Whether you’re on the verge of listing your home or have your sights set on selling down the line, dedicating a little effort to DIY home improvements can yield substantial results. A recent article on Bank Foreclsoures Sale emphasizes the potential of spending up to $5,000 on home improvements, significantly boosting your return on investment. The range of DIY projects that can elevate a home’s appeal for potential buyers is wide, spanning from simple upgrades like repainting interiors and refreshing carpets to more involved tasks like floor replacement or window upgrades. With costs varying between a modest $134 for appliance fixes to a more substantial $10,355 for kitchen remodeling, there’s a wealth of options to explore, irrespective of your budget.
“When it comes to readying a home for sale, certain DIY projects are trending, such as updating light fixtures and performing interior painting,” notes Ken Sisson, a Los Angeles-based realtor and associate broker at Coldwell Banker Realty. However, Sisson suggests leaving more complex tasks like bathroom or kitchen retiles to professionals for optimal results.
The primary objective when preparing a home for sale is to attract as many potential buyers as possible. Besides complete remodels for top-dollar sales, there’s a growing trend in cost-effective home preparations that offer a significant return on investment. Marina Accardo, Managing Principal of Marketing and Design at Accardo Real Estate Associates, COMPASS, highlights the importance of making an instant impression through photography. Features like updated light fixtures, appealing kitchen faucets, and fresh interiors can captivate potential buyers’ attention and entice them to explore further.
To zero in on the best projects for your home, Sisson advises homeowners to reflect on the aspects that initially drew them to their property. Focusing on those unique features during last-minute preparations can yield the most significant impact.
Here, experts including Accardo and Sisson share insights into budget-friendly renovation projects that you can confidently undertake on your own.
Budget Under $500
- Upgrade to energy-efficient light bulbs: According to insights from F. Ron Smith and David Berg, the visionary minds behind Smith & Berg Partners, a straightforward and budget-friendly DIY endeavor involves upgrading the lighting in your residence. They suggest a simple yet impactful strategy: substituting conventional lightbulbs with more vibrant and energy-efficient LED lighting. By allocating around $200–$300 for this project, you can harmonize color temperatures across every room, dispel shadows in dim hallways and closets, and noticeably enhance the overall ambiance of your home. To delve further into the world of light bulb options, consider exploring your choices and then embarking on the transformation process.
- Refresh your interiors with new paint: Accardo points out that when it comes to getting the most value for your investment, interior painting is a standout choice. “If you possess patience and a steady hand, this can be a satisfying DIY project. Our go-to color from Benjamin Moore: Chantilly Lace OC-65 or White Dove OC-17, both delivering an elegant backdrop,” shares Accardo. For those considering the endeavor, a five-gallon can of Benjamin Moore’s interior matte paint, starting at $245, could be the starting point. In addition to brightening up spaces, Accardo underscores that a fresh coat of paint lends an aura of cleanliness to the home. To further convey proper maintenance, she suggests pondering over staining or painting the front doors and garage doors. Should you opt for professional assistance, Accardo anticipates that handyman rates for these tasks might commence at $45 an hour. Keep in mind, though, that painting the entire home might exceed the $500 budget limit.
Total Home Transformations Under $1,000
- Consider replacing or refinishing floors: Kris Lippi, a licensed real estate broker and the proprietor of the well-frequented real estate platform ISoldMyHouse.com, presents a compelling perspective on the significance of appealing flooring for potential homebuyers. He reveals that an impressive 54% of buyers exhibit a penchant for residences with captivating flooring. If your budget allows, Lippi advises considering the installation of new hardwood floors, an investment that can prove wise in the long run. According to Lippi, the expenses for such an endeavor can range from approximately $4 to $14 per square foot, contingent on the type of wood chosen. However, for those seeking a more economical route, refinishing existing hardwood floors emerges as a viable option. Lippi pegs the costs for refinishing at approximately $600 to $1,000. He provides further insight, emphasizing the importance of directing your attention to high-traffic zones like the kitchen, living room, dining room, and entryway—areas that stand to gain the most from these enhancements.
