Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Reader Profile: AW | Main | The War Against the Rich, Part 3 »

March 14, 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I live in a condo/apt. in a small city in the Northeast. Two years ago, I updated my kitchen by taking down wallpaper, repainting the walls and inside/outside of cabinets, added crown molding, a new sink and faucet, added hardwired under-the-cabinet lighting, a ceiling fan, and recessed lighting over my work area island. It cost me about $4000, all work down by contractor and electrician. It was well worth it.

Install granite counter tops and hardwood floors.... that's all our realtor preached when we sold our house in 2010. It's probably a $5k to $8k investment where we live. I'm not sure it brings more sale value but it helps your house stand out among the competition. In a buyers market you've got to stand out.

Another way of creating space is a shed. That is if you have the space for one. You could put anything that is in the garage to clean up the look of a garage or other areas.

But a better suggestion would be just eliminate crap in your house. How often the house looks empty when we first move in but then we buy stuff that will expand to all useable space in the house.

Lighting is well worth looking into. I replaced several light fixtures in order to use CFL lighting in places where lights are used the most. I figured pay back was 2 years for most and the lighting quality improved dramatically.

I just hope my neighbor gets rid of his hideous bright-blue giant trampoline that has been sitting in his yard year-round for the past 4 years even though no one has jumped on it for the past 3 years. so. ugly.

"7. I'm not sure putting in new flooring would be a good deal if you were selling quickly. I would think you'd need several years of use and then a sale to make the finances work."

New flooring might be the right answer when many people have looked at the house but none have made an offer, and there is not some other obvious problem. In that case it makes sense because it might make the house sell. Just don't spend much on it.

Many people seem to like the hardwood floors and granite counters, but because of that now they are everywhere and may not actually help your house stand out. Like with carpet, it might make a house sell that wouldn't sell otherwise, but $5-$8k is a lot to spend if you don't need the extra help getting it sold. I wouldn't do this unless I was going to live there for a while (and actually liked these things).

How about creating a way to generate income from your house? Helps you now, and adds to house's value due to "mortgage helper."

We have a one-bedroom, self-contained, separate access apartment in our house. We live in a world-class tourism area, so we rent for one week to two month stays to visitors. No long-term tenant hassles, and if we choose not to be landlords for a while, we can easily do that. Took in $6,000 last year in rent with little incremental expense and a 50% occupancy rate.

A few thoughts. First, regarding paint. It's true that a freshly painted room in a neutral color has a lot of eye appeal, but many people do not take time to prepare everything properly. Any nicks, nail holes, etc., should be fixed and sanded smooth before you open the paint can. Do not even dream of painting over outlets or light switches. Do not paint the walls, trim, doors and windowframes the same color, unless the bland look is what you're going for.

Regarding floors, a lot depends on what is there now. If you have hardwood floors, and they're not in good shape, having them professionally sanded and refinished is something that is very likely to pay off. It's not that expensive or difficult, especially after you've moved your furniture out. We had the same crew install hardwood in the 2nd floor of our new home, replacing some very cheap-looking imitation Pergo. (Pergo is imitation wood, and this was imitation Pergo -- ha-ha!) We had the house re-appraised a few years later when interest rates fell and we refinanced, and the value of the house went up by more than the cost of the new flooring.

I like the suggestion about space. People want room to store their stuff. Look at do-it-yourself websites for ideas on how to add storage shelves to places like garages, under stairs, etc.

One last thing, not mentioned here but important anyway. No one likes a musty cellar. Using a dehumidifier can reduce the dampness almost immediately. I'm surprised every home seller doesn't know that trick, but it's more common than you'd think.

We could create space in our basement. Right now, the space just collects junk and houses the treadmill (that I only use when it rains or snows). We could definitely repurpose the room for very little money -- but paint is a must!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.