Home value is top of mind for many homeowners, particularly as the housing market begins to show early signs of recovery from the recent downturn. Renovations and remodeling can play a critical role in both increasing the value of a home and ensuring that it stands out to potential buyers.
At a time when most consumers are looking to do more with less, few homeowners may be ready to commit the thousands of dollars it can take to fully redo even a single room.
Coldwell Banker Home Source advises homeowners to check out free online tools that can help them chart their home remodeling efforts or speak with one of their real estate professionals to learn more about specific home improvements that most appeal to buyers in their area of the country.
The professionals at Coldwell Banker Home Source suggest the following eight affordable home improvements for potentially increasing the overall value of a home, without breaking the budget:
Reface Kitchen Cabinets. Kitchen updates are among the smartest remodeling projects when it comes to “upping” the resale value of a home. But homeowners do not need to spring for an entire new cabinet set to improve the room’s appeal. Re-facing existing cabinets, applying a fresh coat of paint or replacing tarnished pulls and knobs with new hardware might be just the quick fix a kitchen needs to make it look and feel like new.
Improve the Lighting. Updating lights and lighting fixtures is another simple enhancement that does not require a major investment. Replacing old bulbs with stronger, more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs will brighten up the house and make it more inviting – while cutting down on energy costs over the long term. In addition, replacing recessed lights in a dining or living room with an affordable chandelier or installing accent lighting to draw attention to artwork or other room features can create an entirely fresh ambiance.
Freshen up a Fan. An updated ceiling fan can give a room a more contemporary feel, but purchasing a new one isn’t always a necessity when looking to upgrade. Improving an existing fan is simpler than homeowners might think and does not have to come at a high price. First, try unscrewing the fan blades and turning them over. Typically, blades have alternate colors or patterns on the reverse side. If not, simply add a coat of paint and reattach. One can even install new pull chains to complete the look as well as match the fan accents to new lighting fixtures or cabinet hardware.
Hang More Mirrors. It sounds simple, but the addition of a mirror on any wall adds depth and light to a room, making even the smallest space seem larger. Mirrors also add elegance and charm to a home’s décor, and often at a reasonable price.
Break Out the Paint Brushes. Applying a couple coats of paint can make a remarkable difference and is always a low-cost, high-return project. Coldwell Banker Home Source recommends a warm, neutral wall color that can make a room seem more spacious, create a more modern feel and appeal to a wider variety of buyers.
Install Laminate Flooring. Even if the cost of hardwood or tile floors is out of the question, for under $5 per square foot, homeowners can easily install laminate flooring in their kitchens, hallways and bathrooms – provided that floors are level with those in adjacent rooms. Laminate flooring can hide chipped tiles or old linoleum and give the room a more modern feel.
Refinish Your Appliances. Purchasing brand new matching appliances can cost thousands of dollars. However, for a few hundred dollars, an appliance refinisher can re-enamel the surfaces of appliances covering up any outdated colors that may be ruining the look of your kitchen.
Spruce up Your Home’s Exterior. When planning to put money into a house, homeowners should not overlook simple exterior renovations that can add substantial worth and attract more buyers. A freshly-mowed lawn, a clean, even walkway and a few well-placed bushes can make a huge difference. If you don’t have a green thumb, consider hiring a landscaper on a one-time basis to plant some shrubs or give the front yard a good cleanup.
* Homeowners who are not comfortable taking on a home improvement project themselves should always hire a qualified professional.