Whether you just bought a house or you have lived there for a while, the fastest way to increase your home's value is by making a plan.
You will fare better if upgrades are made intentionally and not on impulse. Home improvement projects cost about 20 to 25 cents on the dollar. The other 75 to 80 cents spent go directly back into the home through increased value.
Start slowly. It's a marathon, not a sprint. If your home is new, get to know it. If you have already been there a while, get started. List the things you want to change and the updates you would like to make. Don't worry about organization, just write it all down. Take a guess on how long you may want to live in the house. If you're planning on selling, talk to your realtor and make a selling plan.
Take the list and categorize by how much it may cost, including your time and money. Be realistic. It's OK to list an outdoor pool with a waterfall, but keep your financial picture in mind.
Once you have a categorized list, take a look and prioritize what is a real "must have" and what is more of a dream. See if you can come away with a reasonable balance.
Once you have made a plan, do research or talk to a realtor to see what sort of return those improvements may bring. Some improvements will add considerably more value to your home than others.