7 Home Improvement Projects for $1,000 (or Less)
Published: November 1, 2011
Americans still think buying a home is one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. Here are some ways to increase your home’s value and comfort for less than $1,000.
We knew reports of the death of American home ownership were greatly exaggerated (nod to Mark Twain), and now we’ve got the numbers to prove it.
A just-released survey by the Meredith Corp., which publishes Better Homes and Gardens magazine, says the vast majority of people polled believe owning a home is a smart financial move and a source of pride.
Here are some results of the 2,500 people surveyed online:
- 86% of home owners still feel owning a home is a good investment.
- 85% feel “owning a home is one of their proudest accomplishments.”
- 69% of Americans who don’t currently own a home agree with the statement, “No matter what happens in the U.S. housing market, owning a home is still an important goal in my life.”
- 68% of Americans plan to spend money on their homes in the next six months, with roughly half (49%) expecting to pay up to $1,000.
A thousand bucks may not seem like a lot, but it goes long way toward improving the value and comfort of your home. Here are some projects we recommend:
1. Add a new entry door. Spruce up your curb appeal and save energy by upgrading your exterior door. Steel doors, which can mimic many types of wood, typically run for $400 at big-box stores and offer the strongest barrier against intruders.
2. Get organized. Decluttering and maximizing storage space are inexpensive ways to transform a home. Add space to kids’ rooms by installing platform or bunk beds ($400-$600); neaten piles of shoes with shoe organizers ($20), which can do double duty as catch-all organizers in family room closets and kitchen pantries; extend bookshelves to the ceiling, creating storage in otherwise dead space.
3. Save with a programmable thermostat. Switching from a manual to a programmable thermostat (less than $500) can save you up to $180 a year in energy costs. The latest models offer remote programming via the Internet.
4. Replace cabinet hardware. If you’ve got traditional knobs and pulls, try contemporary; change from staid to whimsical. Big-box retailers often have huge selections for budget prices. (10-pack for $20).
5. Update bathroom flooring. Give bathrooms a quick facelift by replacing old tile with vinyl flooring or ceramic tile, which can cost as little as $3 per square foot for material and installation.
6. Create luxury with a shower panel. Turn you bathroom into a spa with a programmable shower panel with adjustable spray jets, fog-free mirror, and multifunctional shower head. Most systems easily attach to existing plumbing. Panels typically sell for $360.
7. Turn a mudroom into a garden room. Bring nature inside by recasting your drab mudroom into a flower-filled garden room. (If you already have a utility sink, you’re halfway there. If not, it will cost you $200 to $350 to tap into existing, nearby plumbing, and $80 for a plastic tub.) Repurpose an old wood table into a potting bench. And hang your basket collection from J-hooks attached to a forged iron curtain rod ($100).
What improvements have you made recently under $1,000? What are you planning to do in the next six months?
**Article from HouseLogic.com; thanks to NAR.
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Tonight it is so important to our country to watch what each candidate has to say about the Economy – and who you decide is more “presidential” and has the ability to move our country in a positive direction.
Many homeowners try to buy and sell at precisely the same exact moment – and that very rarely is the case. The seller’s bank may take longer than expected to close, or the buyer’s bank is slow to sign off on the appraisal value. In any event, if you are selling your home, before your purchase will be complete, know that it’s okay to ask of a “rent back” where you can stay in the property for as long as a month or more after the sale closes by agreement with the buyer to pay them rent on the property in the amount of their mortagage payment, taxes, and insurance for the time you remain in the home.
On the other hand, if you are buying after your sale closes, some sellers will allow you to move in before the closing on a similar arrangement – essentially a lease or early move-in arrangement. They may ask you to sign a document waiving their liability for your belongings and anything else that goes wrong while you’re there, before closing – you will have to negotiate and decide what works for all involved.
There are very few things that we can count on in this crazy world of ours – but one thing is certain: the high probability that your escrow closing will be late! Having a back up plan in place is just a great idea! You may even need to consider saving extra cash in case you need to double payments for a couple months; or, consider renting a vacation home or hotel suite in the short term.
What makes your listings unique so that your buyers will be attracted to them? First of all, in your marketing, you must make a claim that is totally different from what the other agents are using. Case in point: If your listing is among those with the “stunning view” or “waterfront”, which will be on all the competitions’ flyers – then find some other unique thing to promote on your listing to get it noticed and sold faster!
Who has a great tip for hitting longer drives off the tee? It can’t just be the equipment! There has to be a little trick to it! Someone, please come forward with some terrific tips!
I either want to be broker #2, or I want to set my sellers up for success the first time. Trust that your broker knows the pricing and the comparable sales and is equipped to price your home correctly for the market. If you don’t like what your broker has to say you can always find a broker willing to list at your price and you will continue to live in that home. If you are really ready to sell, listen to your broker and don’t miss a spring/summer market or become stale on the market at the wrong price. Remember, our commission is based upon your sales price so we want you to realize the highest price for your home possible. But, we also want to be successful. Get real, and get sold!”