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Making Your Upgrades Count

Recently I overheard a man say that he was waiting to sell his home until he could spend time transforming his backyard into something nice for whoever lived in it next. He went on to say that he had lived there for 15 years and had never made one upgrade, but he thought this would be the one that would make people want to buy his home. As I mulled over his reasoning, I realized that many people struggle with what upgrades, if any, should be made in their home.

Rarely does an upgrade return dollar-for-dollar on the amount that was spent, but there are several ways you can increase the value and likeability of your home if you will focus on the things that count. Your goal should be to make your home look cared for, current, and on par with the rest of your neighborhood if you want to receive a fair offer on your home.

Before starting any redo, you must consider a couple of things. First, you need to know how much equity you have in your home compared to what you're wanting to spend on upgrades. Also factored into equity is how long you plan on staying in your home after you make the upgrades. If you're planning on sticking around for a few years to enjoy all of your hard work and money, then that will buy you time to build up more equity before you sell and couteract some of the costs.

I recommend focusing your upgrades on three areas of your home: the entryway/front exterior, the kitchen, and bathrooms. People have come to expect these three areas to have more of a wow factor, and the great thing is that you don't have to spend a fortune to do that.

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home. For many families, a lot of time is spent here, so anything to make it more pleasant is a plus. You can greatly improve the likability of your kitchen by replacing worn-out appliances, adding a fresh coat of paint, updating hardware and light fixtures, and choosing at least one area for a wow factor, such as a small area of tile work. Here are some cost-effective ideas:,,20409598,00.html

Bathrooms are another area that can be updated without knocking down walls. Again, adding a fresh coat of paint, updating hardware and light fixtures, and choosing one wow factor can make a huge difference. Here are some ideas for the bathroom:

When people walk up to your home, you want to have them at hello! If your front door is worn, find a sturdy replacement. If the paint and wood are cracking around the door, windows, or shutters, sand and put on a fresh coat of paint. Find a couple of ways to make people smile as they walk in by adding a fresh pot of flowers, placing chairs with pillows nearby, and adding hardware and lights that make the whole scene welcoming.

If you're making upgrades in order to sell, contact me and I'll help you know where to focus your hard-earned money.