8 ways to increase your Atlanta home's resale value

Your house is your home, but it is also an investment. If you plan to live there forever, or plan to upgrade in a few years it is important to make smart decisions when remodeling.

Create Space

Knock down walls, remove bulky pieces of furniture or increase the size of doorways. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are creating open spaces that flow. Right now buyers are interested in open floor plans with lots of space.

Maximize your outdoor space

"Next to energy efficiency, perhaps no other market trend is changing the landscape of new-home design than outdoor living," David Barista, editor-in-chief of Professional Builders, said. Outdoor kitchens and fireplaces are great if they are in the budget. However, if they aren't, create a beautiful deck space with a nice grilling area. Install an inexpensive pergola area with comfy seating and curtains to reduce exposure to the sun and bugs. Give your home extra square footage by creating livable space outside the home.

Update the kitchen

When trying to maximize your home's value, kitchens are essential. You don't have to start from scratch or do a complete overhaul to create a beautiful and fresh kitchen space. Start with one little project at a time and work your way through the room. Creating storage, updating appliances, painting and installing backsplash are all little projects that make a large impact.

Make your home green

Not only will it increase the value of your home, it can decrease utility bills. Research published by The Appraisal Journal estimates that energy savings add twenty times the annual savings to the value of your property, according to HGTV.com. Ben Kubic, CEO of Virgent Realty of Atlanta recommends researching "green technology, for example Nest thermostats or solar panels."

Paint

Painting may be tedious, but it's a fairly simple and inexpensive way to increase home value. Neutral colors are big with resale because they appeal to more of the general population, but also because they make the home feel fresh and spacious. Be sure to stick with the current neutrals when choosing your colors. Look into "anything gray and white. If you have a beige color scheme your home will show dated," Kubic recommended.

Clean and organize

This will feel good while you are living there, but it is a huge factor in resale as well. Home buyers have a hard time visualizing themselves in a new home. Help convince them by organizing, decluttering and deep cleaning.

Replace flooring

Nothing turns off potential buyers more than worn and dirty carpet or stained hardwoods. These days there are many inexpensive options for flooring, from everything to carpet to hardwoods. Investing a little at your feet can bring a bigger return to your wallet.

Create spa-like bathrooms

Bathrooms revamps are as important as kitchen remodels. Fortunately, because they are smaller, you can get an amazing and luxurious bathroom at half the cost.

Update older homes

If you have an older home, give the buyer and yourself the modern amenities that are so important to today's living. If you update an older home, Kubic warns to "be sure and leave the historic appeal." Find balance by highlighting the positives of your older home and bringing in the new. "Expose lathe and plaster or fireplace brick, and use new lighting that compliments the period of the home," said Kubic.