Buy a can of paint. You’ll get an average of 500% of value back from just painting your home. Say you paint the interior of your house yourself. An 8 room house x 2 cans of paint per room equals 16 cans at $25.00 each equals $400. At a rate of 500% return on your investment (8 cans) you can conceivably raise the value of your house $2000. And that is just accounting for the cosmetic upgrade to make a dingy room look brighter. There are other considerations like how generally appealing your home is and also the colors you choose. No matter how you slice it, there are colors that are more universally appealing than others and you get even more value out of it by being careful with your color selections (that’s a discussion for another post).
If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market in the next couple of years, freshening up with new coats of paint will go a long way. Typically a home needs to be painted every 10 years or so depending on the wear and tear, so painting a few years in advance would be fine.
Even if you’re not considering moving and you’re struggling with the house blahs, a new house may not necessarily be what you need. Put some love into your existing home with some updated paint colors. You’d be amazed at how much of a difference it makes!
For all my projects I specify Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, MAB, or Finnaren & Haley. Consumer Reports gives Home Depot’s Behr paint a good rating, but it’s my experience you get better coverage with one of the other four. If you have an old or historic home and you are trying to match a color or get a historic ‘look’, I have had the most success with Benjamin Moore’s color selection, although I think all paint companies now do custom colors at no charge.
Disclaimer: The 500% value is a figure for the Philadelphia metropolitan area, so other real estate markets will vary. But Philly is pretty average when it comes to the ups and down of the market so it is a good rule of thumb.