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10 Easiest Home Upgrades to Increase House Value

By David Glenn

Whether planning to sell the house, have it rented out, or simply for personal satisfaction, a little renovation and upgrade is always necessary to help increase its market value. In order to boost a house’s value in the market, it is first important to learn what prospective buyers or tenants are searching for in a house. For most homeowners, the biggest concern is usually the budget required for upgrade, renovation and home maintenance.

The great news is that there’s no need to spend thousands of dollars for home improvements. Just follow these 10 tips for the best home upgrades to add value.

1. Knock down a wall and go for open concept.

Not only will it create an illusion of a bigger space, but it is a home design trend that is very much in demand today. Just make sure to have the wall assessed for possible electrical wires housed behind it before hitting it with a sledge hammer.

homedit.com

homedit.com

2. Make the kitchen area workable.

This means making the kitchen area a functional place where you can actually cook a decent meal. Update faucets, fix leaking pipes, buff the counters and repaint cupboards and cabinets. It is not necessary to replace everything with a new kitchen system. Simply repaint worn out furniture and replace outdated knobs with modern handles to make it look more expensive.

shutterstock_254969464

3. Brighten up the bath.

Bathrooms are among the most important considerations for many tenants and prospective home buyers so it is pertinent to get this area of the house right. Buff up the tiles and replace the faucets, shower heads and toilet seats. There’s no need to replace all the tiles, just those that are cracked and chipped. The trick is to find the right cleaning agent that can help whiten the tiles to make it look good as new.

centsationalgirl.com

centsationalgirl.com


4. Add more storage.

If there’s an extra wall or area of the house that does not seem to have any function, add in a laminate closet system or have a carpenter install small built-in cabinets, racks or pantries. Making every extra space of the house functional will help make it look more livable.

cotedetexas.blogspot.com

cotedetexas.blogspot.com

5. Turn that extra space into an extra room.

A house with a lot of rooms will always look impressive when advertised in the market. If the house has a huge attic, a den, or extra space that can be turned into another room then by all means, fix it up to look like an additional room. Simply add in a built-in closet and a window and it should be good to accommodate.

apartmenttherapy.com

apartmenttherapy.com


6. Update the lighting system.

Still using an old chandelier or unflattering fluorescent lamps? Hire an electrician to place some decorative lighting fixtures or dimmers that will give the house a more modern feel and mask any unflattering curves on the walls and ceilings.

cedarhillfarmhouse.com

cedarhillfarmhouse.com


7. Buff the floors.

The moment a buyer or tenant steps inside the front door the first thing they will notice are the floors. Tiled or hardwood floors need to be buffed till it sparkles. Carpeted floors need a touch of professional carpet cleaning to make it look, smell and feel brand new. Hiring professional cleaners is a small investment compared to the big impact it will make.

ehow.com

ehow.com

8. Apply a fresh coat of paint.

Paint the walls or replace an uncharacteristic door with a rustic barn door. Choose modern color palettes to give the house a fresh new look.

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9. Add outdoor dining furniture in the front lawn or backyard.

These areas can become extended living and dining areas.

hayneedle.com

hayneedle.com

10. Hire an electrical and plumbing service to look at the overall state of the house.

It is much better to catch the problems early on than find out much later when the problem has already worsened such as replacing the entire plumbing system or rewiring the entire house.

qlook.bz

qlook.bz

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate tips and tricks for you and your clients.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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Kitchen Design Goes Global!

Every great kitchen starts with great design. Whether you favor contemporary or traditional styles, kitchen trends today draw inspiration from global sources. You can incorporate all different cultural influences from around the world while balancing the practical needs of your family. To add worldly flair to your kitchen, start by:

Getting Fancy with Flooring

Certain materials establish a regional look because they are widely available in that region. In India, where quarries make natural stones easily affordable, kitchens commonly feature floors of glossy marble or other stone. Ceramic tile is abundant in Spain, and a wide variety of styles are available to create the underpinning for any regionally-inspired kitchen design.

shutterstock_70741252

Paving the Way with Walls

Kitchens around the world have signature design elements when it comes to walls. Wood paneling is a hallmark of English country kitchens, while modern Japanese kitchens, which are often limited in space, are made to look larger with walls of floor-to-ceiling windows. And arches and bright tile accents lend themselves to Mexican design.

