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Whether you're thinking of selling or just want to make it more enjoyable, making improvements to your home can be costly. So what can be done on a budget to improve curb appeal, redecorate, and increase your return without breaking the bank?
There are plenty of things you need to consider that may seem small, but really add up in the eyes of potential buyers or guests, no matter which group you are intent upon pleasing!
Cleanliness is Paramount
Both inside and out, scrub your home to a high shine. So many homeowners fall into the trap of painting over filthy walls, laying carpet atop damaged hardwood floors, or mulching over weeds in the vain hope it will 'choke them out'.
These measures will indeed come back to haunt you. Before you can decide what to change, the house must sparkle. Don't forget the windows, baseboards, and ceilings indoors, and the planting beds and the perimeter of the property outside.
Once everything is scrubbed, you can then begin your to-do list.
Making a List
View your home with a critical eye. Are any of your outlet covers or switch plates cracked, missing, or permanently stained? Are your faucets leaking? Do any of your windows need new panes, locks, or screens?
Do a thorough walk-through and note every displeasing detail. Depending on how meticulously you keep your home, the list may be large or small. Don't judge yourself too harshly.
Once your list is complete, sit down with a marker and highlight any repairs you feel confident doing yourself.
Research these online for the needed materials and tackle them until they are all completed. Hire a licensed contractor to handle the rest. Should you decide to paint and are selling, choose a neutral shade.
Now that your home is sparkling and maintained, look around at the piles of possessions. Almost every home has them. That mess in the garage. The bulging hall closet. The basement out of Silence of the Lambs.
Grab some trash bags and get rid of it, either by donating unwanted items, setting them out for trash collection, or a bit of both methods. Hold a yard sale. Call the Paralyzed Veterans Association. Pare down and get rid of anything you don't need or want in your home.
Add Visual Appeal
Now that you've pared down, it's time to add, but do not overdo this step! Add a few plantings outside and perhaps a few tasteful ornaments. No, plastic flamingos are not tasteful. Inside, consider adding textiles. If the couches and chairs in the living areas don't look so hot, add slipcovers.
Buy a colorful new bedspread. Consider new draperies, art, or accent pieces. All of these items will add to the appearance of the house, yet can be taken with you if you are angling to sell.
By following this plan of action, you can make your house market-ready at a bare minimum of expense. Presenting an immaculate, refreshed home is far more important and likely to result in a sale than the fanciest house with obvious deferred maintenance or grubby decor.
Brian Simpson is an experienced property investor. He knows the value of home improvements and has advised many clients on simple changes that can add value to a property. These can include anything from a small amount of redecoration to the installation of a modern electric fire suite. He believes in finding the right strategy for any property.
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