According to a recent Nerd Wallet survey, over two-thirds of Americans believe that their home will increase in value over the next ten years. Considering that certain factors such as location and market popularity are out of your control, these findings may be a bit optimistic. However, if you are like the majority of American homeowners, and you believe your house is your biggest asset, keeping up with repairs and making smart improvements are both proven ways to increase home value over time.

1. Curb Appeal
How does your home look from across the street? A well-maintained landscape is a great way to liven up the front yard. To know exactly where you stand, use the neighboring yards as a point of reference. If yours looks dull compared to theirs, consider planting some colorful flowers and repainting the front door. A home’s exterior should make a prospective buyer want to walk through the front door, immediately. Ensure a great first impression by paying extra special attention to the home’s external features.

2. Address Major Repairs
Often buyers worry about purchasing a home that will need consistent repair. Take the guesswork out of what could go wrong and replace major components like a roof, water heater or furnace before putting the home on the market. Doing so may calm fears of an emergency repair in the near future. Consider improvements that will make things easy to clean and maintain.

3. Make it Modern
Unlike the cost of renovating a bathroom or replacing a roof, this simple and cost-effective solution can create a unique value add for any home. Safety-enhancing devices are near the top of the list of “smart” technologies that buyers want in their new homes. Some gadgets include thermostats, fire detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, security cameras, lighting, and door locks. While smart tech doesn’t always add property value, it does elevate the allure — and people who consider themselves “techies” are likely to pay more for these features.

From internal to external components, a little effort can go a long way when you’re ready to put your home on the market. Address these items ahead of time to mitigate your risk of costly long term repairs.