Whether you plan on selling your home soon or sometime in the future, keeping it up-to-date remains an important element to homeownership. But updates take money, and you may not want to empty your bank account updating your home.
Fortunately, there are ways to make simple changes and upgrades that add value to your home. Some of the updates might require a professional, but others you can do by yourself to save some money.
Libby Pantzlaff, owner and interior design consultant at Creative Interiors by Libby in Omaha, said that interior paint colors can bring a sense of clean and fresh along with updating the color. And almost anyone can paint with some tape, rollers and brushes.
“And while you’re at it, don’t forget the exterior of your home whether it is changing trim color or a new bold color for the front door,” she said. “Also, new kitchen appliances can update the hub of your home without spending a lot of time renovating.”
These small changes can be affordable ways to increase the value of your home. The nicer your home looks when it hits the market, the more you can ask for it. Even if you aren’t planning on selling your home in the near future, renovations today could still increase the value of your home for when you’re ready to move.
Affording An Update
The smallest changes to your home could increase its value by a large amount, so if you’re planning on moving out of your home in the coming years it could be time for an update.
Many homeowners find that the best way to approach remodeling and updating a home is to get a cash-out refinance. This type of refinance lets you take some of the loan out in the form of cash to update your home.
With mortgage rates staying near low levels for the past three months, a refinance might be an affordable option that could even save you money on your current mortgage.
Countertops can add a completely new look and you can sometimes find the right material for a bargain. Granite is still a popular choice and has become more affordable over the years. In fact, a recent National Association of Home Builders study showed that granite countertops are just as desirable now as they were in 2007.
Upscale laminate is becoming another popular option, Pantzlaff said. Even Formica has come up with new graphic patterns with a mid-century flair, which is quite popular across the country. This type of laminate can be even more affordable than granite.
According to Consumer Reports’ testing of 14 countertop materials, laminate resistance against stains, heat and impact did almost as well as materials that cost much more. This means that putting in an upscale laminate can serve as a long-term solution.
However, seventy-one percent of prospective home buyers said they granite or natural stone countertops are essential.
Cupboards And Appliances Add Value
If you are updating your kitchen, it may be time to update your cabinets.
“White painted cabinets, dark stains or even specialty finishes make kitchen cabinets sing with the right combination of design,” Pantzlaff says. “Update your kitchen backsplash, too. Products come in a vast array of materials from organic pebbles to copper or stainless, exotic glass to natural stone –which may get pricey.”
If that’s out of your preferred price range, you can get a new sink if yours has stains or scratches. If not a sink, a new oven or some new handles for your cabinets can make your kitchen look like brand new.
Bathroom Sprucing Up
If you don’t want to overhaul your entire bathroom, there are some simple makeovers that are much more affordable. A fresh coat of paint is an excellent place to start
“To accent the bathroom in a spa-feel, think shiny chrome fixtures with white accents and soft wall colors,” Pantzlaff says. “Add some pebbles and glowing scented candles onto a reclaimed wood shelf near the tub for the whole spa experience.”
Many home buyers are looking for heated floors in their bathroom along with in-line heater deep-soaking tubs and towel warmers.
“Inside the showers, rain-like shower heads on the ceiling can be just enough but adding a few body sprays may be the ticket to a greater spa experience,” she adds.
Curb Appeal Matters To Home Buyers
The front door greets your guests, and it’s also one of the first things a home buyer is going to see when they come to look at your house.If your front door looks old, worn or unsafe, it could immediately make home buyers less interested.
Replacing your front door isn’t incredibly expensive, and it often goes toward increasing the value of your home.You can also paint that door to accent your house or paint it a different color to make your house stand out.
Buy a couple of big, beautiful flower pots to place on your door stoop, porch or steps. Keep them filled with ferns, plants and colorful flowers every season to give a finished and warm look to the home.
Lighting The Way
Does your home still have fluorescent lights? It might be time to update your lights with new fixtures and lamps.
You can easily find replacements at local home improvement stores or online. Lamps, pendant lights and even chandeliers can give your home a more attractive and bright feeling.
Replacing heavy, dark drapes or blinds and replacing them with more light, billowy linens can also make your home more inviting.
“Updates can bring new life to a home with simple changes,” Pantzlaff says. “Clients often say, ‘I want the wow factor’ when you visit their home.”
Sometimes that wow factor can mean a little touch up some new paint – it can make your home feel comfy, clean and modern without spending more than you’re comfortable with.