As a Denver area real estate broker, I’m asked by homeowners where they should put their money and how they’re going to get the most bang for their buck when getting their house ready for sale. So many times, the Seller has put off updates and improvements they could have enjoyed and they’re now considering those same updates to benefit the next owner.
How can you keep on top of home improvements, keep on budget and enjoy before you sell? Focus on “bang for the buck.”
Bang for the Buck 1: Kitchen counter tops. Replace your laminate or tile counters with granite or quartz. One brand name for quartz counters is Silestone, and their look has come a long way in the past 15 years. If your cabinets are in decent shape, just a counter replacement and a fresh coat of paint on the walls can completely transform a kitchen.
Bang for the Buck 2: Keep it in the kitchen. Consider a new backsplash, adding pull-outs inside your cabinets and updating the appliances. A friend of mine recently had a professional cabinet painter change her cherry cabinets to a muted grey color and the kitchen looks amazing. The cherry was the rage when they built their home, but it never quite meshed with the granite. Painted cabinets may not sound like the way to go, but it did the trick in this kitchen.
Bang for the Buck 3: Update Flooring. Your wood floors will wear out over time, and refinishing them when you live in the house is a royal nuisance. But it has to be done, so plan ahead. It’s less expensive than replacing the floor when it’s too worn to refinish. If you have tile, carpet or vinyl then budget for updating every 7-9 years. That’s how long it takes to begin showing wear and tear, and to look a bit dated. “Carpet allowances” never work. Get the new stuff and enjoy it, but keep it new looking if you’re planning on selling in less than 7 years. Removing shoes at the door goes a long way toward limiting wear and tear.
Bang for the Buck 4: Paint the interior and exterior. You’ll need to paint every 5 to 7 years. More often if you have children or pets. Fresh paint makes a house shine. Paint with color for yourself, and when you’re ready to sell paint neutrally (but not white) to ensure a broad appeal. I love the Devine Paint web site. It’s truly a feast for the eyes.
Bang for the Buck 5: Landscaping. Give your yard a fresh look by cutting back overgrown bushes and trees. Plant blooming flowers, and make sure to pull weeds. Good landscaping adds tremendous value to your curb appeal. This is something you can do yourself, or hire out on an hourly basis. A true bang for the buck if you shop wisely and prune the existing landscape without adding too many new items. It’s fall, so add some bulbs if you’re in a bulb-growing area. You can order beautiful bulbs at White Flower Farm. If you’re in the Denver area, buy locally at Country Fair Garden or City Floral.
Bang for the Buck 6: Easy Bathroom Remodel. Bathrooms are small enough that you can usually find remnants to do an easy renovation. Small lots of tile at mark-down prices, resurfacing tubs and sinks instead of replacing them, and shiny new fixtures on sale at Lowe’s or Home Depot are great ways to give your bathroom an updated look and getting bang for your buck.
Check out the gorgeous homes for sale at GretchenRosenberg.com. The photos may give you more bang for the buck ideas.