Whether you’re considering putting your Los Angeles home on the market or just want to get more out of your space, there’s never a bad time for a home improvement project. But before you start tearing up the yard and slinging paint on the walls, take a moment to consider whether your plans represent a good investment. After all, you don’t want to lower the value of your home.

If you’re not sure if your idea is a good one, or if you can’t come up with any ideas at all, these five investments are a great starting point for nearly any LA home.

1. Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space

One of the best things about LA living is the outdoor space; the city’s sprawl means more yard to take advantage of than you’d find in a city like New York. And that’s a good thing, as there’s nothing like being able to come home and relax in a beautiful outdoor space. It’s the perfect end to the day, and it’s a popular item on the lists of many home buyers—if you’re looking for one tip to really add value to your home, this might be it.

There are the old standbys like in-ground swimming pools and large, open patios, both of which would likely serve well in the City of Angels’ year-round warm weather. One addition that’s been more popular in recent years is an outdoor cooking area. Consider adding a grill, smoker, or even pizza oven to your patio for extra utility and value.

Don’t neglect the landscaping, either—keep the lawn well-maintained and add flowers and other plants for a pop of color.

2. Liven Up the Indoor Colors

Speaking of a pop of color, consider adding some excitement to your indoor space with a bold paint color. While you probably don’t want to paint every room a super-bright shade of green, having a room or two painted with bold-colored accent walls can really catch the eye.

You do have to be careful with this one and consider the demographic that might be buying a home in your area—not everyone will appreciate the loud colors. They tend to lend a very modern look and feel to a room, which might appeal more to a young, urban demographic.

If that doesn’t seem to fit your market, there are plenty of other interior design trends taking LA by storm. Using subtle colors with fun patterns or textures in surprising places, for instance, could be a good alternative.

3. Add Some Smart Tech

Smart tech is all the rage these days, especially in the state that gave rise to Silicon Valley. From simple speakers like the Amazon Echo to fancy fridges that keep a grocery inventory, there are gadgets for every type of homeowner. Home buyers, especially younger generations, may specifically look for smart features like thermostats, video doorbells, and lighting when house hunting.

If you want to start small, thermostats and smoke detectors from companies like Nest are relatively inexpensive (at least compared to that fridge) and add a lot of utility and value. Smart lighting may also be a nice touch—colored bulbs, in particular, can add to the wow factor during showings.

4. Go Green with Solar Panels

Los Angeles is a trendy city, and going green is definitely in style. Adding solar panels—whether to power the whole home or just a portion, like a hot water heater—can not only save you a significant amount of energy over the long haul but also give you another great selling point for the home. A solar PV system can also help an existing home compete with new builds, all of which are now required by law to include solar.

While solar-powered water heaters and other appliances can be expensive, you can usually get a tax credit back on them, which can help offset the cost. Solar power, in general, has also been getting cheaper over the years, so between the tax credits, utility savings, and added home value, this investment can easily pay for itself.

5. Get Serious About Security

A good security system can make a world of difference when it comes to peace of mind. 60% of all home burglaries in Los Angeles occur during the day, when you’re at work or out and about, and can cost thousands of dollars. A security system is a good deterrent and a great investment for any home, but they’re especially smart if you’re in an area of the city with a higher crime rate.

As for what to include in the system, door sensors and motion detectors are often the standard base equipment. Adding some cameras is probably a good idea, too, because the footage can be used to identify suspects in the event of a break-in. And don’t forget the little yard signs—these are great at making potential crooks think twice. Improvement Projects now you’re feeling inspired to invest in your home. There’s never a better time than right now, so what are you waiting for?

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