In today’s economy it’s more important than ever to keep your home in tip top shape. When a home can devalue by 25% for no reason other than market conditions, it’s much worse when the home is neglected and needs repairs. Many homeowners have found themselves in situations where they needed to sell right away but had no time or money for the necessary home improvement and home remodeling projects. Don’t be one of them.
A common problem with homes is something called “functional obsolescence”. This means that it’s just plain old fashioned and out of date. It could technically be in excellent condition, but if it looks like something from the Leave it to Beaver era, it won’t sell. To prevent this from happening, tackle small projects one at a time so that you don’t have a $35,000 remodeling project facing you at the last minute when you can least afford it.
The external appearance of your home has a lot to do with how people feel about your home. If the outside is in desperate need of a coat of paint and some serious lawn work, it won’t matter how nice the inside looks. People might pull up, glance around, and leave without even seeing the beautiful antique tin ceiling in the dining room or the new counters you put in the kitchen.
Exterior painting can usually be handled on your own if your home is of average size. Certainly a ranch and many split levels won’t pose much of a problem since the tools needed such as a ladder and long paint rollers are easily acquired. However, multiple storied homes need staging, huge ladders and even power cleaners and sprayers. These jobs are best left to the prose.
Areas like bathrooms can be a problem if you aren’t experienced in tiling, cabinetry or plumbing. However, you don’t need to do a complete rehab of a bathroom in order to improve its appearance and add value to your home. Just take care of what needs to be done. Paint, maybe get new counter tops, get a new light fixture, and maybe a new sink and faucet. If you do want to remove or add tile, check out what classes are being held at your local Home Depot or other home improvement store. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible and many first timers do a great job.
Simple landscaping improvements can add thousands in value. A few bushes, some colorful plants, some edging around the walkway and maybe new mulch can turn boring and dirty into eye catching.
Add some new bushes, loam, sod, or even mulch and crushed stone outside and give your yard the curb appeal it needs. This is where your money will give you some of the biggest returns.
Take care of problems when they occur. Fix leaks, replace roof shingles, and buy updated appliances little by little. Don’t wait until you have a major problem that you can’t afford to deal with.