Whether preparing your home for market, or just looking for ways to get more satisfaction and pride in home ownership in general, there are multiple ways you can improve both the aesthetic and monetary value of your home without necessarily breaking the bank in the process.

Peruse the internet and there can be a dizzying array of recommendations for improvements to add value and functionality, many requiring major expense and inconvenience. 

Here, we’ll focus on a handful of easy, comparatively inexpensive upgrades to improve both the curb appeal and functionality of your home. 

While these will focus on steps to prepare your home for the market, they are equally applicable as simple steps to get more enjoyment from your home even if selling is the last thing on your mind.

One thing all experts agree on is the importance of curb appeal. How a home presents from the street can be the deciding factor in whether or not a prospective buyer even wants to set foot inside. 

If the exterior paint is looking a little tired, selected touch ups rather than a whole-house re-paint can make a world of difference. Consider freshening the trim, or perhaps just re-paint the front of the house, if its orientation means it is faded more than other parts.

Hand in hand with freshening the paint is freshening the landscaping. 

Once again, this does not need to be a multi-thousand-dollar overhaul. Fresh mulch and planting a half-dozen perennials or re-seeding a bare patch of ground can make a world of difference.

Inside the home, replacing worn out carpet or refinishing wood floors invariably provides a solid return on investment. 

Depending on the condition of the wood floor, sometimes patching in a few worn boards, or treating scratches with filler and judiciously applied stain and finish can work wonders to the overall look. Similarly, updating cabinet hardware and replacing sinks and faucets can revitalize kitchens and bathrooms in little time and with minimal expense.

Even garages can qualify for some economical upgrades that add significantly to the overall appeal and value of your home. 

Consider replacing that faded, scraped up garage door you backed the camper into last summer with a new one. 

Preparing a home for sale is also a great time to begin the decluttering process. 

A clean, tidy, well-ordered garage speaks to a tidy, well-maintained home in general, giving prospective buyers the confidence they are buying a property that has been carefully lived in.

Hayden Mellsop is a Realtor with Pinon Real Estate Group and a former fishing guide. 


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