Many people have a horizon of when they will sell their homes. It could be a year, two years, or five years. The family is growing and they need bigger rooms … the kids are older and they want to downsize … the house is too big as they get older … Florida is attractive … or whatever reason. When it’s time to put the house on the market, they go to great lengths to paint, update, and replace.
Why invest all that money, time, and effort in a new owner’s home? Instead, invest that money, time and effort in a home that you will enjoy for as long as you are there. When I prepared houses for clients who are preparing to put their houses on the market, I heard many say, “I wish I had done it sooner so I could enjoy it.” Don’t be one of those people.
Take a good look at your kitchen
An overhaul of your kitchen can be very expensive, but there are a few small changes that will make a big difference.
• The least expensive thing you can do is give your kitchen a fresh coat of paint in a color that matches the color of your countertops and cabinets.
• Replacing cabinets can be expensive. If your cabinets are outdated or in need of a facelift, consider painting them and changing the knobs, handles, and hinges. That alone can make a big difference.
• Countertops can be another expensive investment. If yours is worn or needs to be replaced, consider opting for laminate rather than investing in granite or other high-end countertops. Laminates have come a long way in recent years; they offer a wide variety of colors and textures.
• Remove all clutter from the refrigerator door. A refrigerator door looks cluttered when covered with school schedules, magnets, photos, calendars, or anything else from your child’s school. Instead, place these items inside a door, closet, or closet.
• Organize cupboards and pantry. Eliminate excess material: You know the items you have not used in years and probably never will.
• Choose an attractive centerpiece for your kitchen table. Use a flower vase, a bowl full of fruit, a piece of pottery or glass, or whatever else you like.
• Add a plant or two to spice up the room.
Now take a look at your bathroom
The lure of a beautiful bathroom can remind you of a luxury hotel or a relaxing spa. You can create a sample of that in your bathroom.
• Any bathroom can be instantly transformed by adding beautiful, fluffy towels for decorative display. You can buy a wall wine rack, roll up the towels, and place them where the wine bottles would go. Or you can roll some towels in a basket with scented soaps, bath oils, natural loofahs, and candles to create a spa-like atmosphere.
• Clean counters. That includes toothbrushes, the jar of cotton balls, the roll of paper towels, and everything else cluttering the counter. (Instead of having everything on the counter, go to a store like the Container Store where you will find all kinds of caddies, shelves, holders, and items to order.) Get an attractive soap dish or use liquid soap with a Bathroom Countertop Dispenser.
• If your bathtub is old and worn and the shower tiles are no longer attractive, you can call a company like Bath Fitter to install a new bathtub and wall over the old one. Bath Fitter claims to do the installation in just one day.
• Mirrors often lose silver after years in the bathroom. Replace them, perhaps with mirrors in a charming frame.
• Replace faucets, doorknobs or door handles, and towel racks for a fresh look.
• Include a vase with flowers, willows, or leaves. Pick them from your garden or get some silk ones.
In and around the house
Take a look around your home to see what else you can upgrade or remake:
• If your hardwood floors are worn or dirty from all the years of walking on them, now is the time to sand them down and coat them with polyurethane.
• If your rugs are stained or no longer look clean, it may be time to have them professionally cleaned or replaced.
• If your wallpaper is peeling (and that usually starts at the seams), is it time to remove the paper and re-wallpaper or paint?
• If your walls are covered in children’s fingerprints or the paint doesn’t look fresh and clean, it’s time to repaint.
• If your roof shingles are missing, it is time to have your roof checked and maybe redone.
• If your driveway has excessive cracks, it may be time for a top coat or more.
• If you have shutters, make sure the paint is fresh and the shutters are firmly attached to the house.
• If your shingles or anything on the outside creates an eyesore, take corrective action.