You’re paying your mortgage while still shelling out for student loans (in middle age) while also sinking any extra cash into a college fund for your kids. In other words, you’re sick of spending money, and you’re looking forward to seeing some of it grow. But how? One strategy is by doing DIY repairs that will not only add value to your home, but also give it a face-lift. So, if you’re thinking about going that route, here are a few tips for low-cost renovations that could potentially post a return on your efforts.
What’s it Worth?
Before you get out the hammers and pliers, though, figure out how much your home is worth, so that you know how much value you could potentially add with upgrades. The general consensus is that your house is not worth what you paid for it, or how much you’re asking for it. It’s worth however much someone is willing to pay you for it. Be sure to run the comparisons to gauge how your house stacks up with the ones around it. Once you crunch the numbers, you can budget what you can expect to make back on the money you put into your projects.
Free Home Improvements
If you’re handy, or simply willing to put in work, you’re in luck: Many improvements that boost your property’s appeal are free. Maybe the most integral one is just to declutter. Even if your house’s asking price is a cool $1,000,000, prospective buyers will find it hard to imagine themselves living in it if it’s a mess. Keeping the kitchen counters wiped down, and picking up the toys or books or rumpled blankets, will open up the rooms and create the sense of having more square footage to offer. Feel free to hire a cleaning service, of course, but you can always fill a mop bucket and scrub the house from basement to attic yourself, if you want to save a service fee.
Cheap Home Improvements
Ever wonder what cheap home improvements (under $200) will nudge up your home’s value even more? Here are just some ideas: Install spiffy shelving in your closet. Replace the light fixtures in your bathroom. Paint each room a hue to give it a bright, open feel. Also, up your lawn-care game. Mow the yard. Plant a dogwood tree. Edge the perimeter of your garden. And then plant that garden, under the dogwood tree with variegated beauties such as blue hostas, red hot poker or pink astilbe that flower in the shade.
DIY Improvements to Avoid Expensive Costs
Another project you can tackle yourself is refinishing the hardwood floor. Sanding, recoating and testing for adhesion is a process, for sure – but a process that shouldn’t go longer than a weekend. And whatever you spend on a roller tray, a paintbrush, a putty knife and a shop vacuum should save you the expense that paying someone to do all the work for you would incur.
Not all of us can be handy, but all that most of these projects require is some grit, a few tools and a willingness to sweat. Plus, DIY renovations not only save you hundreds – nay, thousands – but help you get acquainted with the bones of your house, so that as you watch it transform, you appreciate it all the more.
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