Budget-Friendly Home Improvements That Provide The Best Return on Your Investment

There are many reasons homeowners decide to upgrade, update, or renovate their homes.

Some want to make their home more appealing or functional for them while they live there, but they want to be sure any updates they make will improve the value of their home. Whatever your reason is, the changes you make to your home can serve both purposes: make it more what you want it to be and increase its value so you can command a higher price should you decide to put it on the market. Before making any decisions, you should consider the cost versus the value and decide if it is a worthy investment.

Start with Planning

Before starting any remodel or upgrade projects, you should start out with a clear path or plan on what you want to accomplish and how you will get it done. Don’t rush into anything without thinking about important factors like how long you plan to live in your home and what you can realistically accomplish based on your financial situation. If you are planning to sell your home, you should talk to your realtor and get their advice.

The Kitchen

Your kitchen is considered to be the heart of the home and definitely a room that should be given extra attention. There are many ways you can make improvements to your kitchen without completely gutting it out and starting over with all new appliances, fixtures, and flooring. More modest updates will still be a good return on your investment. A minor kitchen remodel will recoup 80 percent of its cost, according to Remodeling Magazine, while a major midrange kitchen remodel only has a 65 percent return on investment. Some of the modifications you can do in your kitchen are:

  • Replace the countertop
  • Get new handles and pulls
  • Add under-cabinet lighting
  • Replace overhead lighting with higher watt bulbs or new fixtures
  • Paint an accent wall
  • Replace cabinet doors
  • Add a backsplash

The Bathroom

Outdated bathrooms are a great place to start making some minor modifications that will definitely increase the value of your home. If a total bathroom remodel is beyond your means, don’t’ worry. You can still revamp your bathroom, giving it a fresh new look without having to do any expensive renovations. Studies have shown a minor bathroom remodel can provide a 102% return on investment, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to make big upgrades. Some of the modifications you can make to your bathroom are:

  • Replace the mirrors
  • Re-grout tile
  • Replace caulk around the toilet, tub, and shower
  • Change the lighting
  • Re-finish the vanity

Paint Your Walls

One of the most cost-effective updates you can make to your home is to paint your walls. Clean new paint can hide visual defects, lighten up your rooms, and give your entire house a clean and fresh look. Consider adding an accent wall in one or more of your rooms. Painting one wall a different color than the others can add some style and elegance to your rooms.

Replace Your Windows

Replacing old windows can brighten a room. Although replacing windows can be costly, there are many benefits. Rather than replacing all your windows, select a few that are currently in the worst shape in terms of how they look and how well they are sealed. In addition to looking better, new windows can reduce energy costs if the older ones leak.

Your Front Door

First impressions matter and your front door is the first impression a potential buyer sees before they walk into your home. You can either replace the door with a new one or if funds are limited, try repainting or refinishing the old one to make it look fresh, clean, and new.

Your Floors

The condition of your floors has a huge impact on how your house comes across to potential buyers. Many people place a premium on hardwood floors so if money is not an issue for you, consider replacing old flooring or carpeting with hardwood. However, because it can be very costly, there are other options available to you. One option is to select one large room, like your living room, and install the hardwood floors there. You can also replace your old flooring with carpeting which is a much less costly option. For those with very limited finances and old carpeting in their homes, you can hire a professional carpet cleaner or even rent a machine and steam clean your carpets yourself.

No matter what your reason is for wanting to update and upgrade your home, there are many ways to accomplish your goal without spending more money than you have.