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Real Estate

5 Tips for Updating Your Home in an Up-and-Coming Neighborhood

Keeping your home updated is necessary to maintain your property's value, especially in a growing neighborhood. Here are 5 tips to update your home inexpensively.

Homeowners in front of blue door

Purchasing a home in an up-and-coming neighborhood is a great way to invest your money for long term financial growth while finding a comfortable place to live in.

However, to maintain your home's value, you should also consider updating it periodically to keep up with the other homes in the neighborhood.

You may choose to update your home because you are hoping to sell your property soon. Or perhaps you just want to make your home more enjoyable to live in while increasing your property value.

Whatever your goals are, here are five easy home improvements that you can apply to update your home:

1. Look at Recent Home Listings in Your Area

You can easily browse online listings of homes for sale in your area to see what they look like and what features they include. Looking at comparable homes in your area and paying attention to recently sold listings can give you some great house ideas that you can apply to your own property.

Click through all the pictures and read the property descriptions. Compare other properties to your own to get an idea of how you can improve your own home.

If you want to, you can also attend open houses in your neighborhood to get a first-hand view of properties in your area. People who are selling their homes might also be willing to share what they have done to update their own homes.

2. Landscape for Curb Appeal

Landscaping is an inexpensive way to increase your home's perceived value. In fact, research shows that upgrading landscape can increase a home's value by 10-15%.

A few simple things that every homeowner should include:

Pressure wash the exterior of the home - Remove dirt and grime from the exterior of your house with a quick pressure wash.

Clean your windows - Windows can be cleaned easily and make your home more attractive.

Remove clutter from your lawn - Put away any garden tools and pick up any tree branches, scraps or other clutter lying around the yard. Leave only a few potted plants and outdoor furniture pieces so that your yard doesn't look too cluttered.

If you are willing to invest a little money into better landscaping, here are a few more ideas...

Use stone or brick to surround garden beds and create borders around them. Putting borders around your garden beds can give them a more professional appearance that can be appealing to others.

The front door often attracts attention of potential home buyers and visitors, so painting the front door might be a good idea. Choose a color that complements the surrounding landscaping.

Painting the house isn't the cheapest option for improving your home's appearance, but it might be worth the investment if your house needs a fresh coat of paint. If you are on a budget, you can focus on painting the trimming around the windows and doors to accentuate those areas.

Additional rooms with budget home kits

3. Use Budget Home Kits

If you are looking to add rooms or make significant upgrades to your home, then consider purchasing a budget home kit. Budget home kits can be used to upgrade your roof, add a garage, or build a porch.

These home kits come with all the materials you need to complete the construction, assembly guides, drawings and other planning materials.

In fact, some people use budget home kits to construct entire houses for around $30,000.

Using a budget home kit can be a relatively inexpensive way to significantly increase your home's value.

4. Focus on Kitchen and Master Bathroom

For most houses, the kitchen and master bathroom are the most important rooms that buyers will use to decide if they want to purchase a property. Therefore, if you are looking to upgrade the interior of your home, consider focusing on the kitchen and master bathroom.

Installing shelves and cabinets can increase storage space, making those rooms more appealing. Painting cabinets can also be an inexpensive way to make them look nicer.

Upgrading the lighting fixtures is another low-cost improvement that homeowners can use to give the kitchen or bathroom a better appearance.

Finally, some homeowners may want to consider upgrading the counter tops. Granite or marble countertops can look nice, but you can also opt for less expensive alternatives like butcher block or laminate surfaces.

5. Do Regular Maintenance

Experts estimate that home repair costs can equal 1% of the home's purchase price each year. So, a $300,000 home should expect to spend $3,000 a year on home repairs.

Maintaining a home is something that many people don't want to do, but being consistent with maintenance is important. Regular maintenance can keep your property looking fresh and reduce the costs of repairs down the road.

Cleaning your carpets and hardwood floors can make your home look brand new. The flooring in your home covers a lot of space, so keeping it clean can create a great impression for any visitors.

Take care of your appliances by regularly changing air and water filters and inspecting appliances from time to time to make sure they are in good working order.

Be sure to also clean and maintain your kitchen and bathroom areas. Clean the stove and appliances regularly and wipe down your countertops. Clean drains and sink disposals and make sure your plumbing is in good shape.

DIY Home Improvements on a Budget

To sum it up, most people won't have to spend a ton of money on expensive improvements to keep their home updated. Being consistent with maintaining your property and periodically doing inexpensive updates, like painting, can improve the value of your property without a lot of work or expense.

More ambitious homeowners can invest in budget home kits to make home improvements or make smart investments like focusing on landscaping, kitchen or bathroom improvements.

Speaking of your home budget… a home warranty from American Home Shield®  can also help manage your budget, because we help make it easy to plan for the high costs of unexpected covered repairs. Learn more about our flexible plans and how you can get coverage for the repair and replacement of some of your major appliances and system components.

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