Enjoy your home more today — and sell it for the best price tomorrow.
When it comes to home improvement, some dollars stretch more than others. And if you’re on a limited budget, it becomes even more important to spend those dollars wisely.
Here are seven affordable home improvement projects that’ll help you enjoy your home more today and provide excellent financial return in the future.
#1 Add the Finishing Touch of Molding
Crown molding makes rooms seem both bigger taller. It’s an elegant addition to any home.
Plus, wood moldings come in hundreds of options — from simple to ornate — that you can stain, paint, or leave natural.
You can also find moldings in flexible materials, such as foam, that make installation a whole lot easier. Some moldings even include lighting that casts a soft, ambient glow.
And at $1.50 per foot if you DIY it, or $8 per foot if you hire, it’s a no-brainer in terms of personalizing your home while adding value. (Although we don’t recommend DIY unless you’ve got above-par mitering skills.)
A few tips about molding:
Be careful about proportions. If your ceiling height is 9 feet or less, go with simpler styles to avoid overwhelming the room.
Say what? Adding trees doesn’t instantly pop into your head when you think of adding value to your home. But trees are moneymakers that get better with age.
A mature tree could be worth between $1,000 to $10,000, says the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. A 16-inch silver maple could be worth $2,562, according to a formula worked out by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.
In urban areas, money really does grow on trees. A recent study of home sales by the Pacific Northwest Research Station of Portland showed that street trees growing in front of or near a house boosted its sale price by an average of $8,870 and shaved two days off its time on the market.
But don’t go crazy and trick out your outdoor space with high-end amenities, like an outdoor kitchen — especially if you’d be the only one on the block with one. When it’s time to sell, you won’t get back much — if any — of your investment on outdoor kitchens and other high-end amenities. Instead, keep it simple and functional to see a return on investment.
A professionally installed deck costs about $10,000 to install, but if you DIY it, you’ll save more than half that while adding to your equity.
Don’t skimp on deck lighting. It can make all the difference in functionality and beautification.
Exterior lighting makes your home shine in the evening, accents features you like most about your house, and helps keep burglars away. Installing motion-detecting lights can even lower some homeowners’ insurance premiums.
Place accent lights under your favorite trees to show off your landscaping’s top earners.
Put them on a timer so you don’t waste energy running them during the day.
Choose a warm, white light. It’ll make your home look and feel welcoming.
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