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7 Budget-Friendly Home Upgrades for New Owners

Many do-it-yourself projects can add value and appeal to your home. Whether you want to boost curb appeal, improve energy efficiency or update the kitchen and bathroom, there are plenty of options that won’t break your bank account.

Paint colors are a simple, budget-friendly way to freshen up your space. Kidd recommends opting for neutral colors, rather than bold ones that will limit your market potential.

1. Paint

A fresh coat of paint goes a long way in making your house look newer and more appealing. It also helps shield surfaces from moisture and wear, so it’s a worthwhile investment. Moreover, a neutral color scheme is universally appealing to most buyers and makes rooms look bigger and brighter. However, you can use accent colors to add character and visual appeal to certain areas of the house.

You can also transform a plain room by installing paneling, such as shiplap or wooden planks, for a rustic style that’s trendy and budget-friendly. Likewise, you can give a ceiling a sturdier look by adding crown molding that’s easy to install and paint.

Changing the front door’s color is another easy and affordable way to boost your home’s curb appeal. According to American Home Shield, people make up their minds about a house within the first seven seconds of seeing it. You can upgrade the entryway further by power washing the porch and walkway approaching it, and sprucing up landscaping with low-cost plants like geraniums, impatiens, or petunias.

Upcycling old or worn-out furniture is another budget-friendly way to give your house an instant facelift. With a little creativity and basic DIY skills, you can turn an outdated dresser into a unique headboard or vintage suitcase into a stylish side table.

2. Flooring

Few home features combine form and function quite like flooring. It’s what you see first as you enter the living area, and it can make a huge impact on how your space looks.

New buyers spend a lot of time vacuuming, scrubbing and mopping their new floor, so the material they choose is key. Materials that are easy to care for will keep the home looking beautiful and increase resale value.

Laminate is a popular choice for new homeowners because it is affordable, versatile and offers a timeless aesthetic. It also holds up well to moisture and resists damage from dropped items, making it ideal for a family house.

Hardwood is another durable option, but it may not be the best choice for a young family. Wood floors can warp if they are exposed to excessive humidity, and they are susceptible to staining and scratching.

Tile is a cost-effective and durable flooring option that’s simple to clean. It comes in a wide variety of styles and colors, and it can be installed to suit almost any interior design style. A growing trend in flooring is luxury vinyl tiles, which offer the look of tile without the maintenance.

3. Lighting

Most homeowners know that renovating their home can add value to it. But a full renovation is often costly and daunting. The good news is that unlocking your home’s true value doesn’t need to be a massive project. Rather, small upgrades can be done for very little money.

Upgrading your lighting fixtures is a great way to transform a room. Plus, new lights can increase safety and energy efficiency.

Brighter, more efficient lighting is essential for safety. It can help prevent you from tripping over objects or missing an intruder. It can also help make your home feel more welcoming. And, if you have older style light fixtures, updating them to modern styles can give your space a fresh look that buyers will appreciate.

If your windows are dirty or foggy, you’re missing out on a lot of natural light. That could be hurting your curb appeal, lowering your home’s energy efficiency, and potentially letting in outside pollutants. Replacing your window treatments or even just cleaning them can be a cost-effective way to let more light in and improve your home’s appearance.

4. Hardware Fixtures

Decorative hardware is the jewelry of a home, and it’s one of the most inexpensive upgrades you can make. From cabinet knobs to showerheads, replacing mismatched handles and hooks can elevate the style of any space. From sleek and contemporary to ornate and vintage, there’s a wide range of options to choose from to suit any design aesthetic. Using this list of essentials for first-time homeowners, you can take note of things you need for your home.

Choosing coordinating hardware finishes is another easy way to give rooms a polished look without breaking the bank. Whether it’s doorknobs, drawer pulls or light switches, matching fixtures creates a consistent appearance and helps the home feel finished and pulled together.

Property managers can attest that outdated hardware can be a major turnoff for prospective renters. New doorknobs and light switches can instantly upgrade a space, giving it a fresh and clean appearance that will attract attention.

In addition to upgrading the look of a home, curb appeal improvements can boost its value. According to American Home Shield, these affordable upgrades can include applying a fresh coat of paint to the front door, planting flowers or shrubs in the yard, and power washing the deck and walkways. These upgrades will give the home a welcoming first impression, attracting potential renters and making it easier to sell down the road.

5. Appliances

Whether you’re upgrading for your own benefit or looking to add value for future home buyers, investing in new appliances offers the best return on your investment. From laundry machines to refrigerators, these upgrades not only make your household run more efficiently, but they also help you save energy and money while making your home more stylish.

As you shop for appliances, consider focusing your budget on luxury brands that offer a high level of performance and quality. It’s also worth looking for built-in appliances to seamlessly integrate into your existing kitchen or living space. These specialized units often feature panel-ready designs and extra features like WiFi-enabled appliances, smart capabilities, food preservation settings in fridges, and more.

Appliances are the most used components of any household, which means they’re often subject to a lot of wear and tear. Tenants may become frustrated by broken or outdated appliances, which can lead to them moving to another rental property. Upgrading your appliances to new models with a modern design, efficiency, and style can help you attract tenants and keep them for longer periods of time.

For a cost-effective way to upgrade your appliances, you can purchase new units with warranties that can cover any repair costs for several years. You can also check for manufacturer rebates to lower the total price of your purchase.

6. Cabinets

Adding new cabinets to a home or apartment makes the room look more modern and appealing. Potential buyers and renters will keep their eyes peeled for this feature, which can boost the overall value of the property. Cabinets are generally made of higher-quality materials than cupboards, which can make them more stylish and durable. They can also be stained or painted to create a custom look and feel that matches the style of a specific room. The top of a cabinet often serves as a work surface as well, which can be beneficial in kitchens or pantries. Cabinets can be constructed from a variety of materials, including PET laminate, wood veneers, or solid wood.

7. Plumbing

Most homeowners have heard that certain upgrades can boost a house’s value. And while some upgrades—like a new kitchen or bathroom—can do just that, there are many other smaller improvements you can make that will have just as big of an impact.

For example, new plumbing raises resale values because it improves a home’s safety and protects valuable building materials from water damage. It also makes a home more energy efficient, which saves owners money in the long run. Plus, new plumbing eliminates the risk of old pipes (such as galvanized steel and polybutylene), which can leak or contain toxic chemicals.

While new plumbing isn’t as visible as other cosmetic enhancements, it can be a huge selling point. Buyers will appreciate a professional plumbing inspection that will reveal any issues with the current system. They’ll also want to avoid future problems like rusty tap water and low water pressure, which can be costly to fix.

Whether you’re thinking about moving soon, or you just want to enjoy your current place more, these budget-friendly home upgrades can help you transform your space and feel at home. From sprucing up your backyard to revamping your living room, home design and renovation experts share simple yet effective upgrades that are easy on the wallet.

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