Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cheap upgrades - By Realtor Rick Yost

So, you have finally decided to take advantage of these incredibly low interest rates. You’re going to sell your house and trade up to the house of your dreams. Great choice, but now you have a dilemma. You want top dollar for your house, but don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a house you are not going to stay in. There are some relatively cheap upgrades that you can do to your house that will help it show better and fetch top dollar.
The old adage, that the kitchen is the most important room in the house, has been dispelled by data collected by Zillow and presented in a new book “Zillow Talk”. According to Zillow, the first and most important room to upgrade is the bathroom. The kitchen is still second, by the way. (For record, I like the home search site better than

A bathroom can look significantly better for not much money. A pedestal sink and a new toilet seat go a long way. Vinyl tiles go down easy and can often go over the existing floor. Replacing chipped tiles and re-grouting give a clean appearance. For a bigger budget, install a pre-fabricated tub and surround insert over your existing tub. The bathroom can go from dingy eye-sore to enticing on the cheap.

The kitchen can use some cheap upgrade also. New cabinet hardware and an upscale faucet set can be installed for a couple hundred dollars. Miss matched appliances hurt homes value. Order new doors or face panels from the manufacturer for a more appealing kitchen. For a bigger budget, contact a company that can replace cabinet doors and drawers. It is much cheaper than all new cabinets, but can give the same effect. These are some cheap ways to turn your kitchen into an attractive heart of the home.

The next three all go together for cheap ways to really improve that way your home looks. Replace worn and dated carpets. The large home improvement chains are always running a deal on whole house installation. Paint dingy and marked walls. It is amazing what a can of paint can do. Replace light fixtures with high efficiency, attractive pieces and throw in some accent lighting while you are at it. You might not want to move after the painting, carpeting and lighting is done.

If you have those nagging problems that most households have-dripping faucets, flickering lights, small roof leak, etc., hire a plumber, electrician, roofer, etc. to come in and take care of the issues. Button up your little projects. A home inspector will find the issues and point them out. Spend a little money now to avoid costly home sale negotiations later. 

 You don’t have to do all of these projects. Just do the ones that are most needed. With some frugal shopping, some elbow grease, and a few bucks, your house can look its best. These cheap upgrades should get your house sold faster and for more money.

Rick is a Realtor, real estate author, and long-time Windham resident. You can reach Rick with any of your real estate questions or needs at

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