One of the best ways to build home equity is to increase its value.

Yes, property value does rely on external factors outside your control. But only to a certain extent. There are still plenty of steps you can take to improve your home's curb appeal.

Thinking about home improvement projects may feel overwhelming for busy doctors who worry about the amount of time it takes to complete them.

Not to worry. Whether you do-it-yourself or hire a professional, there are projects that can both:

  • Be completed in a short amount of time.
  • Generate a decent return on your investment.

Here are six home improvement ideas for time-strapped physicians to consider.

1. Upgrade your garage door

On many homes, a garage door is nothing more than a utilitarian feature. But a nondescript garage door can actually limit a home’s potential value.

On the other hand, a stylish door can be more welcoming and improve the overall appearance of your home’s exterior. Not only that, but a new garage door can enhance home security as well.

A new, high-quality garage door will set you back at least $3,000. But if you opt for a high-end door, your property’s value should increase by a comparable amount.

2. Replace your entry door

One of the simplest things you can do to improve your home’s outer appearance is to upgrade the entry door.

There are dozens of styles and materials available for your new front door. You can opt for an elegant wood door made with the finest grades of:

  • Oak.
  • Maple.
  • Cherry.
  • Pine.
  • Mahogany.

Or you can go with a 20-gauge steel door that offers:

  • Insulation.
  • Strength.
  • Durability.
  • Easy maintenance.

Pre-finished steel doors are available in solid colors or faux wood finishes.

3. Update your home’s fixtures

In the same way certain accessories enhance your wardrobe, your home’s fixtures can brighten your home’s interior. Many of these changes are relatively inexpensive and simple to do.

Consider replacing items like:

  • Light switches.
  • Electrical outlets.
  • Door knobs.
  • Cabinet and drawer handles.

The newer, the better.

The same goes for faucets and shower heads, which can become grungy over time. Prospective homebuyers are now "greener" than ever, so consider replacing these with low-flow models.

Also take note of outdated light fixtures, chandeliers and ceiling fans. Replacing these with ones that are more modern can make your home feel newer than it really is.

4. Update your kitchen backsplash

When it comes to value and marketability, the kitchen is perhaps the most important room of your house. That's why many homeowners want to pursue major kitchen remodels.

But there's a problem with this strategy.

It's easy to spend a major amount of money without seeing a comparable increase in home value.

Plus, major remodels consume a considerable time which makes them inconvenient to live in.

One way to quickly and affordably boost your kitchen’s appearance is to upgrade the backsplash. This is the material used to cover the area of wall between the counter tops and the upper cabinets.

The backsplash offers an opportunity to use a variety of textures, colors and materials. A wooden backsplash gives your kitchen a rustic appearance. Tin, on the other hand, offers an affluent, modern look. Tile is also a popular choice.

No matter what you choose, this is a simple project that can be completed in a weekend.

5. Improve your home’s energy efficiency

Whether its cost, eco-friendliness or both, many homeowners face concerns about energy usage.

Depending on your home’s age, it may be time to make improvements that increase its efficiency, including:

Adding attic insulation

Experts say that investing in attic insulation can actually increase your home’s value above what you spend. It’s a key area that home inspectors review when inspecting a property for a prospective homebuyer.

In short, adequate insulation tells buyers that it will:

  • Warm in the winter.
  • Cool in the summer.
  • Less costly to heat and cool.

Installing a smart thermostat

This allows homeowners to control the temperature in their house from their smartphones — even when they aren't home.

Replacing old appliances

The older your appliances get, the more inefficient they become. Not only do energy-efficient appliances add value, but they can also make a home more attractive.

Replacing old windows

Window replacement may not generate a high return on investment. But for an older property with drafty, worn-out windows, it's a great way to make your home more efficient and aesthetically pleasing.

6. Apply a fresh coat of paint

Painting your home’s interior won’t add significant value of your home. If you’re planning to sell it though, new paint can certainly make it more attractive to potential buyers.

In addition, whether you DIY or hire, the cost and time needed for painting is minimal. It’s one of the easiest projects to complete.

Key takeaways

The current state of the housing market will play a large role in the sale of any home. Although this is out of your control, there are plenty of ways you can boost your home's curb appeal now to improve it's value in the future.

Namely, the three areas of emphasis in the six ideas above relate to your home's:

  • Appearance.
  • Efficiency.
  • Security.

While these certainly aren't the only options, they are definitely a safe bet for time-strapped doctors.

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