you decide to sell, here are some easy upgrades to make in 2023 that can add value. 

1. Improve Your Curb Appeal

One of the best ways to upgrade your home on a budget, even if it is a manufactured home, is to improve your curb appeal.

Overall, this may cost you a few hundred dollars.

However, this will yield high returns on investment.

Doing simple outdoor improvements will not only provide high returns but will make your house stand out, particularly if you want to sell it soon. 

Here are some easy improvements you can make for better curb appeal:

These easy changes go a long way to the overall outside appearance of your property.

2. Create a Dedicated Home Office Space

Since the pandemic, the way that people work has changed drastically.

The job market has changed from one that is primarily concentrated outside the home to hybrid work or even fully remote jobs.

This trend doesn’t look like it is going away any time soon.

Creating your own home office space will be useful for you when it comes to separating your own work and home life. Even a small nook dedicated to work may be enough.

Even if the trend of working from home does become a thing of the past in the near future, there are still some people who will operate their businesses from their homes.

As a result, having a dedicated office space in your home will appeal to more buyers when it is time to sell, too.

So in your new homeowner checklist, you could convert a small space underneath the stairs or even a landing at the top into a a working space. By simply incorporating a desk, chair, and a lamp to the space, you’ll have created your own tiny office.

This option could be useful and affordable.

However, if you want to go all out, you can change a spare bedroom or basement space into an office space. 

3. Paint Inside and Outside Your Home

New homeowner checklist
Paint Your Home

Next in new homeowner checklist is a great way to add value to your home quickly: Paint the inside and outside of your home.

A new coat of paint will immediately give your house a new feel and make it feel brighter and cleaner. This is especially important because paint colors can become dated quickly.

So choose carefully.

While you are certainly free to be as whimsical as you like with your paints while your living in your home, this may not be a good idea when it’s time to sell.

Potential buyers want to see a house for what it could be for them, not one that is tailored to your needs.

So, while it may be tempting to add colors you like, try to choose neutral colors, particularly if you want to sell your home in the future. 

For indoors, opt for white, taupe, beige, and grays, which are always are safe color options. Outdoors, you may want to consider what works best in your neighborhood.

If your neighborhood is full of homes that are unique, then painting your house an unusual color may not make you look like an oddball.

However, if most homeowners in your neighborhood have neutral-colored homes, it may not be a good idea to paint yours a dark shade of green or charcoal. 

Also, if you live in an Homeowner’s Association (HOA), making your house look too unique could be problematic.

So, before making drastic changes to your home’s exterior paint color, it is a good idea to consult your HOA first. 

4. Upgrade Your Primary Bathroom

New homeowner checklist
Redesigned Primary Bathroom

According to your new homeowner checklist, Ideally it is a good idea to upgrade all the bathrooms in your home, even half-baths.

However, if you have a limited budget, it is ideal to put your money into upgrading the primary bathroom in your main bedroom. This will be the one that potential buyers will have the most interest in.

So it will be ideal to put all the bells and whistles in this room. That’s because most bathroom upgrades will yield a 60 to 70 percent return on investment.

You’ll want to focus on upgrading the features of this room that will be worthwhile. While a jetted tub may be an exciting feature for you, the upgrades that will be most meaningful to buyers may be simpler than you think. 

Try to focus on making sure your bathroom has enough space and storage.

Also, ensure that the lighting is adequate.

Great hardware on the sink and cabinets is a good investment, too.

Most importantly, choose safe, beautiful flooring that can improve ROI.

When you make upgrades in this area, go all in but don’t make them so extensive that you lose money when you sell. 

Related: Bedroom Makeover Checklist: Top Tips To Decorate A Bedroom

5. Remodel Your Kitchen

New homeowner checklist
Remodel Your Kitchen

Of all the interior makeovers you can do, a kitchen can yield a very high amount of ROI, upwards of 80 percent.

Fully remodeling your kitchen to improve its functionality will yield a high ROI – especially with the kitchen triangle.

However, minor upgrades can be just as beneficial.

Here are some simple touches you can make to give your kitchen a fresh, new look:

  • Changes to the hardware
  • New backsplash
  • Painting your cabinets

However, if you really want to make impressive changes, try to change all appliances to match, particularly stainless steel.

By renting a residential dumpster rental, you can easily dispose of old flooring and lighting to give the space a whole new feel.

Also, change out the flooring and lighting can give the space a whole new feel.

Finally, if your budget allows it, upgrade your cabinets and countertops. 

Related: An Easy Home Renovation Checklist: 3 Steps to Begin Your Project

6. Improve Energy Efficiency

New homeowner checklist
Energy Efficient Home

When making upgrades as per the new homeowner checklist, try to think about the energy efficiency of your home. This will save you money as a homeowner, but it’s also especially important if you plan to sell.

Potential buyers want a home that helps them save money, too!

So investing in features that are energy efficient and marketing such features in your listing will bring plenty of buyers your way. 

You’ll want to keep in mind that not all energy-efficient features will appeal to buyers.

For instance, converting to solar may limit your buying pool. But upgrading to better quality windows and doors will increase to most buyers.

Also, including appliances that improve your home’s efficiency is a good idea, especially if they are energy star products

Don’t forget about more large-scale ways of improving your home’s energy efficiency. For instance, perhaps you’ll want to replace an old roof. Doing so will improve energy efficiency by helping to better regulate indoor air and reduce energy bills.

And, like the other improvements above, it can also add value when it comes time to sell your home. 

Final Thoughts On New Homeowner Checklist

When making upgrades to your house, keep in mind that not all renovations will yield a return or even a high return. Depending on what you upgrade, you may recuperate upwards of 70 percent.

Of course, you want to enjoy the benefit of these upgrades while you’re there. But keep the future in mind, too.

To have an idea of how much a particular upgrade will impact the value of your house, it is a good idea to use an online home improvement calculator.

Also, try to research which updates will yield the most value, especially if you plan to sell your home after a few years of buying it.

One more thing to remember is that the more you customize, the less likely you will be able to appeal to a wide variety of buyers.

So, when making upgrades, try to keep them as basic as possible. Avoid upgrades that only you would like, as this may turn off future potential buyers when it is time to sell. 

Then you know you’ve renovated in the best of both worlds.


Jackie Gately at the beach


About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

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