Tag Archives: home improvement tips

Best Ways to Improve the Value of your Home

Why do you need to increase your home value? Well, there are several possible reasons, but the most obvious one is because you wish to sell it in the immediate future and by improving it aesthetically, you will be able to sell it for a price that’s well within your expectations. Simply put, selling a home or property that’s not in its best condition possible means the prospective buyer will find several reasons to low-ball the price.

In this article, we’ll teach you some of the best ways to improve the value of your home without really the need to spend a lot of money doing it.

In the article “Brokers Tell All: 10 Ways to Boost House Value” from ThisOldHouse.com, there are secrets that realtors and brokers wouldn’t normally tell you when it comes to increasing a home’s value. Fortunately for you, here are some of them given for free:

1. Create Space
Knock out a non-structural wall, or even remove that kitchen island. Anything that opens the space and creates a sense of flow in the house is generating a response from buyers who can afford to be choosy. For the price of a few hundred dollars, you’ll transform the feel of the house. “Right now buyers want a wide open floor plan, the living room right off the kitchen. They are into big spaces,” says Kristin Wellins, Senior Manager of Program Development for ERA Real Estate.

Seattle broker Reba Haas says a kitchen island can be an asset, creating needed storage space. But if the kitchen has enough cabinets, it could pay to haul the island away. Haas says homeowners might want to consider a moveable island. “You can adjust them to you needs,” she explains.

2. Prune, Limb, and Landscape
Tangled trees and unkempt bushes can obscure views, darken interiors, promote mold, and block a good look at the house.

“People forget about their trees more than almost anything,” says Roger Voisinet, a thirty-year veteran of the Charlottesville, Virginia real estate market. Yet, landscaping is one of the top three investments that bring the biggest return. According to a 2007 survey of 2,000 brokers conducted by HomeGain, an online real estate marketing site, an investment of around $400 or $500 dollars in landscaping, can bring a return of four times that. “It could really make a significant difference in the price. Nobody likes to spend money, but landscaping might even be the most important thing, even if owners have kept up the house,” says Voisinet.

Reba Haas agrees, “Overgrown landscaping is a problem at all price points.” Haas says it hurts with marketing too. “People say, ‘Where’s the house?” If buyers can’t see what they are getting, they just move right on.”

And if neglected, mother nature may go wild at considerable cost. Voisinet looked at one house recently where a fallen limb from a poorly cared for tree caused $2,000 in damage.

3. Let in the Light
The number one item on the 2007 HomeGain survey, lighting—everything from a dimmer switch to the increasingly popular sun tubes—noticeably enhances a home’s appeal. California broker Robert Bailey says, “Dimmers allow you to create a mood.”

He’s a booster of sun tubes, too. Less expensive than framing in a skylight, sun tubes—also known as light pipes, sunscoops, and tubular skylights—use reflective material to funnel natural light from a globe-capped hole cut in a rooftop down through a ceiling fixture and into a room. Bailey says, with tubular skylights, sunlight is nice, and moonlight is even nicer. “I’m putting six of them in my house. I don’t need a skylight, but I do want the natural light.”

A few other ways to light things up: Fix broken panes, make sure windows open, and consider lights that use motion detectors to turn themselves off. Remember high wattage bulbs make small spaces feel larger, and soft lighting brings warmth to empty spaces.

Want some more from this post? If you, you better click the link.

We totally agree with those three tips above. Putting more light inside the living space, adding space, and fixing the yard are three of the most essential things you need to be doing if you want your home to look better than it previously was. Although you might not give that much value to lighting, the garden, and space, remember that every buyer out there wants those three.

Next up, let’s see what BankRate.com, in the article “10 cheap fixes to boost the value of your home” could offer us:

1. Make your kitchen really cook. The kitchen is still considered the heart of the home. Potential home buyers make a beeline for this room when they first view a home for sale, so make sure your kitchen looks clean and reasonably updated.

For a few hundred dollars, you can replace the kitchen faucet set, add new cabinet door handles and update old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones.

If you’ve got a slightly larger budget, you can give the cabinets themselves a makeover. “Rather than spring for a whole new cabinet system, which can be expensive, look into hiring a refacing company,” says serial remodeler Gwen Moran, co-author of “Build Your Own Home on a Shoestring.”

“Many companies can remove cabinet doors and drawers, refinish the cabinet boxes, then add brand-new doors and drawers. With a fresh coat of paint over the whole set, your cabinets will look like new.”

If you’re handy, you can order your own replacement cabinet doors and door fronts from retailers like Lowe’s Home Improvement or The Home Depot and install them yourself.

2. Give appliances a facelift. If your kitchen appliances don’t match, order new doors or face panels for them. When Nicole Persley, a Realtor in Boca Raton, Fla., was sprucing up her own home to sell, her mix-and-match kitchen bothered her. The room had a white dishwasher, microwave and wall oven mixed with other pieces that were stainless steel with black trim.

When Persley called the dishwasher manufacturer to see about ordering a new, black face panel, the customer service representative clued her in on a big secret: Many dishwasher panels are white on one side and black on the other.

“All I had to do was unscrew two screws, slide out the panel and flip it around. Sure enough — it was black on the other side!”

Persley, who has remodeled numerous homes for resale, says that a more cohesive-looking kitchen makes a big difference in the buyer’s mind — and in the home’s resale price.

