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10 Cheap Home Improvements That Realtors Say Add the Most Value

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By Alessia Barranca

Frugal Feature

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When aiming to boost your home’s value on a budget, prioritizing strategic improvements is critical. Homeowners can make a significant impact without overspending by focusing on cost-effective upgrades that enhance functionality and appeal. From minor repairs to clever enhancements, these approaches can significantly increase your home’s market value without draining your finances.

Enhanced Curb Appeal

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First impressions matter. Simple landscaping, a well-maintained lawn, fresh exterior paint, and a tidy entrance can make a big difference in how your home is perceived. Investing in quality outdoor lighting can further enhance the curb appeal, creating an inviting atmosphere even at night. Additionally, adding colorful flower beds or pots can inject personality and charm into the exterior, catching the eyes of potential buyers.


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A fresh coat of paint can work wonders inside and outside the house. Stick to neutral colors to appeal to a broader range of potential buyers. Pay attention to the trim and doors, ensuring a cohesive look throughout the home. Address any peeling or chipped paint, as it can detract from the overall appeal and give the impression of neglect.

Kitchen Updates

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You can do a partial renovation. Sometimes, minor updates like painting cabinets, installing new hardware, updating lighting fixtures, or replacing outdated countertops can breathe new life into a kitchen. Consider investing in stainless steel appliances for a modern touch, which often appeals to buyers seeking a sleek and functional kitchen space. Lastly, maximizing storage potential by adding organizers or shelving can showcase the kitchen’s functionality.

Bathroom Refresh

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Like kitchens, bathrooms can benefit from minor updates such as regrouting tiles, replacing faucets and showerheads, updating lighting, or adding a fresh coat of paint. Consider installing a new vanity mirror or updating the cabinet hardware for added visual interest. Don’t overlook the importance of cleanliness and presentation – a sparkling clean bathroom can leave a lasting positive impression on potential buyers.

Energy-Efficient Upgrades

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Installing energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, programmable thermostats, and improving insulation can save money on utility bills and attract environmentally-conscious buyers. Consider conducting an energy audit to identify areas for improvement and prioritize upgrades that offer the most significant energy savings. Highlighting these upgrades in your listing can differentiate your home in a competitive market and appeal to buyers looking for long-term cost savings and sustainability.

Decluttering and Organizing

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Clear out excess clutter and organize spaces like closets and cabinets. It makes rooms appear larger and allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. Consider investing in storage solutions such as bins, baskets, or shelving to maximize storage space and keep belongings organized. Donating or selling no longer needed items can also streamline the moving process for you and potential buyers.

Flooring Updates

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If your flooring is worn or outdated, consider replacing it with more modern and durable options like laminate, vinyl, or hardwood. Even professional carpet cleaning can make a noticeable improvement. Choose flooring materials that are easy to maintain and appeal to a broad range of tastes. Additionally, consider the flow of flooring materials between rooms to create a cohesive and visually appealing transition throughout the home.

Lighting Enhancements

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Improved lighting can make a home feel brighter, more inviting, and spacious. Consider adding additional light fixtures, replacing outdated ones, or installing dimmer switches for versatility. Pay attention to the different types of lighting – ambient, task, and accent – to create layers of illumination that enhance functionality and ambiance in each room. Incorporating natural light through strategically placed windows or skylights can also brighten up spaces and reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day.

Minor Repairs

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Attend to minor repairs like leaky faucets, squeaky doors, cracked tiles, or torn window screens. These minor fixes can prevent buyers from feeling that the house needs to be well-maintained. Take a thorough walk-through of your home and create a checklist of needed repairs, prioritizing those that are most visible or could potentially raise concerns for buyers during a home inspection. Addressing these issues promptly can instill buyer confidence and promote smoother sales.

Smart Home Features

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Adding smart home technology like a programmable thermostat, smart doorbell, or security system can add perceived value and appeal to tech-savvy buyers. Consider installing smart home devices with convenience, energy savings, and enhanced security features. Highlighting these features in your listing can attract buyers who prioritize modern home amenities and connectivity. Additionally, consider the scalability and compatibility of smart home systems to accommodate future technological upgrades and advancements.