March 26th, 2012 12:12 PM by Eileen Denhard
Selling your home in today's market can seem like a challenge, especially if your home could use some tender loving care. But what if you just don't have it in your budget to invest thousands of dollars into a remodel? For many cash strapped homeowners this is the dilemma that keeps them awake at night.
Rest easy, there are many small projects that you can do around the house that will increase your home's value without breaking the bank. Let's take a look at 10 budget-friendly ways to increase your home's value:
By spending just a few hundred dollars on grass seed or replacement sod, new flowers, bushes, or trees, any homeowner with a shovel and some elbow grease can dramatically improve their home's curb appeal over a long weekend. For inspiration check out Landscaping.com.
If you can't afford to paint the home, how about giving it a good wash? With a ladder and an extension brush any homeowner can give their home's exterior a thorough scrub down. Don't forget to wash the screens, windows, and gutters while you're at it. And when you're done outside, move inside.
Another way to revitalize your home's exterior is to paint just the trim and front door - two items buyers' eyes are naturally drawn to when driving by your home. Just be sure that the paint is a good match to the base color and to you avoid embarrassing drips.
If you can't afford new flooring, consider steam cleaning carpets, washing or waxing laminate, hardwood or linoleum floors, and cleaning the grout on tile floors. Have a hole or permanent stain in the carpet? Consider replacing the flooring in just that room by talking to your local flooring vendor and ask about large remnants (left over materials from larger jobs that may fit smaller rooms).
Over time caulk, the silicon that protects surfaces from water seepage around plumbing fixtures, can discolor, tear, or degrade. Stripping this material out and replacing it with a fresh bead of silicon is an inexpensive way to improve both bathrooms and kitchens. Caulk now comes in different grades and colors, so be sure to shop for a product that is appropriate for the job and matches your décor.
Over the years dirt, dust, and grime work their way into the driveways and sidewalks of every home. The good news is that a few hours with a pressure washer can turn back the clock on these surfaces. A word of warning: while it might be tempting to use the same device to wash your home, don't. The high pressure stream can easily peel the paint off your home ( which is not a good selling point).
A home packed full of furniture, clothing, collections, exercise equipment, and memorabilia can cause a home to look much smaller than its actual size. Have a garage sale, rent a storage unit, or start making trips to the landfill and be sure to whittle down your home's contents to a manageable size.
Every homeowner keeps a list of the small projects that they never seem to have time to complete. Now is the time to jump on those projects. Need a gentle reminder? Replacing light bulbs throughout the home, fixing holes in doors or walls, greasing squeaky cabinets or doors, cleaning the gutters, fixing leaking plumbing fixtures, and changing the air filters would be a good start.
You can spend a fortune on lighting fixtures but you don't have to. Consider selectively changing lighting fixtures that date the home. Exterior garage lights, bathroom lights, or bedroom lights are all great choices.
A deep cleaning isn't just straightening up or rearranging the dust bunnies. It's a no holds barred war on dirt. Starting from the highest point in the home clean every single surface. Yes, you will have to move furniture, clean out closets, and lift up the couch, but the results will be well worth the effort.
Improving your home's value doesn't always have to mean taking out a second mortgage. Sometimes small projects can improve the value of your home in big ways. So roll up your sleeves, put on your gloves, and have fun!