Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cost Effective Updates for Your North Shore Home

Whether you’re considering moving out of your current North Shore home into your dream home, or you’re looking for ways to give your home a fresh update; thinking about remodeling projects can be intimidating.  You begin seeing all the things that could be done in your home, and quickly start adding up all the costs.

Yet, breathing new life into your home doesn’t have to be expensive!  As a North Shore Real Estate agent, there are a few areas I tell sellers to focus on when it comes to updates such as the kitchen and bathrooms.  Buyers want to see these as finished so they can move right in without having to tackle projects right away.  But, these updates don’t necessarily mean a complete overhaul.  Below are eight cost effective projects, as pointed out by, that will give your home a quick boost!  The best part?  Most of these projects you can do yourself!

1. Caulk Windows and Weatherstrip Doorways- Caulking windows and applying weatherstripping to exterior doorways will make your home more energy-efficient by sealing major sources of air leaks. This can help cut down your cooling bills during the summer and heating bills in winter. Both projects are simple enough that many homeowners tackle the tasks themselves.

2. Install Under-Cabinet Lighting in the Kitchen- Adding under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen illuminates work surfaces (a plus for home cooks) and can make the space appear less dated (a plus for future buyers). Since there can be a bit of wiring involved to connect multiple fixtures to each other, not to mention drilling holes in expensive cabinetry, you might want to leave this project to a pro. 

3. Add Crown Molding to the Living Room- Crown molding can add a touch of luxury to a living room without a luxurious price tag.  Adding a chair rail can also give a room a finished look says Neil Parsons, owner of Design Build Pros, a Toms River, N.J., remodeling firm. Keep in mind, though, that molding should be added for your own aesthetic enjoyment rather than purely for resale purposes.  As I mentioned earlier, kitchens and baths are what sells homes about what sells homes. If your remodeling budget is tight, focus your resources on those rooms first.

4. Install a Backsplash in the Kitchen- Up the wow factor in your kitchen by adding a tile backsplash. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are the most popular tile finishes; however, ceramic tile costs less.  This will give your kitchen a finished look and can provide an impressive boost to the overall feel of your kitchen.

5. Update Hardware on Kitchen Cabinets- If you have a limited budget, a full-scale kitchen remodel is not an option. However, you can make small tweaks to help freshen up the space. A project that’s cost-friendly and one you can do yourself is updating the hardware on your kitchen cabinets and drawers.  As long as your cabinets are in good condition, swapping out dated hardware will give your cabinets an instant facelift.

6. Replace Fixtures in the Bathroom- Consider swapping the existing fixtures in your bathroom, such as the toilet, faucets and shower head, for high-efficiency versions. Not only are you getting an updated look in your bathroom, but you’ll also be saving money on your water bill. Don’t forget the hardware in the bathroom such as faucets and the knobs on the cabinetry can provide an updated look as well!

7. Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint- Professional home stagers recommend painting the interior a neutral color, such as taupe or cream, to make spaces feel larger. But a whole-house paint job is expensive. To keep the project under $1,000, focus on the most visible areas, such as the entryway, kitchen, main-level bathroom and family room or living room.  Neutralizing the paint colors will help an array of buyers feel comfortable in your home.

8. Replace the Front Door- This project is aimed at homeowners who are in search of the highest payback from a renovation when they eventually sell the house. According to Remodeling magazine's Cost vs. Value report, replacing a front door with a new steel door will result in a nearly 86% return on the investment at resale.  Not able to replace the door?  A fresh coat of paint will provide an updated look and revive a weathered door.
I hope these tips inspire you to take on a few of these projects!  Whether you’re hoping to sell your North Shore home soon, or just want to give your home a quick facelift, these projects can be just the thing needed!
If you have questions about selling your North Shore home, or would like to learn about my customized home selling plan; please feel free to contact me today!  
I look forward to hearing from you! 
Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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