ten quick cheap home improvements

Myth Busting Over Price Home Improvements

There is a myth in America, that every home improvement must be BIG, Expen$ive and over the top.  This couldn’t be further from the to truth. Some of the best return on investment renovations cost little or no money.  I’m going to show you my favorite quick cheap home improvements to get your home sold for top dollar in today’s post-Coronavirus market!

man making quick cheap home improvements drilling a board braced on a table with a cup of coffee and various tools strewn about
DIY projects can have big impact on home’s value when done right.

So lets dive right in with three super easy and inexpensive ways to make a big impact on your home’s value.

What’s the opposite of that new carpeting smell?

These are really the top 3 easiest improvements to consider here:

  1. Clean or replace the carpeting
  2. Add fresh coat of paint
  3. Brighten up curb appeal with fresh flowers

Seriously, when it comes time to put your home on the market, the best quick cheap home improvements aren’t going to set you back much dinero and will have a bigly impact. Karen Highland sums it up nicely when she says, “paint covers a multitude of sins.”  Whether it be home maintenance or prepping for sale, fresh paint offers a phenomenal ROI. 

That new carpeting and fresh paint will brighten the interior of a home and make a quick positive first impression.  It doesn’t hurt that the new carpet smell might overwhelm any other lingering odors.  But, why wait until you sell to improve your home?

New Carpet: one of the least expensive upgrades to a home – consider replacing your carpeting every several years!

Carpeting isn’t meant to last forever.  Although, don’t tell my mom!  She still has the same green shag in the bedroom my brother and I shared as kids.  So, if you are anyone other than my parents, you might seriously want to consider upgrading your carpet on a more regular basis. 

Remember, a decent carpet and pad have a lifespan of about ten years.  So if you changed the carpet the day you moved in and its been awhile, you might want to replace the carpet before selling for maximum impact!

Real Estate Expert Paul Sian says, “flowers are potent mood elevators” in his timely post on staging.  Staging can be a great way to just re-purpose what you already have to make an excellent impression when selling your home.  That is the perfect low cost home renovation!

Make a Great First Impression

It all starts at your front door.   According to the National Association of Realtors, one of the easiest quick cheap home improvements with a great return on value is to repaint your front door (Idea #4).  Consider a popular color, nothing to bright or garish.  Maybe the perfect color is so-not-you

gate entry in chautauqua
Doors indoors and out can make a great first impression. Can you imagine the oasis on the other side of this beautiful doorway in Boulder’s Chautauqua neighborhood

That is, rather than painting the door a color you love, seek out one that buyers love in your neighborhood.   Remember, this endeavor is about getting top dollar.  Rounding out the top five: in warm months have a barrel of pretty flowers by the front door.   A simple planter of colorful flowers (#5)  is all it takes to brighten a buyer’s mood as they cross the threshold into their future home! 

And while you are at it, add fresh mulch, Spring Clean, run the sprinklers once extra daily.  (That’s six ideas for those counting).

My # 1 pet peeve in Real Estate

Folks, I absolutely hate struggling with the front door lock on a house.  It doesn’t matter if you add special instructions to tweak it this way or that.  How about, just replacing the lock? Or having a professional locksmith adjust the locks.  Or installing an electronic door lock. 

hands with screw driver changing the lock on the door of a boulder listing coming up for sale
First impressions are priceless. New lock sets can make a great impression for low cost.

There are so many easy fixes to make that first moment when the Realtor is opening your door into a positive great experience!

Stainless Steel Appliances Are Hot

Why not install a new set of appliances?   Especially if you want to exclude your treasured washer and dryer – get a new set before showings start.  Or change out the varied colored appliances in the kitchen for a shiny new set of stainless steel units.  The price might surprise you.  Best of all, the appliance store will do all the heavy lifting for quick cheap home improvements in your kitchen appliance look!

Winters Mow The Grass

I mean, winters shovel the drive and summers mow the grass. 

