In these heady days of booming Nashville real estate, it’s easy to get swept away into the world of home improvements with visions of dollar signs dancing in your head. We get it, your home is quite likely your biggest investment and your biggest asset—it makes sense to make it your own while keeping the bottom line in mind. From small improvements like fixing a squeaky floor to undertaking major home renovations, there are a multitude of ways to make your home more appealing both for you and for the market.
For the purposes of this post, we’ll focus on a few relatively inexpensive and high-reward improvements that add tremendous value and promote personal enjoyment. Look for projects that provide a high return on investment, focus on popular living areas, and tastefully reflect current trends in interior and exterior design.
Examples of “improvements” to avoid include installing an inground pool, transforming a spare bedroom into a den or office, investing in extensive landscaping, purchasing high-end appliances, or installing wall-to-wall carpeting. For many, pools are seen as unsafe maintenance nightmares, bedrooms are coveted, too much landscaping becomes a burden, stainless appliances can’t hide a dated vinyl floor, and wall-to-wall simply isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
So whether you’re preparing a house for resale or settling in for the long-haul, here are 10 great ways to boost your home’s value and make it the warm and welcoming environment you look forward to returning to at the end of each day.
Tip #1: Update (Don’t Renovate) Your Kitchen
While you may not want to go all-in for granite countertops or invest that six-burner Wolf or Viking range, your kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where you start and end your day as a family, concoct fulfilling meals, gather over games, laugh, and celebrate. Take it nice and slow; think updating over renovating. For example, replace aging vinyl flooring with stylish and durable premium vinyl tile or clean, laminate flooring. Instead of tearing out your cabinets, clean and repaint dark cabinets with bright, easy-to-maintain colors. Replace dated faucets and drawer pulls with sleek, modern designs.
Tip #2: Treat Appliances to a Facelift
If that Bosch dishwasher isn’t in the financial cards right now, but your appliances make you shudder each time you look at their scratched, dented, and stained surfaces, then consider swapping out the refrigerator and dishwasher doors. Many manufacturers offer low-cost replacements. In fact, for many dishwashers, it may be as easy as unscrewing a couple of screws, and flipping your existing face panel from white to black!
Tip #3: Give Your Bath a New Look
After kitchens, bathrooms are the place where potential buyers go to be wooed. And, for that matter, where you go for some peace and quiet, soaking baths, and long hot showers! For a spa-like experience, replace old, chipped, and mildewed flooring with attractive, contemporary, and water-resistant vinyl or luxurious and soothing tile.
Tip #4: Refurbish Your Old Floors
If your carpet is looking a bit battered and worse for wear, you may be in for a pleasant surprise. If you live in an older home, take a moment to look at what’s under the carpeting. With any luck, you’ll find a neglected hardwood floor with serious potential. Refinishing hardwood can be hard work, but the payoff is pretty great. If you’re low on time and experience, contact a flooring professional.
Tip #5: Install the Right New Flooring
According to This Old House, 94% of real estate professionals think that investing in flooring is a great way to reap big benefits. If you’re thinking of taking the easy way out and installing carpeting in every room, do yourself a favor: don’t do it!
Carpet can be great in family rooms and bedrooms, but rooms that experience high-traffic would benefit from wood or laminates and rooms that have a tendency to get wet (like your bathroom or kitchen) would benefit from vinyl or tile.
Tip #6: Find the Right Interior Paint
Nothing says “brand new” like a fresh coat of paint. Spend a few hours gazing at paint chips, invest in sample paints, and really deliberate. When done well, painting is both time-consuming and incredibly rewarding. If interior design and color-matching are a challenge for you, or you just don’t have the time or materials, rely on the expertise of professional house painters.
Tip #7: Maintain Siding or Repaint Exteriors
If your home’s vinyl siding is looking a bit dingy, the Hardi-board has faded, or if the paint is well on its way to peeling, then a solid pressure washing or exterior paint job is a great way to boost your spirits and make potential buyers smile. Whatever you do, go for colors that aren’t too unique, but are warm and inviting.
Tip #8: Killer Curb Appeal
Don’t go overboard with the manicured gardens, but do invest in a few, low-maintenance accent features that make you smile. Whatever you do, prune your trees and bushes, mow, and keep weeds to a minimum. Not only can a shabby tree make your otherwise well-kept home look disheveled, but it may also be the source of fallen limbs and future costly damages.
Tip #9: Let There Be Light
In these gloomy days of January, it’s important to keep your eye on the light. Be sure to install ample lighting throughout your house. Consider adjustable LED fixtures and bright, minimal recessed lighting options.
Tip #10: Keep it Clean
On busy days, packed wall-to-wall with school, work, meals, sports, homework, and family time, taking the time to be your own housekeeper can seem absolutely overwhelming. However, a clean home fosters a happy, healthy and productive lifestyle. And if your house is on the market, it’s even more important to make a great first (or second) impression.
For expert advice on flooring and floor restoration, contact Nash Flooring today.
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