whitewebb.com

whitewebb.com

Opening Up with Cabinetry

The material and color you choose for your cabinets will play a defining role in the overall appearance of your kitchen. Flat white or frosted glass doors can impart a very modern, European flair, while distressed woods in rustic hues create a Tuscan effect.

charlottegranitetops.com

charlottegranitetops.com

Coloring Your World

Specific colors are tied to certain world cultures, regions and locations – walls in a soft mandarin paired with burgundy window treatments can build an Asian-inspired backdrop, and Aegean blue and sand backsplash tiles speak of a subtle Mediterranean influence.

thekitchn.com

thekitchn.com

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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5 Easy-to-Tackle Remodels to Update a Tired Kitchen

By Shelley Little 

Renovating the kitchen can return huge dividends in your enjoyment of a home, and much of the project can pay for itself when you decide to sell (Remodeling Magazine estimates a 66% return on major kitchen remodels).

But a smaller investment in your kitchen could return even more. If the average home in your neighborhood sells for $250K, it may not make sense to drop $50K on a kitchen overhaul, but there’s a better chance of recouping a $10K facelift.

Here a few minor kitchen remodeling projects that focus on upgrading what is already there, providing a new look and (hopefully) a return on investment. Best of all, you don’t have to eat take-out for months while these remodels are underway:

Cabinet refacing

Do you like the current layout of your kitchen? Is the overall shape and internal quality of your cabinets appealing, but they look tired and outdated? If you answered yes, then cabinet refacing is a great option for you.

With cabinet refacing, the cabinet doors and drawer fronts are replaced, while the existing cabinet boxes may be veneered. In mere days, cabinet refacing gives your kitchen a whole new look without gutting it or buying pricey new cabinets. The cost of cabinet refacing, depending on surface material (laminate, wood veneer, etc.) ranges from $1,000 to $9,000 for a 120 square foot kitchen, as opposed to $4,000 up to $20,000 for entirely new cabinets in the same space.

1 Cabinet Refacing

New Lighting

A brightly lit kitchen makes for a more welcoming and functional space. Consider replacing recessed lights with impactful pendant lighting. There are conversion kits that allow you to quickly and easily convert recessed lights to pendants or chandeliers in mere minutes. These offer stylish solutions for the space over kitchen islands or sink areas. If you already have pendant lighting installed, mimic some design professionals by upgrading to a large drum shade.

2 Lighting

Paint cabinets

Painted cabinets are very on-trend at the moment, with most homeowners opting for a different color island, or lower cabinets painted in a different color than the upper ones. If your budget is very tight, painting is a great temporary kitchen remodel idea until you decide to reface or replace your cabinets.

3 Paint Cabinets

Upgrade appliances

According to CBS Money Watch, 65% of remodelers are currently incorporating stainless steel appliances into their projects. But here’s the thing with appliance upgrades—you often can’t take them with you when you move, because the new buyers want them. You have to regard these upgrades as a perk you can enjoy while living in the residence, but not one you get to keep. You do get to keep the return on investment, however, and those shiny appliances will certainly appeal to buyers.

4 Appliances

New Countertops

Granite and quartz are all the rage in modern kitchens, but even a stylish new laminate design can transform a room. There is also a more recent trend to mix and match kitchen counter materials, with the island featuring more unique materials such as reclaimed wood or steel. Choose a style that you love, but always consider how long a trend will last. You don’t want to get caught in a case of stylistic depreciation and eventually detract potential homebuyers.

5 Countertops

If you’re considering a minor kitchen remodel, be sure to do your homework first. You want to avoid spending far more money than you can recoup. Cabinet refacing is a particularly great investment because it results in what looks like a complete aesthetic makeover, without the hassle of gutting your kitchen. Along with refacing, consider other small upgrades such as replacing knobs and handles, and painting walls a welcoming, light color.

 

Shelley Little writes on home design and décor for Home Depot. When Shelley isn’t busy writing, you can find her designing and decorating her own home in Iowa. To see Home Depot’s selection of cabinet refinishing in-home options, visit the company’s website.

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