Little things like this can make a big impression on buyers visiting your house for the first time ever.  Got a teenager?  Send ’em out to their fair share!

A freshly mowed lawn shows you care about your home’s appearance – and perhaps also care about maintaining the property.  Buyers love a well maintained home! California real estate pro Glenn Shelhamer goes all out, even weed whacking a lawn to help out clients with lawns in dire need of improvement (check out the video complete with soundtrack on his page). 

When Replacing the Roof Is A Quick Cheap Home Improvements

Your right, there is no way this is generally consider quick cheap home improvements.  But then again, in Colorado, we get a lot of high winds, and hail damage. 

So consider checking with your insurance adjuster to see if your home qualifies for a new roof, the cost of your deductible might make this the easiest and least expensive of the quick cheap home improvements you make readying your house for sale.

You might have to pay for the deductible, but your home is going to make a monster impression with a new roof!  And, if the adjuster says there’s nothing wrong with your roof – you can market that!  “The roof is in great shape!” 

And, best of all, because your home qualified for the new roof through insurance, your buyers will not have to consider buying your home with an old roof.  

an all white bathroom on the left is a glassed in shower with a bamoo tree and rock floor on the right a big soaking tub and in the front it feels like a spa space
Relax. Unwind. The mix of materials here is inviting and tells a story.

Bathroom Spa Experience

One of my all time favorite bathrooms is at my cousin Greg’s house.  His wife Corinne has gone all out decorating the small space. There is a touch of bamboo, shelves hold plenty of thick white towels neatly folded.  On the limited counter top space, jars filled with Q-tips and cotton balls gleam.  A glass canister holds a medley of soap bars.  

This bathroom is also pretty small. There is a pocket door that is tricky to close, but the bath and accompanying guest bedroom are tucked away on the third floor.  The roof slants overhead and the space in the shower is cramped. 

But, I never see any of that when visiting.   I just always enjoy the spa experience!  And you can recreate this for your overnight guests and home buyers alike.   Dive in with Joy Bender for more bath ideas

She is on the same page as cousins with her list of seventeen suggestions to improve your bathroom above and beyond.  

To Recap The Top 10 Quick Cheap Home Improvements

  1. Paint
  2. Carpet
  3. Stage your bathroom
  4. Mow the lawn/shovel the walks
  5. Upgrade door locks
  6. Take advantage of insurance deductibles on big items – such as the roof
  7. Upgrade your home appliances
  8. Update your front door & add flowers for a burst of color at entry
  9. Home Automation (such as Next, Ring and keyless entry)

Home Automation Delivers In 2020 And Beyond

There are all sorts of renovations you can make that automate your house.  There are blinds that can automatically know when to close (okay – this is not going to be cheap necessarily). 

Door locks that offer keyless entry  though are definitely one of the best quick cheap home improvements out there these days.  What used to be thousands of dollars is now a few hundred.  Some of these locksets will even automatically unlock as you approach or lock after a few minutes when you leave the house. 

An added bonus to using smart locks is the ability to integrate home security features.   Plus – this really makes a positive first impression on home buyers!

Emotional Home Buying 

Remember, your traditional homebuyer is going to get emotionally excited when viewing a property.  So, rather than offering your house As-Is, where-is with a lack of improvements, play to those emotions with a handful of fast inexpensive house improvements.  

But, if you find yourself saying, I really just want to sell it without an improvement, read more on what SpringsHomes writes in their post on selling as-is

Making a few simple improvements generally helps Boulder home sellers net top dollar!

Boulder Real Estate News Home Selling Recommendation List

Seeking a few more suggestions to have your house absolutely tip top for hitting the market place?  Luke Skar writes about “prepping your home for the market.”  Best reminder: spend time in each room of the house ensuring it is tip top and ready to star. And I have blogged more on making a great first impression.  Finally, if the couple of sentences about the home automation tweaked your imagination, be sure to check out this informative post! 

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