Reprinted from RIS Media Housecall
By Kaycee Wegener, Rentec Direct
Home improvement doesn’t have to break the bank. You can freshen up the spaces in your home or investment property with a number of small projects that cost less than $500, and make you feel like you spent a lot more! Here are some basic ideas.
Painting is one of the cheapest and easiest home improvements to make. A fresh coat of paint will make any room look as good as new which is sure to add value. Choose colors that are popular to give a more modern up to date look or stick to the neutral classic colors. At around $25 a gallon paint is an inexpensive way to improve your homes desirability and is something that just about any homeowner can tackle on their own. While you’re at it, look up, do you have that outdated popcorn ceiling? Scrape that texture away to get rid of the dated looking ceilings.
Instead of hiring a designer who will inevitably give you a lot of expensive ideas such as tearing down walls or pulling up perfectly good flooring just copy what others have done. You can find all sorts of ideas in books and magazines, on interior decorating TV shows, Pinterest and other websites also provide plenty of decorating inspiration. To keep to a tight budget pick projects that can be completed yourself.
Get an Energy Audit
Take advantage of your utility company’s free energy audits to determine which improvements could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in utility costs each year. Most local utility companies will come and inspect your house for free and to top it off the improvements are generally going to have some sort of energy saving tax rebate. Having an energy efficient home is a salable improvement or, if you plan on staying in the home for the long-haul, you can put the money save toward a different home improvement.
Plant a Tree
Landscaping, such as properly placed trees and shrubs, will improve the curb appeal of your home greatly. Trees provide shade to keep the harmful rays of the sun from bleaching out your paint or heating up the inside of the house. Mature landscaping is a huge plus when trying to sell a home and is frequently sought after. When choosing which species or varieties to plant it is important to take into consideration the water and maintenance requirements of the plants. Purchasing drought tolerant plants that are slow to moderate growers will save you hours of yard work and money in the long run. Keeping the yard well maintained and not overgrown will help keep the property looking nice and tidy without investing a huge amount of money
Keep it Clean
Keeping a home clean and clutter free will leave a good impression. Get rid of the things you don’t need and “travel light.” You’ll be happy if you ever decide to sell the home that you don’t have a bunch of extraneous stuff to haul around with you or decide what to do with when you are in the middle of moving. If you are selling, it’s often difficult to make the house sparkle from top to bottom, so I would recommend hiring a cleaning service to really give the home a thorough cleaning. It’s worth the money.
Fake the Footage
Houses are often analyzed by price/square foot to help determine if it’s a good deal or not but the feel and layout of the home can make the house appear bigger than it really is. Keeping the rooms light and airy by choosing light paint, furniture and window coverings can create a feeling of extra space. Adding a large mirror can double the rooms size just by creating that mirror image. An uncluttered home will make the space look bigger and more open. Have a big garage sale to get rid of the unnecessary, dusty, clutter and put that money towards other home improvements.
Nothing dates a home like brass fixtures. Replacing old lights, faucets, door handles, etc. with updated fixtures really can change the look and feel of a home. The cost of fixtures do add up quickly so shop around and start with rooms that receive the most traffic such as bathrooms, family room and kitchen. Updating these core rooms in the home can give you the biggest impact for the money.
These small improvements can make your home more pleasant for everyday living and give you a feeling of confidence when sharing your space with guests. In addition, if you are planning to sell your home, putting the time and money into small improvements can increase the value and pay off big in the end – probably quite a bit more than $500!
Kaycee Wegener manages marketing and media relations for Rentec Direct and shares industry news, products, and trends within the community. Learn more about Kaycee at www.rentecdirect.com and on Twitter at @thatrentergirl.