Home Improvements that Can Add Value

As the weather warms up, many homeowners see it as the perfect time to make improvements inside and outside of the home. If you fall into that group, then we’ve got some tips for you! We want you to get the most value out of your project, so we’re sharing insight on where to splurge and where to skip.

IN THE KITCH & BATHROOM

What to Consider

It’s been said kitchens and bathrooms alone often sell houses. If you want to add value and potentially get a great return on your investment, start here. Whether you do a full-scale kitchen remodel or a small renovation, do things that improve the flow of the kitchen, and make cooking easier and more enjoyable. In the bathroom, you also want to balance form and function. Buyers appreciate consistency between the kitchen and bathroom, so, if possible, use coordinating materials for cabinets, counters, floors and fixtures.

What to Skip

Buyers are often looking for storage solutions. When you are making improvements in the kitchen, make sure you add storage or counter space. Skip anything that would likely reduce the amount of storage or workspace in the kitchen. In the bathroom, buyers are looking for a place to unwind. Stick to colors that make the appearance of the bathroom clean and light, and consider optimizing for how you will be using this space every day.

GREAT OUTDOORS

What to Consider

If you are looking to build a shed, add on to your home, or add an in-ground pool, any of these projects will require a revisement to your home insurance policy. Other popular background projects to improve your outdoor living space are expanding your patio, putting up a fence or building a fish pond. When it comes to the front yard and curb appeal, plant weather-tolerant plants, add some color with flowers and shrubs and maintain outdoor light fixtures, walkways and steps.   

What to Skip

When it comes to a pool, consider if it makes sense for your home’s location. Buyers can sometimes be turned off by maintenance and insurance considerations associated with a pool. As for curb appeal, avoid any bold design changes that a new buyer may want to immediately update for their own tastes. Additionally, consider how your improvements will affect outdoor maintenance and skip any that pose a large maintenance outlook.

HOME ESSENTIALS

What to Consider

Sometimes the biggest home improvements aren’t visible. Updating your essentials, like your HVAC system, insulation, electric panels and water heater will save you money in the long run. Improving your home’s energy efficiency is important to your cost of living there and may help attract buyers to your home. Consider upgrading to energy efficient appliances. Home security is also becoming increasingly essential, so consider installing an alarm system, and check out OKFB’s home insurance discount for those who qualify.  

What to Skip

Even though an item may claim to be “green” or promote energy efficiency, make sure you research these claims before you buy. Two good signs to look for are an ENERGY STAR® logo and good sustainability ratings online. When it comes to the value of these upgrades, they can improve your quality of living and sometimes lessen living costs. However, if you are making these improvements to increase the resale value, skip on anything that doesn’t allow you to market your home as energy efficient.

As you make improvements to your home and property, remember that changes often mean you will need to adjust your Home Insurance coverage! Contact your OKFB agent today to discuss any planned or recent home improvement projects.

Taking a spring break trip? Prepare your home for your absence.

Your bags are packed, tickets are purchased and adventure is on the horizon for you and your family. Before you leave for another exciting vacation, ensure you have protected your home for while you are away. These tips can help keep your home and assets safe, so you can relax and enjoy your getaway.

Have someone check on things while you are away

Whether it’s a family member, neighbor or friend, arrange for someone to keep an eye on your house while you are traveling. Ask this trusted individual to drive by daily to check on the place, and consider giving them a key to feed your pets, bring in the mail or water your plants. In case of an emergency, make sure they have a copy of your itinerary and your contact information.

Get a home monitoring system

Consider investing in or upgrading your security system, as the presence of an alarm can influence a burglar’s decision to target your empty home. Plus, OKFB policyholders with an active burglar alarm may be eligible for a discount based on the type of system they have installed.

Turn off or unplug appliances and electronics

TVs, toasters and phone chargers can use electricity even when they are not in use. Before you leave for vacation, be sure to protect your belongings from power surges and save on the electric bill by turning off or unplugging these items. Make sure all lights are off when you leave your home, adjust the thermostat for your absence and unplug small appliances.

Stay off social media

Refrain from posting about your trip on social media until after your vacation is over, as this may advertise to potential burglars that your home is empty. Instead, wait until you are safely home to share photos and travel memories with your Facebook friends.

Looking for peace of mind your home is protected 365 days a year? Contact your local OKFB agent today.