You may have heard your real estate broker remark on a home’s improvements or updates. The typical real estate wisdom suggests that a home should be remodeled every 6 to 7 years. In Denver, there are many older homes being renovated and updated both for the current enjoyment of the owners, but also for future resale.
Is your home ready for an overhaul?
There are improvements you can make to your house on a limited budget that can still make a huge difference. Take your budget, plan the work you’d like to get done under the best of circumstances and then start shopping around. Once you have ideas of pricing or bids for work, you can pare down the projects to the essentials, and what can wait for a year or two.
- Paint – Fresh paint can make an enormous difference in how your house feels and presents to others. Experiment with a little color. Try to look for hidden colors in a piece of tile and pull that color out for the paint. Stay away from too much white, or too many vibrant colors. It’s o.k. to ask for input so you strike just the right balance, and never pick your paint from the little card at the paint store, spring for a small sample and paint it on the wall. You’ll be surprised how time of day and light can make a huge difference in how paint looks on a wall. A fabulous online resource for beautiful paints is Devine Paint.
- Landscape -Most people think interior when they talk about remodeling, but the landscape is a huge part of your home’s “street appeal.” If your yard is overgrown, has too much grass and no borders or just lacks creativity it’s probably time for a redo. There are many online resources as well as books. You don’t need to pay for a landscape architect unless you want a fully integrated design with hardscape and landscape. There are many landscape projects that you can do on your own in a few weekends. Sunset Magazine is famous throughout the west for their lifestyle magazine and garden book. White Flower Farm is the premier resource for plants and flowers and they have one of the most beautiful catalogs you’ll ever see.
- Lighting – Changing lighting fixtures is a simple and easy way to give your house a new look. Try to integrate the look throughout the house. It would look strange to have a Craftsman style light fixture in the dining room and contemporary pendant lights in the kitchen.
- Appliances – Are your appliances old and worn looking? People think, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” That will do for a time, but eventually those old avocado appliances need to be rethought. Not only will you get more energy efficiency, you’ll completely update the look of your kitchen and laundry.
- Flooring – Change the carpet if it’s stained, smelly or stretched. It can’t wait any longer. Avoid the plastic-looking fake wood. It looks like plastic from a mile away. It could work for a smallish kitchen or utility room, but not the main living area.
Remember to avoid fads unless you have a really unique property or are prepared to redo it before putting the house on the market. It’s always best to choose a classic, but not too bland look for your newly remodeled home. Keeping your home remodeled and updated isn’t just essential in terms of keeping up with neighborhood values, it’s essential in terms of not losing value. Over time, a dated and stale looking home will actually begin to lose value with respect to the rest of the neighborhood, so you should plan to get busy – no matter what the size of your budget is.