Cheap Upgrades That Boost Your Home's Value

Megan Van Schaick

home repairAsk any real estate expert and they’ll tell you a few of the basic things you can do to boost the value of your home:

  • Add a deck
  • Add an extra room
  • Redo the kitchen
  • Upgrade all your appliances
  • Finish your basement
  • Add a bathroom

Those are some pretty heavy-duty projects -- and not just in workload. They are financial monsters!

Great if you can afford to do them, or if the pay-off is actually worth the investment. It just doesn’t make sense to put a new, $100K kitchen into a home that you only paid $100K for. You’ll never make your money back on the project.

But that doesn’t mean that you are completely out of luck. There are some fairly simple, low-cost upgrades you can make that will pay off when it’s time to sell the house -- and many of them you can do yourself.

Backsplash -- Adding a custom backsplash can totally change the look of your kitchen. When people see glass or tile instead of paint or linoleum, they feel they are in a more expensive place. If you play your cards right, you can install it for under $200.

Closets -- Experts recommend adding closets, but sometimes that’s just not an option. So work with what you have: install nice shelving (no wire, please!) and great lighting so people can really see the whole closet. Paint the inside a bright white, and you’ve made your closets much more appealing.

Bathroom -- So you can’t put in a new one or totally renovate an old one .... What you can do is pick a few things that will make a huge impact. Pull up the linoleum or outdated tile and put down new, modern tile. Paint the room a soothing neutral. You’ve instantly made your bathroom look spendy.

Update fixtures -- Brass is so, sooo painfully '80s. You don’t have to change every doorknob in your house, but if you update lights and fans in the family room, master bedroom, and kitchen, you’ll go a long way toward selling your house. (And if you can’t afford the new fixtures, break out the spray paint!)

Paint and clean -- It doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade at first glance, but you will be stunned at the difference in your home once it’s been deep cleaned (including carpet) and had a fresh coat of paint. And buyers will notice the difference as well, making this option the one that gives you the most bang for your buck.


Image via Eye of Einstein/Flickr

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