Real Estate (MP) Upgrading your home can cost you more than a few pennies. However, If you want to keep the value of your home, home improvement is the way to go. Some dollars stretch more than others. And if you’re on a limited budget, it becomes even more important to spend those dollars wisely.
Here are six affordable (under $1,000) improvement projects that’ll help you more enjoy your home and provide an excellent financial return in the future.
Best Home Improvement Ideas
Low Budget Kitchen Remodels
For the budget conscious homeowner: you don’t have to spend $50,000 to upgrade your kitchens; instead, use what’s known as “builder-grade luxury” model. What’s that? Glad you asked. You just replace basic black appliances with stainless steel, for example, and get rid the laminate countertops in favor of granite. Yes, these home ideas might sound pricey, and you could spend a pretty penny on appliances and granite, but builder-grade improvements stop far short of those over-the-top luxuries. So make your decisions with a frugal mind: pick out one of the more affordable granite countertops (such as Napoli, Baltic Brown, or St. Cecilia), for your remodel. The cost to upgrade appliances and/or countertops will vary within the four-digit range. But to keep these upgrades within a budget, try to find a deeply discounted appliance outlet near you.
Also, try upgrading your appliances, shelving, refinish or repaint your cabinets and add updated hardware (such as new hinges and drawer pulls), which can transform the look of the room for less than $100. Choose colors and styles that are likely to appeal to the widest range of home buyers and make them feel as if they’ve walked right into their dream kitchen. For more kitchen upgrade ideas, check out Lowes.
Upgrade the bathroom
The bathroom is one of the smallest spaces in the house; it can easily become inundated with stuff, especially since we tend to accumulate more than enough towels, makeup, and toiletries over the years. Instead of leaving a cluttered mess on your countertop, try a large vanity and plenty of bathroom storage, including trays, baskets, and shelves.
Most basic upgrades will start with replacing old, pastel, 3-by-3 ceramic tile like white subway-style ceramic or 12-by-12 porcelain tiles in a neutral hue. Replacing your plastic tub surround with a tiled shower costs about $1,000 but makes a big difference, and for an extra $100 to $150, you can also add a built-in wall niche (recessed alcove) for toiletries. As with a kitchen remodel, consider which changes will have maximum impact. You may not need to replace that old pedestal sink. Instead, you could change out the faucet — upgrade it from nicked brass or sleek new chrome — and hang luxurious towels on them. The same goes for mixed matched floor tiles; choose a paint color that will enhance it rather than clash with it. Make sure the colors and styles you choose are as universally appealing as possible so buyers see the bathroom they know they can live with. And again, clean your bathroom from top to bottom.
Use neutral colors
Picking the right paint color is a concern that causes frustration for many. Paint is relatively simple to apply or change, but the wrong color can turn a buyer off from the entire house. To prevent this, many real estate professionals recommend painting your home in the below neutral colors:
White is one of the safest, and most popular colors, to paint the exterior. According to one survey, nearly 40 percent of those questioned liked white. For one thing, white can make your house look larger. White also soaks up the light in a shady yard and is also clean-looking. One of the nice things about white is that you can paint the trim with a color that makes the entire house pop.
Beige is a safe, neutral, light color to paint the exterior of a home. According to one survey, beige, along with tan and brown, is the second most popular exterior color behind white Waller and Oliver. A beige house is conservative and can blend in well with wood and landscaped areas. Although you might think beige is dull and boring, it will take on some of the attributes of the trim color, especially greens. However, beige might not work on or inside all home designs.
When it comes to interior colors, Earth tones, including shades of brown, green, blue, orange, and some reds and tans depict the colors in nature, and they’re warm and inviting colors for living rooms and dining rooms. Because they’re flat and muted, they’re soothing and relaxing and work well with most colors and tones. Earth tones also complement rooms with a lot of wood, stone, metal or glass.
Coffee, in all of its shades and textures, is a popular Earth tone that is a great match for stained hardwood floors, wicker furniture, and rattan. Coffee colors are also the kind of colors that can be accented with forest greens, muted reds and touches of white. Just think of your home’s color palette as an important backdrop to a canvas for your furnishings and decorations and you’ll do fine.
Flooring your visitors
Like paint, quality flooring can drastically change the look and feel of your home. Kitchens and baths gain value with tile or laminate flooring, which are very appealing and easy to clean. Hardwood will always appeal to buyers as well as high-quality laminate options and eco-friendly choices like bamboo and cork. If your home already has hardwood floor hidden under carpeting,
it’s time they get a good sanding and refinishing. Whether you rent a sander machine or pay someone to refinish, you’re looking at saving a few hundred dollars for new floors.
Carpeting is still acceptable in bedrooms, especially if it’s plush, in great condition, and in a neutral color. But more and more buyers are turning away from carpeting altogether, so if you’re in doubt about whether to replace your carpets or install different flooring, hardwood (or its more affordable cousin, bamboo) is your best bet. Even a basic snap-to hardwood installation can beat out wall-to-wall carpeting when it comes to home improvement.
Your home is a stage
Staging your home helps buyers imagine themselves living there, and it’s also a relatively inexpensive way to dress up features you’re trying to highlight. The first step – clear the entire home of any clutter and remove any personal touches like family photos or children’s artwork.
1. Arranged furniture in a way that flows well and maximizes space — you don’t want buyers feeling claustrophobic. In each room, place furniture so it feels inviting and functional — just because you can’t live without a footstool next to your bed for Fluffy to climb on doesn’t mean it should stay there when your home is on the market.
2. Living room – seating and tables can be configured into social and conversational areas, while placing an armchair in an empty bedroom nook will frame it as a cozy reading spot.
3. Bright lighting will make spaces seem larger and enhance your decor and artwork.
5. If you can, bring in a professional home stager or interior designer to consult on ideal room arrangements. Otherwise, use the following tips for a DIY approach. Staging your home helps buyers imagine themselves living in the space.
Spruce up curb appeal
Don’t neglect your add the exterior to your home improvement budget. If buyers don’t like what they see when they first pull up, they may not even get out of the car. To make the outside of your home appealing, ensure all walkways are clear, the landscaping is neat and tidy, and everything is in good repair. This may require more substantial repairs like repainting or replacing siding, fixing loose shutters, and sealing those cracks in the driveway. Or it could be as simple as mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, and planting a few colorful annuals to make sure nothing looks bare. Add one or two final touches, like a new welcome mat, new or repainted mailbox, updated house numbers, and an outdoor seating area with festive lights. Your home will feel extra inviting from the start — and just may get a quick love at first sight offer.