Low Budget, High Impact Updates

Low Budget, High Impact Updates

Thinking of selling your home? It’s a good idea to take a look around and see where you can make a few updates to help it sell faster. Unless you are a Martha Stewart level Pinterest queen, (and if you are, we salute you!) there are probably a few places in your home that are in need of a little sprucing up. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a big difference. Here are a few ways you can get serious bang for your upgrade buck. 


A good coat of paint in a neutral color is probably the best way to create a major visual change without a lot of work or expense. If your walls are scuffed and marked from years of wear, or your entire home is painted in bright colors you love but might not appeal to a wide audience of buyers, it’s time for a trip to Home Depot. It can be very hard for some buyers to mentally get past the lime green master bathroom and fluorescent pink child’s bedroom, no matter how much they like the overall structure of the home. Painting is relatively inexpensive and makes the whole house look fresh and new. 


It’s incredible how much different the same house can look with no landscaping or shabby landscaping in front compared to beautiful, well-maintained flower beds. If you have any landscaping plants that are dead or sickly, pull them out and replace them with something hardy and easy to maintain. Add flowers in cheerful hues, lay out new mulch, and consider adding a decorative border around the flower beds. Of course, be sure to keep the lawn neatly mowed and edged, bushes trimmed, and beds free of weeds. There’s no need too go crazy and get a landscape architect to come out and redo your entire yard for thousands of dollars. (Save that for your new home, if you want!) but a trip to the garden center can transform the first impression potential buyers get from your home. You’ll definitely want to finish this project before your realtor has professional photos of your home done for the listing. After all, the first photo of the house most potential buyers will see is the exterior shot with the yard, so you want the yard to look great!


Are your cabinets or plumbing fixtures a “dated” color? Painting cabinets and changing fixtures transforms the look of a bathroom or kitchen dramatically. Just like the paint you chose for the wall, choose a neutral color that will appeal to a majority of buyers. Grey is very popular right now, and white is always a safe choice for a clean look. If you are going to DIY your cabinet makeover, make sure you use the correct type of paint. Most painted cabinets are done in oil paint, which is more durable, but more expensive than latex. If you paint over oil paint with latex, it will peel like a bad sunburn and look terrible almost immediately. You can paint over oil paint with other oil paint without stripping the old paint, but it’s really a good idea to sand and prime before repainting cabinetry, no matter what type of paint you are using. It seems that certain metal finishes go through periods of intense popularity for bathroom fixtures, and when that period is over, they look very dated. For example, the oil-rubbed bronze of the early 2000’s or shiny brass of the 1980’s make it very obvious to anyone looking when your bathroom was last redone. Chrome and brushed nickel are somewhat more timeless styles, and we recommend one of these if you’re choosing new fixtures and faucets. 


Finally, first impressions count a lot when shopping for a home, so you may want to start your updates right at the front door! Brightly-hued front doors are all the rage at the moment, and can be done from start to finish in a few hours with minimal materials. I know, we’ve been pushing neutral colors all day, but this is one place it’s ok to make an exception. The exterior of the front door should coordinate with the house, but doesn’t really have to match anything inside, so feel free to use that vibrant red or gorgeous sea blue you love, provided it goes well with the exterior paint or brick of your home. While you’re at it, take a close look at the door knobs, too. If the knob jams, sticks, or wiggles, replace it with one that operates smoothly and feels solid. If your door features glass panels, they should be clean and bright. The front door is the first thing prospective buyers will see, so make sure to impress them right off the bat.


With these updates, you’ll get a better price of your home and be able to sell it faster, without breaking the bank on major renovations. Save that money for the Viking range of your dreams in your new home, or a post-closing Caribbean vacay instead! You deserve it. 



Source: Photo via HGTV.com