Give Your Home A Facelift: Home Improvement Projects for Less Than $500

Reprinted from RIS  Media Housecall

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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.

Paint Power

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 While you’re at it, look up, do you have that outdated popcorn ceiling?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.

Borrow Ideas

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.

New Fixtures

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.

About marilynsellshollisterrealestate

I am a native Californian born in Los Angeles and have resided in San Benito County since January 30, 1959. I attended the University of Southern California. I am a licensed Real Estate Broker, license #00409787, active for almost 45 years. I started my career in 1972 and still am totally committed to the highest level of service to my clients. I am currently associated with Intero Real Estate Services. I am Past President of the San Benito Association of Realtors, serving in the role on numerous occasions. I was a Director of the California Association of Realtors for over 18 years, having served on numerous committees. I also served 2 terms representing the California Association of Realtors at the National level, NAR. I am a certified SRES (Senior Real Estate specialist), since 2005. My community involvement has included membership in the Hollister Rotary Club, serving as their first woman President in 2002. In the late 1960's, I became a member of the El Torillo Chapter of Children's Home Society, and served as President, and was also President of the Tri-County Council of CHS, which is today Kinship Center, and I am currently a Senior Active. I am a member of the San Benito Chamber of Commerce. From 2002-2008, I served on the Board of the Hollister Downtown Association and was their President from 2006-2007, and still serve on sub-committees of this organization. And, I am currently serving my 3rd term on the Community Foundation. My record of performance and my reputation have made me who I am in the industry. I am a household name in San Benito County, when you think of Real Estate. My name is recognized not only in Hollister, but in our neighboring counties, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties. I have been involved in land development, marketed several subdivisions, sold ranches, commercial leasing, bank-owned properties, short sales and own a Property Management Company, Hollister Rental Properties, for more than 35 years. I am proud of my sales record and for the majority of my career I have been in the top 1% of major Real Estate Companies including Van Vleck Realtors, Cornish and Carey, Contempo, Seville-Contempo, Century 21, Coldwell Banker and finally Intero Real Estate services for the last 15 years. Using my skills in negotiating, mediation and transaction closure, during 2010 and 2011, I was involved with the City of Hollister's First Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program. The program was the City's Redevelopment Agency, under Bill Avera, with the assistance of CJ Valenzuela who was working with the County of San Benito. CHISPA, a non-profit, was responsible for restoring homes to equal to new condition that the City had taken back in foreclosure, or that they had acquired. When the homes were restored, we put them on the Multiple Listing Service and we went out and promoted the City's Down Payment Assistance Program. Buyers were screened and qualified by our preferred lenders. I facilitated workshops for First Time Buyers explaining the programs. I negotiated the contracts for the City of Hollister and with the Buyers. With this program, I closed 2 homes in 2010, and 4 homes in 2011. On a personal note, I am married to Richard Ferreira, a retired General Contractor/Developer. We have a combined family of six daughters, six grandsons and 3 granddaughters. We share commons interests in travel, movies, entertaining, and Richard has picked up my love of cooking. Our spare time is spent with family and enjoying our grandchildren.
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