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It seems like there's always a home project, big or small, that's waiting to be done. But which projects make the most sense for both your family and your home's resale value? In this MasterKit you'll learn which projects and updates you should tackle to help increase your home's appeal to future buyers
wall painting
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Home Updates for $1,000 or Less

Concerned you'll have to break the bank to give your home a fresh new look and attract potential buyers? Don't be. There are plenty of easy updates you can do that have nearly as much effect as a major renovation.

It's a classic dilemma: you want to update your home but you don't want to pour money into a house you plan to sell soon. Lucky for you, simple updates can go a long way toward making your home both more enjoyable for you in the short-term and more appealing to potential buyers as well. For $1,000 or less, each of the following projects will help breathe new life into your home.

1. Painless Painting
Paint is one of the easier, more cost-effective ways to transform a room. If you're on a tight budget, a little paint goes a long way. Even just adding an accent wall can modernize a space. Paint is also a great way to keep up with the latest trends. Think about adding a chalk paint wall in your kitchen or kid's room, or painting a pop of color on a dining room wall.

When choosing paint colors, remember that light colors will open up a room and make it feel brighter, while deep, intense colors may make your room feel warmer, but smaller. If you're trying to keep walls neutral to appease potential buyers, you don't have to shy away from colors as the right shade of yellow, green, or blue can be neutral too.

2. Wallpaper That Wows
If you're looking for that "wow" factor, you may want to upgrade from paint to wallpaper. Wallpaper brings the luxury of expensive tiling and fabrics but without the big price tag. It's a fun way to add color, pattern, texture, and even metallic accents to a room.

To help a high-ceilinged entryway or large bedroom feel cozier, try adding wallpaper above or below the chair rail in half of the room. This will help create a warm, inviting feeling without making the room look too busy. Wallpaper can help open up a small room as well. Try elongating a room with low ceilings by adding vertical striped wallpaper, or opening a small living room with horizontal stripes. If you want to go all out with a crazy, fun pattern, do so in a small space like a powder room, where it won't overwhelm.

Pro Tip: If you're wallpapering over a dark color, paint a one-inch strip of white where the wall meets the ceiling first. This will make it less noticeable if your wallpaper doesn't line up exactly at the top of the wall.

Gain Value with Tile
Tile is a durable and easy-to-clean addition to your home. Whether you’re updating your floor in an outdated bathroom or spicing up your kitchen with a cool backsplash, tile is an easy way to add style and value.

Tile is available in a wide range of options with varying price tags. To keep your project under $1,000, look for ceramic tile - you'll find many sizes and colors in affordable price ranges. Limit more expensive tiles to small backsplash areas or accents. And, if your budget is really tight, consider painting out-of-date tile or adding a backsplash with stick-on tile.

Don't forget about the grout when making color and design decisions. Grout that matches or complements your tile color can help open up your room and make it feel bigger. Contrasting grout can help enhance tile patterns and create a trendier look.

Pro Tip: Wet tile saws are the best tool for cutting tile, but you can also use a manual tile cutter if you'd rather not work with a larger power saw.

4. Light Up Your Home Life
New light fixtures are quick and effective ways to revamp your home. If you don't have the budget to replace the entire, outdated fixture, simply update the shades or add dimmers to make your home feel cozier.

Statement lights are also ideal for drawing in potential buyers and lighting up a dark or plain area. Whether it's in your entryway, kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom, a new statement light can transform a room and increase your home's appeal.

You don't have to spend a fortune to update your home for sale. Click here for 10 mini home makeovers for $1,000 or less.

5. Stoke Your Fireplace
Your fireplace is a definite selling factor, considering 57 percent of buyers chose to purchase a home with a fireplace.1 It also commands attention, since our eyes naturally snap to the darkest thing in a room, like an empty, unlit firebox.2

Several options can bring a dated brick fireplace up to trend. Replacing the brick can be a time-intensive and expensive project, but simply covering it up is also an option. Tiling over the brick with an inexpensive, modern tile can completely transform your room. Covering the brick with drywall is an even cheaper option that leaves you with a blank canvas to experiment with. Painting the brick is the most cost-effective option with nearly as dramatic an effect.

6. Pressure Wash Everything
Did you know you could add up to $15,000 to your home's sale price by simply pressure washing it?3 One of the easiest ways to improve curb appeal and make your home feel like new again is to just get the exterior clean.

Pressure washing your driveway, sidewalks, porch, and windows will remove the dirt, mildew and stains that naturally build up over time. You may not even notice how dingy your home has become until the grime is rinsed away.

7. Repair Your Roof
When real estate agents are asked about exterior projects that are the most appealing to buyers, a new roof is always at the top of their list. But if you don't have the money to invest in a new roof, repairing any problem areas is key. Shingles that are broken, curled, or missing will not be overlooked by buyers or the appraiser.

You should also clean out and repair any sagging gutters. Roof and gutter issues that indicate poor maintenance will stick out to a buyer like a sore thumb. Taking the time to clean and maintain these items on a regular basis will protect your home from the elements and ensure it passes a home inspection without devaluing your property.

8. Spruce Up Your Yard
In a National Association of Realtors study, homeowners who focused on lawn care not only recouped 100 percent or more of their investment, but they also increased their desire to be at home, with 65 percent reporting an increased sense of enjoyment.4

Weeding, removing overgrown landscaping, replacing mulch, and adding low-maintenance plants will up your curb appeal. The fresh green, manicured look with pops of color will draw in and delight buyers. Look for plants native to your region and those that require minimal water and trimming, which will help you save money overtime as you care for your yard.

Pro Tip: If yardwork isn't your strength, consider using a professional to help you plan a project within your budget. Hiring a landscape architect can add as much as 15 percent to your home's value compared to those without expert help.5

9. Don't Skirt Exterior Details
Many homeowners focus on interior upgrades, but 99 percent of agents polled by the National Association of Realtors say they think curb appeal is a vital part of attracting buyers.4 If your home looks dated inside, there's a good chance it looks the same way outside, too. Focus on small updates with big impact like a new upscale mailbox, modern address plaque, or decorative house numbers.

Focus on high-style additions that aren’t too over-the-top. The goal is to add features that have broad appeal and please many buyers. But don't be afraid to find creative ways to weave current trends into your upgrade. For example, you could choose a fun, modern font and add house numbers to a painted succulent box on your front porch.

10. Express Your Home's Character
Just as you would add pops of color and style to your interior with accent pillows, throws and candles, you should add character to your home's exterior, too. There are many affordable ways to do so, often with a high return on investment.

Replacing your old front door could be a significant investment, but your local home improvement store should have a variety of affordable steel door options to help you keep costs low. Even with the addition of an economical steel door, you can recoup 91 percent of your cost in added value when you sell your home.6 If you can't afford to replace it, simply repainting it, adding new locks and door handles, or adding an attractive door knocker can all improve its charm.

You can also add character by updating your exterior lighting, adding charming window boxes, or sprinkling a few pops of color throughout your landscaping with vibrant potted plants.

While most of these mini-makeovers might require a bit of your time and a lot of your elbow grease, they don't require a ton of your money. And the results you'll get will be appealing to buyers once you put out that for sale sign.

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