Adding value to a property shouldn't be of interest just to those who are planning to sell in the near future. Many of the small improvements you can make when preparing to sell not only can add value, but can increase your enjoyment of your home. So whether you're selling or staying put, consider these small improvements you can make for less than $75 (and a little elbow grease).
1. Mount a mirror. The human brain can easily be tricked, and mirrors are great at creating the illusion of space and bouncing light around a room. Be careful not to go overboard, as you don't want to be constantly coming face to face with your reflection, but if positioned cleverly, a mirror will work hard at making a space seem bigger than it is.
2. Add accent lighting. A few cleverly positioned floor lamps, table lamps, or even twinkly lights can make a world of difference to the atmosphere of a room. These items can be picked up relatively cheaply, so it's worth shopping around. And you can change the tone of a light by swapping the bulb for either a whiter or warmer glow.
3. Pull in a plant or two. There are few rooms in the home that can't be improved by an appropriately chosen piece of greenery. Remember to keep it in proportion, though, and go only for things you know you'll be able to maintain easily.
Potted plants as opposed to cut flowers are generally preferable, as they are less likely to wilt.
4. Pick up a paintbrush. While you might not be able to paint your whole property for less than $75, if you're prepared to roll up your sleeves, you'll certainly be able to do a room or two, and it's unquestionably worth the effort. It instantly freshens up a space, and you can even be a bit bolder with your color choice to transform the mood.
5. Freshen up your front door. They say first impressions count, and this is just as true with our homes. Create a welcoming entrance and guests will build positive expectations that can easily be reinforced.
Sprucing up your front door is not solely about giving it a coat of paint — consider the door's accessories, too. A smart and clearly visible house number or name is a must. Alternatively, you could add a shiny new door knocker, letterbox or doorbell.
6. Clear your windowsills. While a few well-placed accent lights can change the tone of a room, you simply can't beat a good dose of natural light. Although you can't add a skylight or sliding doors for less than $75, you can make some minor changes that will bring in more light — and cost you absolutely nothing.
Do your best to keep windows clear of clutter to allow maximum daylight to flood into your home. This doesn't mean you have to remove your window dressings, such as curtains or blinds, as they add an important decorative element — just try to keep them as open as possible during the day so they don't obstruct the light.
Avoid too many items on windowsills, as well, to keep the view unhindered and the light flooding in. And don't forget to clean your windows — it can make a huge difference.
7. Select a scent. This is a delicate one. There's a fine balance when it comes to changing the odor of your home — do nothing and unpleasant smells might linger; do too much and you'll overpower anyone who walks through the door. Reed diffusers are a very effective way to provide a subtle aroma. What's more, they are often quite pretty and can contribute to the decor.
8. Create a spa feel. Bathrooms shouldn't be seen solely as practical places where cleansing takes place. They should also be places for relaxing and unwinding. Adding a few fresh towels, lotions, and candles to a bathroom can help transform your daily routine. And if you do decide to put your home on the market, they'll help sell a lifestyle, not just a property.
9. Boost your bedding. Putting clean white cotton bedding on a well-made bed is so simple to do, and yet is often overlooked. It provides an image of comfort and relaxation, and will make your sleep space an inviting and fresh place. If you're trying to sell, it's a great way to help the prospective owners imagine themselves in your property.
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