Budget-Friendly Home Updates That Add Value


Considering a major home-improvement project If the home is new to you, it’s best to live in the property for at least a year before embarking on any big changes. That’s about how long it takes to learn all the quirks of a house, to understand its limitations, appreciate its strengths, and see how it responds to all four seasons.


Once you decide to move forward with a project, take time to consider not only the near-term benefits for you and your family, but also the potential for a future payoff when you sell, The trick is to do something that wither dramatically improves the function of a space, lowers operating costs, or provides a more updated look and feel.


Bathroom and kitchen remodels are often held up as excellent examples of improvement projects that add significant, lasting value to a home, those rooms are used so heavily that just about any well-implemented improvement will be appreciated by a potential buyer. But there are many other value-added improvement projects that cost far less money.


Here are nine examples for your consideration;


Upgrades for energy savings

Some of the smartest home-improvement investments you can make are energy-focused; buying a more energy-efficient furnace, adding insulation to the attic or walls, repairing heating ductwork, even just installing a programmable thermostat. Not only will those changes make life at home more comfortable, they’ll also reduce your energy bills by 10, 20, even 60 percent. Better still, a recent survey discovered that nine out of 10 home buyers will choose a home with lower utility bills, even if the other option is priced two to three percent less.


Window coverings

One of the nice things about updating your window coverings (blinds, curtains, etc.) is that you don’t need to include all the windows in the house in the project. In fact, you can focus your efforts on just one room this year, and another room next year.


Fireplace install

Fireplaces deliver instant ambience to any room-which is why 39 percent of home buyers call this an essential and highly desirable feature. Today, you can choose from a wide variety of attractive models that are small, affordable and energy-efficient. Some come as “inserts” that can fe fitted into an existing fireplace, while others can be installed anywhere that there’s access to an exterior wall.


New molding

Adding molding is an easy way to add elegance to your home, and give depth, definition and character to just about any room.  In many cases, this is a relatively simple and inexpensive do-it-yourself project: just make sure the style of the molding matches the style of your home.


Cabinet makeover

Instead of replacing those bathroom or kitchen cabinets – a project that can cost thousands- see what a difference new handles, hinges and pulls can make. If those don’t change things up enough, consider painting or refinishing the cabinets. Another option is to keep the current cabinet bodies but have the doors replaced (a.k.

Patio or deck project

Outdoor entertaining is all the rage today, which is why decks and patios are so popular with both homeowners and home buyers. Plus, these projects allow you to increase the living space of your home without having to invest in an expensive addition. The typical return on investment for a new deck: 80 percent of the money you spend to build it.


Ceiling fans

Ceiling fans are back in vogue, and of much better quality today. Adding one of these to the living room or a bedroom not only makes a decorative statement, it also helps air circulate (moving heated air down from the ceiling in winter; and creating a cooling breeze during summer). Choose one of the higher-quality, Energy Star-rated models, which are quieter and more efficient.


Home security improvements

Installing a home security system, or improving the one you have can deliver a financial payback right away in the form of a 15 to 20 percent discount on your home insurance, as well as make your home more desirable to future buyers (50 percent of whom say a security system is key)


New organizing solutions

Most homeowners feel they have too much stuff. Yet, they’re loath to get rid of anything. That’s why adding storage and organizing solutions can make your home more manageable and more desirable to future buyers. Many off-the-shelf storage systems are available, but some of the best solutions are small construction projects that make better use of existing space (under the stairs, in the attic, hanging from the garage rafters etc.).


Whatever project(s) you decide to pursue, the key is to keep the desires of future buyers in mind. Even when the demand for homes is high and the number of available properties is low, people can still be very selective.