& List of Top 10 Low Cost Improvements that Add BIG Value

You sold your house!

Or, you are thinking of getting a lower rate and refinancing your current mortgage.

You are going to need property appraisal on your home.

While the actual 10-12 page report may only take an hour or two for the appraiser to complete. Help him or her with these tips and you might get a faster turn time and possibly a higher value when they finish your property appraisal.

  1. Curb appeal – Cut that lawn, plant some colorful flowers by the front door. The first thing the appraiser will judge is your yard. Clear the weeds, sweep the walk way, drive way, sidewalk, put the trash cans away, move your cars.

The front picture of your home will be 1st comparison to 3 other homes close by. Make yours look great! 

  1. List of improvements – feel free to show them receipts for repairs and upgrades. If major upgrades, show copy of contractor bid. Feel free to brag about all those unique items your home has.


  1. Collect your own comparables. Make it easy for the appraiser by having 5 or 6 recent sales. Ask your loan officer or realtor with help on this. While the appraiser will do their own homework, having this list will help for best value on your property appraisal.


  1. If your home is part of a home owner association, include a copy of fees paid and name and phone number of association.


  1. Make Minor Repairs. Repair all those small items you’ve been living with ie: missing doorknobs, drippy faucets etc…
  2.  Make sure all areas are accessible, including the attic, basement, crawl spaces and garage.


7. CLEAN before they come. Goes without saying – but seriously, I have seen too many appraisals with dirty dishes in the sink and unmade beds, laundry all over etc… Keep in mind, they will be taking interior pictures.

8. Put the dog or cat away. The appraiser has a job to do and he may not enjoy Fluffy as much as you do. If you put the dog away in a room, remember to let them know, so there won’t be any surprises.

9. Turn on Heat or A/C – Make the appraiser comfortable, which also proves that your system works.


10. Add Value with Low Cost Improvements

Here are Top 10 low cost improvements that see a great return on your investment dollar and will pay for themselves with increased values on your property appraisal when it comes time to sell or refinance.

  1. New Entry Door
  2. New Blinds or shutters
  3. Re-glaze the tub
  4. Add a walkway or stone veneer
  5. Add a water filtration system
  6. New Garage Door
  7. Install a programmable thermostat (NEST is AWESOME!)
  8. Upgrade your electrical outlets
  9. Replace a toilet & update fixtures
  10. Siding Replacement

I hope this top 10 list was helpful. What other things would you recommend to add to this list?

Leave a comment below…

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Jackie Barikhan and Right Choice Mortgage are pleased to be a part of Lake Forest and the Orange County Community. Remember us for all of your home financing and real estate needs. Call or text us at 949 600-0944 when you have questions about home loans or interest rates. We’d love to help you get the best home loan when you are ready to buy a home or refinance.