March 9, 2023

Affordable Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value (While Interest Rates Rise)

Lake Norman

Affordable Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value (While Interest Rates Rise)

By Teri Silver


Increasing your home’s value and keeping things in working order are reasons for fix-er-up projects, especially before putting the house on the sales market. Affordability is key –– you don’t have to spend a boatload of money to get the job done. But it’s a job that should be done sooner rather than later.

North Carolina’s mortgage and refinance rates vary, but with today’s economy, those rates are never a sure thing. When deciding on upgrades for your North Carolina home, consider the Return On Investment (ROI) –– whether what you put into it is worth what you’ll get out of it.

To get the best sales price for your house, here are some affordable ways to upgrade your NC property.

Outdoor Upgrades


Chances are that homebuyers will have looked at pictures on the internet –– they know what your house looks like. But that all-important curb appeal will get people up the walk and through the front door. If you’re getting ready to sell a lake house, consider upgrades that include bright colors, large windows, and easily accessible stairs (if the home sits adjacent to water).

Fawn Over the Lawn

Even the smallest lake houses may have patches of grass to care for. Lawn maintenance is more than just cutting the grass –– weeding, feeding, and edging keep the turf looking lush and green. If you don’t want to spend your days rolling in this green, consider hiring a lawn service. How much you’ll be paying for lawn care depends on the size of the property and its horticultural needs. But when you balance that against the time, products, and tool costs (and your own sweat equity), the ROI may definitely be worth it.

Simple Outdoor Projects


North Carolina’s temperate climate promotes outdoor living –– your house is a draw for that. But homebuyers don’t want to do fix-it projects themselves. Put these projects on your to-do list.

  • Repair crumbling asphalt and cement on driveways, walkways, and patios.
  • Fix or replace broken mailboxes, house numbers, and lighting fixtures.
  • Paint or stain the deck, shutters, window frames, railings, doors, and the garage. (Painting the front door black could increase the home’s sales price).
  • Add-ons could include a built-in fire pit, barbecue, or backyard kitchen.

Privacy Fencing

For safety and security, fenced-in yards are a must for homebuyers, especially those with small children and pets. Wood, steel, plexiglass, iron, and thick glass blocks may enhance the property, but be sure to know the fencing laws in North Carolina.

Indoor Adds


If the house doesn’t have Wi-Fi, wire it up. Similarly, if the home doesn’t have an office, create a space for paying bills, playing on the computer, social media, and work projects.

Formal dining rooms are out; entertaining in an open kitchen is in. Tearing down a wall may not be in the cards, but consider adding energy-efficient appliances with smart technology to give the home a modern feel.

Scuzzy bathrooms are a real turn-off. Clean and paint chewed-up cabinets, fixtures, and drawer handles. Toilet seats, shower doors, and sinks may need to be replaced.

Walls and Floors

Humidity and mold are common concerns for lake houses, especially those near the Carolina coast. Controlling humidity and mold in warm climates means constant cleanings and occasional refurbishing.

  • Install a few ceiling fans to circulate the air. (They also lower cooling costs in the house).
  • Strip off old wallpaper. Paint with neutral colors.
  • Remove moldy floor coverings. Installing new carpeting or a large area rug is a nice touch, but solid, nonporous flooring (like marble) lessens moisture absorption.


Sprucing up your home for the sales market doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but it’s one of those necessary evils that comes with selling a house. Because lakeside living is a draw in itself, you’re not just selling a building, you’re selling a dream.

Teri Silver is a journalist and outdoor enthusiast. She and her husband live on five acres with a vast lawn, three gardens, a farm, a pond, many trees, and a lot of yard work! The best parts of the year are summer and fall when home-grown veggies are on the dinner table.


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Lake Norman

March 9, 2023