Fewer houses are being built than in past decades, suggesting that the best way to get the home you want is to upgrade your existing abode. However, it can be overwhelming for homeowners to know where to start.
Popular advice usually just cashes-in on current trends rather than giving solid, value-based wisdom.
Thankfully, most home design and real estate experts agree on the basics of boosting the value of your home. If a lavish budget isn't in your future, smarter home layouts or room updates can be yours.
Read on to see what improvements are providing the best value for even those with modest bank accounts.
Freshen up the kitchen
Marble countertops and high spec accessories may have that traditionally "luxury" feel, but most homeowners don't get back the return on the cost of these overpriced updates.
Instead, focus on how a fresh, high-quality coat of paint can add class to the area. Since kitchens have relatively little wall area exposed, it won't take more than a gallon or two to make a difference.
For extra flash that holds resale value, bump up the eco-factor of your appliances by investing in new energy-efficient models. Many home stores sell them in a value bundle offering microwave, range, and fridge together for a discount.
Add style to the bathroom
Many bathrooms have almost unlimited potential to add upgrades, but not all ideas are worth the investment. Avoid spa or whirlpool tubs, which are expensive to maintain and not as popular with younger generations.
Instead, focus on the details. Replacing worn-out towel racks and shower heads with brushed steel finishes can create a stylish look for not much money.
Ensuring that moisture is adequately vented with a high-powered, efficient ceiling light and fan combo will protect your home from moisture and can give the room a modern appeal.
Tackle the worst first
Since finances will be a consideration, it's best to pick your battles. If shag carpeting or dark panelled walls are killing the vibe of a room and making it hard to feel at home, take care of those burdens first, then move on.
Deal with items that are in disrepair before replacing things that are outdated, but still functional. Move through the house, room by room, making improvements as you can afford it. The little things you can do will indeed make a difference.
The illusion of space
This is essential to adding more value if you've got less square footage. To help make small areas roomier, go for muted details so as not to overwhelm the eye. For the kitchen, opt for minimalism, and shiny surfaces to make the room feel bigger.
Other ways to make the most of a tiny room include choosing furniture that folds down when not in use and picking flooring that creates the appearance of being more than it is. Using patterned flooring can make your room look longer or wider than it really is, if you don't want the cost of re-flooring then you can achieve a similar results with rugs and runners.
Don't forget green spaces
Even if you don't have a garden, the outside of your home should get some attention too. You can update a small patio with a modest herb garden or flowering tree. Deck railings should be secure, safe, and free of splintered wood. If any part of your outdoor habitat is an eyesore, decide if it should remain.
It is often more affordable to simplify a yard by clearing an area than to deal with the hassle of diseased trees or unsightly trellis structures. Usually a good tidy-up of your outside area can make potential buyers feel like they're not inheriting a workload.
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