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Smart Home Upgrades: 6 Low-Cost, High-Value Renovations & Repairs

Too often homeowners spend money on impractical and expensive home renovations. Here are the top 6 best ways to update your home while getting the most bang for your buck.

Too often homeowners spend money on impractical and expensive home renovations. Here are the top 6 best ways to update your home while getting the most bang for your buck.

Home renovation projects can quickly become too costly or impractical. Whether you are updating your home in order to maximize your profits when you sell or you are simply making the most of your home, you want to invest your renovation money wisely. Here are six economical home updates that will provide the best impact and increase your home's resale value.

1. Visible Problems

We often think of renovations in terms of kitchens and bathroom, however, the top priority needs to be any obvious functional issues. That includes leaking roofs, missing steps, or damaged walls.

If not corrected promptly, these types of problems will lead to more damage and potential liability. In addition, if you do decide to sell your home these issues are giant red flags to potential buyers. Not only will they be reluctant to buy a home where major repairs are required, but they will also wonder if the visible problems are symptomatic of more widespread problems with the home.

While structural repairs aren't inexpensive, they are cheaper than waiting for problems to get worse. While replacing your roof might cost you $6,000, the damage caused by a leak inside your home would be considerably higher. In addition, a new roof is a great long-term investment that would be an excellent selling feature. Keep in mind that any obvious structural problem will reduce your home's value and might prevent your home from selling when you decide it is time to upgrade to a larger home or downsize before retirement.

2. Curb Appeal

When it comes to real estate, most people do judge a book by the cover. Fortunately, there are economical ways to easily improve your home's appearance. From the street, your home should look well-tended and inviting with a clear view of your front door. This sets the tone for what people will expect to see inside.

Trim back or remove any overgrown shrubberies. If a tree is blocking the view of your house from the street, remove the lower branches or trim it back to make your yard seem more open. Pressure wash your home's exterior and add a few flowering plants for a welcoming pop of color.

3. Paint

There is no denying the wonders of a fresh coat of paint. For the cost of a few gallons of paint, your home can look cleaner, newer, and welcoming. Select neutral colors for the interior walls and pair that with white paint on the baseboards and trim.

Painting the exterior of your home can improve the curb appeal or you could choose to update the color to make your home look newer. If the exterior paint color is in good condition, you might simply try painting your front door to make your home's entrance more attractive.

4. Mini Kitchen Makeover

A complete kitchen renovation could easily cost $20,000-$50,000 and only a small portion of those costs will be recouped when you sell your house. For most people, the best option is to invest in a few minor changes.

Usually, the best option is to make minor changes to sell your current home and then move to a house that already has your dream kitchen. Be sure to discuss the housing trends in your area with a real estate agent before planning any major kitchen renovations.

For your mini kitchen makeover, think light, bright, and open. Paint worn cabinets in a clean white to help your kitchen seem larger and more open. Replace old cabinet pulls and knobs. If your faucet looks dated, replace it with a new one.

If your budget allows, replace your countertops, sink, and faucet. If your kitchen has plenty of open floor space but lacks counter space, add a counter-height table or rolling cart to serve as an island. Update or add a tile backsplash in your kitchen for a bit of modern style.

5. Energy-Efficient Updates

Renovations that will save money on heating or cooling can be great upgrades. Double paned windows, new weatherproofing, tankless water heaters, or storm shutters can help save you money now and make your home easier to sell. Make sure any replacement appliances are Energy Star rated so you can take advantage of having energy-efficient appliances.

6. Flooring

Floors take a beating. Worn carpet, broken tiles, and other damaged flooring instantly make a home seem old. Replacing the flooring in the common areas with a wood-grained laminate can immediately wow anyone who enters your home. Carpet is a cheaper option that can be used for updating the floor coverings in bedrooms. New tile flooring can quickly update bathrooms and because bathrooms are so small, new flooring can have a particularly large impact for a low cost.

Learn More

Still not sure about the best renovation options or thinking it is time to move to a new home? Look at real estate listings in your area to find trends that work. Compare the properties that sold quickly and for a high price with the ones left unsold to determine what features buyers are finding essential.

This can help you focus your renovations efforts so that they will pay off in the future. If you think it could be time to sell your home rather than make major renovations, contact a local real estate expert from Clever Real Estate. You'll save money on listing by paying only $3,000 or 1% of the home price over $350,000 while still getting a full-service agent.


Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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