3. Buff up the bath. Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important rooms to update. They, too, can be improved without a lot of cash. “Even simple things like a new toilet seat and a pedestal sink are pretty easy for homeowners to install, and they make a big difference in the look of the bath,” says Moran.

Moran also suggests replacing an old, discolored bathroom floor with easy-to-apply vinyl tiles or a small piece of sheet vinyl. “You may not even need to take up the old floor. You can install the new floor right over the old one,” she says.

If your tub and shower are looking dingy, consider re-grouting the tile and replacing any chipped tiles. A more complete cover-up is a prefabricated tub and shower surround. These one-piece units may require professional installation but can still be cheaper than paying to re-tile walls and refinish a worn tub.

Read the original article by clicking here.

It’s no easy task if you’re faced with the necessity to do some fixes to improve your home’s value. But one thing you do have to understand is that you don’t have to do it on your own. You can either ask for help from a willing friend, from your family, or maybe tap the services of a contractor. You just have to be reminded that although you’re likely going to spend money on fixes, you end up getting more in return since you’d be able to sell your home at a very good price.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Home Improvement

Interior Decorating Mistakes Homeowners Like You Must Avoid

Mistakes in interior decorating happens to every single homeowner. It’s not like when you commit one it’s the end of the world. However, it doesn’t also mean you just ignore those mistakes and end up making them over and over again. The thing with interior decorating is that you actually have some bit of room to be creative on your own terms. With that in mind, some minor mistakes can be tolerated. However, there are those that you should completely avoid, and this article is about those mistakes.

Let’s start things off with this article called “Avoid These 10 Common Interior Design Mistakes.” from AngiesList.com:

1. Scale of furniture
Most people tend to buy furniture that is too large for the space. This is a very common issue and one that I see time and time again.

When purchasing furnishings, keep in mind the size of the room and the amount of space each piece will occupy and still allow for ease of movement. I suggest using painter’s tape to mark out the space that each piece will occupy before making purchases.

2. Small rugs
A common problem in even otherwise well designed rooms is using a rug that is too small. Rugs should ground a furniture group.

Legs of the chairs should sit on the rug, or at the very least, the front legs should be comfortably on the rug. With a dining table, the rug should sit under the chairs, even when pulled out. Having the right size rug can even make a space seem larger.

3. Inadequate lighting
Unfortunately, most spaces are designed with inadequate lighting right from the get go. Lighting should be layered within a space, taking into account ambient, task and accent lighting.

The guidelines of layering are function, mood and harmony. Function is based on the activities that will take place in the room, Mood conveys the feeling that you want to express in the room. Harmony asks if all of the lighting elements in the room work with each other.

4. High wall art
There is a tendency among some homeowners to hang art too high. Art should be hung at eye level, although small pieces can be hung lower.

As a guideline, when art is hung above furniture, make sure that it is 8 inches above the top of the furniture piece. It should look like they sit together.

Read the rest of the tips from this article by clicking on the link.

If you get the chance to talk to an expert interior designer, the one thing he or she tells you is to follow your heart when doing this kind of project. But sometimes, you tend to be way too preoccupied with personalizing everything that you become blind of the mistakes you’re committing such as the insufficiency in lighting and buying furniture that is way too large for your space. There’s nothing wrong with following your heart, but be smarter in doing so.

(image credit: AngiesList.com)

Next, let’s talk about another set of possible mistakes you can make in interior design. This time, information comes from the article “Top 10 Interior Design Mistakes to Avoid” by Clint Calder:

Not using mirrors

Mirrors are a bit under-rated. Using mirrors will make rooms appear much more spacious. The lack of mirrors or windows seems to give the room a boxy feel. Don’t hesitate to hang a decorative mirror or two on your walls. Be creative. You can find many different shapes and sizes of mirrors at your local home-improvement retailers. Not only will your room look bigger, but it will also make the room brighter as it reflects the lighting.

Not allowing enough time for the design process

It is not a race to the finish. Effective interior designing requires a lot of planning and organization. If you rush through a few steps, you may find yourself making decisions that have unfortunate consequences. So be careful!

Not involving nature One of the greatest ways to improve the feel of a room is to add a few plants here and there. Adding plants creates a more natural feel to the room, and with the right plants, you will have a new and refreshing essence to fill the air. When designing a room, never forget to include the five senses in your decision making.

Not paying attention to acoustics

How you arrange the room for acoustics may be one of the more difficult decisions. This will be most important for the theater or entertainment rooms. Nothing is more important than sound when it comes to watching a movie. Don’t use a lot of hard surfaces in the theater rooms that allows the sound waves continue to bounce around. Capture them with carpets and soft sofas. Hardwood floors look great in living spaces, but you may want to throw a few rugs on the floor to keep the noise down. You may be surprised at how important acoustics really are.

Over-furnishing a room

It has been said that your bedroom reflects your state of mind. A room that is overcrowded with coffee tables, couches, footstools, paper baskets or whatever, can cause the mind to feel the same way. Be sure to leave plenty of walking space. Stay away from the tendency to fill in the empty spaces. Leave some room. It will be much easier for you to relax and kick back.

See the rest of the article here.

Just like everything about life, too much isn’t a good thing in interior design. So even if you have so many things in your mind that you want to incorporate in your project, the key is to take it one idea at a time.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Home Improvement