5 Great Home Improvements Under $500

When it comes to upgrading our homes, there is a never-ending list of things to do, from buying new patio furniture to replacing the kitchen cabinets. But the editors of Money Magazine suggest five home remodeling projects that will vastly improve the look of your home and help it sell faster without breaking the budget:

  • Improve the curb appeal – Whether or not you are planning to sell your home, an inviting first appearance is important. Spend some time in the front yard from the curb in, pulling weeds, planting perennials, and trimming hedges. You can make needed repairs to fences or front steps and change out your old, dull mailbox all for under $500.
  • Paint the front door – A spiffy new fiberglass front door could cost $1,000 or more, but you can upgrade the look for a lot less by adding new hardware and a fresh coat of paint. Add a new light fixture, a fresh doormat and a pot of flowers and you may have money left over from that $500 bill.
  • Paint interior walls – Nothing changes the look of a room more than a fresh coat of paint. It can get complicated and expensive if you need to repair drywall, remove mold, or have really tall ceilings, so you may need to hire a professional. But if you can do it yourself, you may even be able to upgrade baseboards or add crown molding and stay within a $500 budget.
  • Update the lighting – Lighting fixtures are to a home what jewelry is to an outfit. They can add pizzazz or look dated and dowdy. Switching out a chandelier over the dining room table is a fairly easy, budget-friendly project. Shop big-box stores for inexpensive models or ask about floor sample sales at retail outlets. If you’re on too tight a budget, consider updating lamps you already have with new shades.

    Install new toilets – It may not materially change the look of your bathrooms, but if you have toilets installed before 1995, replacing them with new models will save thousands of gallons of water you won’t have to pay for. You can get new models for well under $200, so you may want to spend some of that $500 budget to upgrade the look with bathroom lighting, mirrors or storage units.

Curb Appeal & Creating a Positive First Impression

Curb Appeal & Creating a Positive First Impression – 5 Tips You Can’t Ignore

By Keith Loria

When a prospective buyer pulls up to a property with a For Sale sign in the front yard, the exterior of the home can either make or break a positive first impression. While sellers often spend a lot of time and money making sure their home’s curb appeal is up to par, one area they often overlook is the driveway/walkway. And real estate professionals tend to agree that a well-maintained asphalt blacktop and clean and clear walkway can set the mood for a positive house showing.

Here are four tips to help you make your driveway and walkway send the right message to a prospective home buyer.

1. No Parking. When someone comes to see your home and they can’t even pull into the driveway because it looks like a parking lot, that’s a bad start. You don’t want to force them to park on the street, so make sure all cars at the property are gone before any showing. The goal here is to let prospective buyers imagine they are pulling into the driveway of their future home.

2. Cracking Up. Repaving the driveway is one of the least expensive home repairs you can invest in. If yours is looking shabby—and has a lot of cracks—a nice, fresh layer of asphalt may be just the thing you need to attract a buyer. For cracks in the walkway, concrete paint can usually do the job.

3. A Clear Path. A walkway is designed to get you from the driveway to the front door, yet some homeowners treat them more like obstacle courses with lots of things blocking a clear path. Take some time to remove all toys, acorns, leaves or gardening equipment that may be in the way of a safe walk inside. Driveways should also be free of clutter and debris. Most driveways have garbage cans sitting at the end, but even if they’re clean, you should make sure they’re out of sight. The same holds true for hoses. Put them away neatly, as they could inadvertently trip someone, or if they’re old and tangled, they may do more harm than good when it comes to leaving a good impression.

4. A Green Thumb. Once the walkway is clear, be sure to pull up any grass or weeds that are growing in the cracks. There are some great sprays that can help with this as well. It’s also a good idea to take the time to hose down walkways to remove all dirt and grime.

5. Front Door Details. When showing your home the buyers real estate agent may spend a few minutes at the front door accessing the key from the lockbox. It is crucial to have this area in tip top shape as it will set the tone for the buyers expectations of the interior. Clean cobwebs, paint, place a new or clean welcome mat and make sure any windows are spotless.

For more tips on curb appeal and creating a positive first impression, contact me today.Janet Shawgo
The Lake Norman Homes Team
Southern Homes of The Carolinas

Search Lake Norman Mooresville Real Estate

The Ten Step Home Selling Process

It is important to set out in writing the reasons that are motivating you to sell your current home. You might ask yourself, “Why am I selling my home and what do I expect to accomplish?” If you have a growing family and you need more space you may be under less pressure to get your house ready to sell than if you were, let’s say, moving to a new city due to career opportunity.

Explore your short and long term goals and decide how selling your house fits into those goals. Your agent will identify all of the variables within your individual goals and how best to achieve them in your local real estate market. Your real estate agent will apply his or her expert knowledge to your particular needs and set a realistic time frame for the process to proceed. This will help you to establish a time management path for selling your home.