- Give your kitchen a mini-makeover with faucet and cabinet knob updates: Here’s a minimalist kitchen makeover approach that can significantly transform your kitchen’s appearance without committing to a full-scale renovation. “For those with budget constraints but a desire for a refreshed kitchen, we focus on subtle cosmetic updates in your DIY home improvements,” suggests Accardo. She recommends starting with the kitchen faucet, opting for a contemporary pull-down version that can range in cost from $150 to $500. This seemingly simple change can bring about a remarkable transformation, as noted by Accardo. Engaging a handyman might be a practical choice for this task. Continuing the transformation, Accardo suggests harmonizing the kitchen’s aesthetic by updating cabinet knobs to complement the faucet. These knobs can be sourced for as little as $1 to $4 each. Accardo also presents several additional suggestions, such as cabinet painting (potentially necessitating professional assistance), a thorough deep cleaning, refreshing light fixtures, and repainting cream-colored canned lights to white. For this specific project, she recommends Rust-Oleum Specialty Spray Paint for Plastic in white, a 12 oz. container of which can be purchased for under $10 on Amazon. Josh Wilson, a licensed realtor and co-founder of That Florida Life, offers insights into the broader context of kitchen remodeling. A complete kitchen remodel’s cost varies based on the extent of the renovations, generally ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.
Investments of $1,000 and Beyond
- Renew your carpets for a fresh look: According to Wilson, the notion of swapping out carpets or multiple area rugs is a strategic move for homeowners aiming to maximize their return on investment when selling. “This approach can significantly elevate the overall aesthetic and ambiance of the home, ultimately boosting its value,” he asserts. On average, the cost of replacing the entirety of a house’s carpeting can range between $1,500 and $3,500, Wilson explains. This estimate hinges on considerations such as the carpet’s type, the dimensions of the area, and the necessary underlayment. Wilson emphasizes the importance of meticulous installation. Ensuring the carpet is properly stretched and secured is essential for achieving the desired outcome. While it’s possible to undertake this task independently, Wilson underscores the merits of enlisting professional assistance. He acknowledges that while a DIY approach is feasible with the right tools and commitment, for substantial projects like this, the involvement of a professional is likely the surest route to a successful outcome.
- Upgrade windows for energy efficiency and enhanced appeal: Windows serve as the tangible connection between your home and the outside world, yet their potential for renovation is frequently overlooked. Wilson highlights the immense benefits of window replacement, underscoring its positive impact on energy efficiency, long-term energy expenses, and overall home value enhancement. According to him, the cost of replacing a single window typically falls within the range of $400 to $650. Nevertheless, this cost can fluctuate significantly based on factors such as window size and material selection. Given the complexity of this project, Wilson cautions against underestimating its demands. Undertaking window replacement independently requires careful attention to detail. He advises meticulous measurement-taking of existing windows, thorough research into local window options, inclusive of reviews and pricing, and an advance understanding of the installation procedure. Safety precautions are paramount, as is having the appropriate tools readily accessible to ensure precise execution and efficiency. When uncertainties arise, enlisting the expertise of a professional is a prudent choice.
- Enhance your home’s curb appeal through landscaping improvements: Sisson views enhancing your landscape as an integral part of the broader effort to elevate your curb appeal. “The expenses for this can fluctuate significantly, contingent on factors like the land parcel’s size and the necessity for basic trimming and pruning versus the potential impact of new plantings and foliage to accentuate the home’s appearance,” notes Sisson. Providing a rough estimate, he suggests allocating a budget ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for this endeavor. The objective here is to heighten the exterior’s visual appeal by incorporating lush greenery and a touch of color, as per Sisson’s preference. Although this investment might require a moderate upfront financial commitment, its long-term benefits are substantial. Lippi emphasizes the value of a beautifully landscaped yard, highlighting its potential to enhance curb appeal and escalate home value by anywhere from 5.5% to 12.7%.
Investing in DIY home improvement projects is a smart strategy for boosting your property’s value when preparing to sell. By focusing on impactful areas like lighting, interiors, floors, kitchens, carpets, windows, and landscaping, you can create an appealing and welcoming environment that resonates with potential buyers. Whether you’re working with a modest budget or aiming for more significant changes, there’s a range of projects to suit your goals. Just remember, a little DIY effort can go a long way in maximizing your home’s appeal and return on investment.