What people ask for has nothing to do with the value of a property. You might see a listing for $300,000 and think you should make a $250,000 bid. But hyper-focus on what the house is worth. You should know what the house is worth by looking at comparable properties. Base your bid on that.
The joy is in the getting there. The beginning years of starting your business, the camaraderie when you're in the pit together, are the best years of your life. So rather than being so focused on when you get big and powerful, if you can just get the juice out of that... don't miss it.
You may not like the idea of putting money into a home when you're moving out. But it's demanded by the market. You need to show it off. You don't have to rip out the kitchen and bathroom. But maybe replace the tiles or the countertops. Get professional advice.