Home upgrades like refreshing a kitchen possible even on a low budget

Low budget home upgrades allow you to refresh your home while saving on the cost of a major renovation. And a cost effective refresh may just be the answer to selling a home that resonates with today’s largest property buying demographic.

According to a 2016 study by the National Association of Realtors, people born between 1980 and 2000 make up the largest portion of the buyer market at 35%. Unlike generations before, which may have been more inclined to purchase a home that requires some additional work, most millennials are in search of turnkey homes that are move in ready and don’t require any renovations.

Even going through your house and doing a deep clean or applying new paint can be a great starting point, but of all the places to consider for a refresh or some low budget home upgrades, the most important rooms of a house to a buyer are the kitchen and the master bathroom. Since these are the two rooms in a house that are the most expensive to renovate, it’s critical, especially to millennials, that these spaces are the most up to date.

Here, we break down the top five most important aspects of a house when it comes to potential buyers, with tips and advice on how you can refresh these spaces in your home without the hassle or cost of a renovation:

#1: The Kitchen

Why it’s important
The room with the most appliances in one place is one that demands functionality. It’s also often the focal point for social gatherings. It makes sense that a kitchen can make or break a home in the mind of a prospective buyer.

What you can do without renovating
Findings from Bankrate.com indicate that open floor plans are at the top of the wish list for potential buyers. But you don’t necessarily have to start knocking down walls to make your kitchen feel more spacious.

To start, try getting rid of any bulky furniture and finding symmetrical pieces. (For example, two chairs at a breakfast bar). Clear your countertops of clunky kitchenware as much as possible. Perhaps add a mirror on the wall to toss light around the room and provide the illusion of space.

There are many ways that low budget upgrades can spruce up your kitchen. Another easy refresh starts by taking a look at your cabinets. Switching up knobs on cupboards or doors can do wonders for making the space feel new.

Try adding tile stickers to accent a tile or two on your backsplash to refresh your walls without having to retile.

#2: The Bathroom

Why it’s important
Like the kitchen, the bathroom is one of the trickiest and most costly rooms for renovations in any home. Despite often being one of the smallest, it’s also one of the most essential. The bathroom is a room that buyers will almost certainly scrutinize when viewing a property.

What you can do without renovating
Before anything else, clean. It sounds simple, but it also may be the most practical of all low budget home upgrades. Giving your bathroom a good scrub down alone can make it feel like a new space. In addition to the appliances and fixtures, cleaning grout between the tiles of your bathroom will make it shine.

But aside from putting in some elbow grease, what else can be done? First, try stepping back and assessing what items appear to be the most out of date. Maybe you haven’t replaced your shower curtain in ages. Maybe the light fixtures look a bit tired. Between these things and other aspects like cabinets, faucets and the vanity, figure out the top two things that look like they need updating the most, and then focus on those. Even refreshing just one or two features will make a difference to the overall feel of your bathroom.

Like other rooms in the house, a new coat of paint is also a great option to make the bathroom feel new again. Alternatively, replace the shower head with a spa-like rain shower. These are easy to install and available at most hardware stores. Not only will you be able to enjoy it yourself, it will also be a bathroom feature to highlight to future buyers down the road.

#3: The Bedroom

Why it’s important
While it may not hold the same level of priority as the kitchen or bathroom, the average person spends one third of their life asleep. It only makes sense that a nice bedroom is important to many homeowners. As a place associated with rest and relaxation, it’s a space that should not only be functional, but calming too.

What you can do without renovating
Similar to a fresh coat of paint, updating the lighting in a room is one easy way renew the space. Try new bedside lamps to give your room a newly refreshed yet cozy vibe. Alternatively, take a look at the overhead lighting and consider replacing light fixtures. Many options are available that don’t necessarily require the work of an electrician.

If a new paint job doesn’t sound appealing, try removable wallpaper instead. Countless patterns and colors are available and are relatively easy to install. This is one of those low budget home upgrades that can make your room look as if it was decorated professionally. The best part is that if you decide you don’t like it, you can take it down just as easily as you put it up. (Just make sure that you purchase the right kind from the get go).

Beyond the walls, patterns in other parts of a room will draw the eye and set the tone for a space. Try adding throw pillows with new patterns that differ in scale. This range will make each pattern stand out.

If you have bookcases or a shelf in your bedroom, try stacking books to complement the room’s overall color scheme. Placing framed photographs or small pieces of pottery on shelves are another quick and easy way to create focal points within the space. It’s one of the more cost effective of the low budget home upgrades.

Another all too often overlooked feature of a room when considering an upgrade is its windows. But curtains and blinds arguably make up a huge component of a room’s overall décor. Consider updating the window treatments in your bedroom, maybe new patterns, new colors, or a new type of treatment altogether. You may be surprised to find out how much of a difference it makes.

#4: Flooring

Why it’s important
While not confined to one particular part of a house, floors are another feature that buyers will notice when viewing a home. They’re also an aspect that can require extremely costly renovations to replace completely. As a piece that ties a room together, updated flooring can refresh any part of a house.

What you can do without renovating
Tearing up your floor and laying down hardwood is both timely and expensive. But according to the National Association of Realtors, 54% of homebuyers are willing to pay more for a home with hardwood floors. Luckily, there is one option that can give your floor a hardwood refresh without the reno. Swiss interior design company Ruckstuhl has created Legno-Legno. It’s a carpet made out of real wood, but that rolls up just like a typical rug. Available in multiple colors, it is possible to get the hardwood floor look in your home without being drawn into a costly renovation.

But leaving hardwood aside, even a regular rug is one of several options for low budget home upgrades when it comes to your floor space. Investing in a quality rug that will stand the test of time is always going to be more cost effective than renovating.

To refresh a larger amount of floor space quickly, carpet tiles are an easy way to completely change the floor of room. Both readily available and easy to install.

#5: Outdoor Landscaping

Why it’s important
Curb appeal has the potential to make or break a sale. So much focus goes toward the interior of a home, but there is no denying that the front of your house is very first thing any visitor or prospective buyer will notice before they even set foot on the property. If it doesn’t look attractive, this can potentially set the tone for their overall impression of your home.

What you can do without renovating
Like with other spaces of the house, cleaning and tidying your outdoor space in itself is important. While landscaping is usually costly, it is also possible to do a few things on your own, even if gardening isn’t your favorite hobby.

Start by asking at your local greenhouse and get the opinion of someone who works there. They may have advice on what you can do with plants they have in stock that you would not have thought of on your own. Then, begin the process slowly with just a couple of shrubs of flowers. Make sure to layer the heights of plants, keeping the tallest ones in the back. Plants you purchase should come with instructions that include space requirements and the estimated height when fully grown. This way, you can get a rough sense of how tall they will be in your front yard.

Low budget home upgrades: The cost effective solution to renovating

If a renovation isn’t part of your plans for a while, you don’t need to forgo a refresh to your home entirely. Even just a few of these low budget home upgrades can make your space feel brand new. Best of all, you can most likely do them on your own.