Twenty-five percent of millennials say they would spend a week in jail to buy their dream home, according to the South West News Service (SWNS) and a survey by OnePoll and real estate investment company Unison. The great news is that the outlook for first-time homebuyers isn’t nearly as grim as the survey suggests.
The truth is that it’s very possible to own your dream home. How? The most cost-efficient way to do it is to purchase your home and take on home improvement and/or home addition projects.
And if you’re thinking “I can’t renovate my home! I don’t know how,” stop it right now! The average person can easily turn into a home builder, home renovator, or home improvement extraordinaire with a few quick tips. Are you ready to tackle such projects? Find out if crafting and shaping your own dream home is a realistic option for you with these simple and straightforward home improvement tips.
Slap Some Paint On It
Really! Striking home improvements can start with a little bit of paint. You don’t have to plan a whole new home addition. Exactly how much monetary value can paint add to your home?
“Zillow examined photos from more than 32,000 home sales around the country to analyze how room colors correlated with selling prices,” Consumer Reports writes. “It found that some colors could help buyers to make a premium of more than $5,000 on the sale of their homes.”
But, of course, living in your dream home may not be about the money–or at least not just about home prices and future sales prospects. That’s why it’s important to note that choosing the right color may also create the illusion of more space, change the lighting in your home, and even affect your mood!
According to Country Living, “Painting your walls white or off-white is a great way to help make your home feel more spacious and open.” Similarly, a lot of white is associated with “clean” energy or a meticulous feel. If you want to opt for a bit more color to open up smaller spaces and make them appear larger, HGTV recommends painting opposite walls in very different colors.
Consider how different colors may affect your mood. What color is best for the kitchen in your dream home? “Kitchens are great rooms to paint yellow as it brightens your mood and increases your energy – something we usually all need in the morning as we make our way to the kettle,” Country Living writes. By contrast, blue calms us and helps us relax, making it the perfect color for the bedroom. Gray is a great option for homeowners who want a bit of class. Gray, like blue, is peaceful and calming but also understated. It does not risk being “too much” or overwhelming like brighter or bolder colors.
Finally, remember that walls aren’t the only parts of your home that can benefit from painting! Painting windows and doors or window and door trim can also drastically change the overall look and feel of your home. For example, pairing a dark green room with clean white trim creates a bold, fresh statement. Neutral colors like light brown and gray, on the other hand, suggest a quiet sophistication.
Tackle “Mini” Remodeling Projects: Think Small
In 2017, new construction and home improvement costs crept up by 14%–and that upward trend continues today. Don’t get bogged by increasing home improvement or renovation costs. Remember, your dream home is affordable–with some careful planning!
An important thing to remember is to tackle small projects and determine what little improvements you can make that will a big difference without the hefty cost of major renovations, like new plumbing, whole-room renovations, or adding a pool house.
What small changes make a big difference?
- Swap out old, outdated light fixtures for modern ones. New light fixtures can immediately make your home look more sophisticated and costly, and they come with a relatively low price point.
- Add kitchen storage. Add some open shelves to the kitchen. This fully utilizes wall and corner space, while adding character with some well-chosen modern or embellished shelving.
- Spruce Up Your Home’s Entryway. “Polish the look of your entryway with small accessories — such as address numbers, outdoor lighting, and a letterbox — that pack a big punch,” Better Homes and Gardens suggests.
Flags, fountains, pathways, and small statues can all add a “little something” to outdoor areas.
- Add a backsplash. Dress up the kitchen with a stone or tile backsplash. This small improvement goes a long way to change the overall appearance of your kitchen without the high price tag.
- Take another look at trim. Wall, ceiling, and/or floor trim can make a big difference in a home. When looking into home improvement tips, don’t overlook the importance of accentuating details, like crown molding, baseboards, and trim. Here is what Better Homes and Gardens has to say about it: “Trimwork and crown molding are jewelry for walls, doors, and windows.” Add trim to a lackluster room, or paint existing trim for a pop of color.
- Don’t overlook the outside of your home. The outside of your home is part of your dream home, too! Add color and pizzazz immediately with a beautifully landscaped walkway leading up to your home. Plant colorful flowers for a bolder look.
- Add a brick or stone edge to paved walkways. A concrete walkway can look a bit rough or bland. Class it up by framing sidewalks or paths with brick or stone.
Focus on Functionality
Ask yourself what home improvement tips you need to act on. Remember, you’re going to living here! It’s not all about looks. You also have to consider the functionality of upgrades or renovations to your home.
Here are a few ideas for functional improvements:
- Install fiber-cement siding. Fiber-cement siding is hardy, protecting your home from “fire, rotting, and termites,” according to lifestyle magazine Real Simple. It also helps insulate corners, cracks, and crevices, ultimately reducing heating and cooling costs.
- Put up a deck. While you may want that flashy pool house, ask yourself–honestly–“Is this something I will use?” If the answer is “probably not” or “not really,” consider adding a practical and function deck instead. Decks and porches are great areas for grilling, eating and entertaining outdoors, or putting your feet up in the morning with a cup of coffee and a good book. Plus, according to Real Simple, “wooden decks reap an impressive return on investment.”
- Take a good look at the basement. This is one of the most important home improvement tips out there! Basements are a potential source of all kinds of nasty things: things like flooding, water damage, mold, and that old, musty smell that never quite goes away and can even creep up to the room or rooms above the basement. While you or your guests may not be in the basement very often, having a dry, function basement makes a big difference. Store your things without worry, and know that your dream home is not the one with that “basement smell.”
- Replace and/or insulate old windows. This one depends on your needs and skill level. Insulate old windows or replace them altogether. Whatever works best for you also does a number on your heating bill–in a good way. Energy-efficient windows lower costs and keep you and your family warm, cozy, and comfortable.
Don’t Go It Alone
Making improvements or renovations on your own can be more costly in the long-run if you don’t know what you’re doing. Complete the renovations on your dream home, and do it once to keep costs at bay. Be realistic and honest with yourself. For more difficult and/or more costly home improvements, consider working with a trusted home builder. Ask family and friends for recommendations. Make a list of the things you value most in new construction homebuilding or renovation services. Remember that communication is key. Above all else and more important than other home improvement tips is selecting a home builder you can easily and clearly communicate with.
Carefully consider what types of improvements require assistance. For example, if you know little to nothing about electricity and wiring now is not the best time to learn. It’s most cost-effective (and safest!) to install wiring correctly the first time. Similarly, plumbing can also get incredibly expensive to fix or re-do. Don’t take chances on these upgrades that may make them incredibly costly in the future. In these cases, working with an experienced home builder is the way to go.
Think About The Future
Sure, with the best home improvement tips, some careful thinking and planning, and the right execution, you can turn an average home into the house of your dreams. Still, it’s important to ask yourself–and your spouse and children if applicable–what your future plans are. Do you plan to grow old in this home? Will you retire there? How long will you be living at your current residence?
If you plan to sell after some time, make home renovations and upgrades according. Some investments or home changes are more appealing than others when it comes time to sell.
House for sale? Do your research and know what home improvement tips pay off when your house goes up on the market. For example, new garage doors are among the renovations with the best return on investment (ROI). This particular “fix” boasts an ROI of nearly 98%! In other words, “This curb-appeal enhancer will get you back almost every dollar you spent on it when you sell your house,” according to Bankrate.com.
Here are some other renovations that pack the best bang for your buck:
- Install new siding. Yes, it’s this one again! There is a reason that siding keeps coming up in lists of home improvement tips. As previously discussed, it’s practical. It can help lower drafts and heating and cooling costs. What’s more, it’s also an attractive renovation for potential buyers when it comes time to sell. In fact, “Siding replacement recouped 92.8%of its cost,” according to HGTV.
- Do what you can to boost curb appeal. Similarly, curb appeal also packs a great ROI. Siding falls into “curb appeal” as long as its visually or aesthetically pleasing. Likewise, decks are functional and “good-looking” improvements. Finally, landscaping or painting the front door can add to curb appeal. HGTV urges homeowners not to ignore home improvement tips about curb appeal, especially if they have plans to sell. Making sure the outside of your home looks nice is a tactic to draw more buyers inside and make better offers.
- Make necessary repairs. The seasoned home buyer knows to look under the sink and/or inside cabinets to look for signs of water damage. They also know to turn the water to check for low water pressure or an inefficient or faulty water heater. Keep buyers interested by keeping up on maintenance. Let’s face it. This is only going to add to your comfort as well. No one’s dream home comes with a leaky fault and fuzzy, green mold.
The home of your dreams is not as expensive as you think–especially if you’re handy or ready and willing to learn about making upgrades or renovations to your home! Select the best home improvement tips to take your home from “okay” or “it will do” to “Wow!”
Remember, the most important things to consider are painting, small projects that add up to big results, functional and/or practical improvements, working with home builders or construction services on more challenging upgrades, and selecting the improvements and changes that come with the largest return on investment if you have any future plans to sell your home.
According to the SWNS survey, up to 48% of millennials would “give up Chipotle forever” to own the house of their dreams. Whether you are a millennial or not–no matter what your age may be–you don’t have to go to such extremes. Find a new home and keep the fast-food chain in your life. Keep home renovations and home upgrade costs low with the best of the best home improvement tips!