For Austin homeowners, a house is more than just a place you live. It’s also an investment. And in some cases it’s the single most valuable investment you own. In light of this, you have to manage your investment. This means doing the occasional home improvement to keep your property valuable in the larger Austin real estate market.
The Perfect Time for Home Improvement Projects
The last few months have been tough on all of us. Whether you’ve been directly affected by the virus, have loved ones who’ve been affected, or you’ve felt the indirect effects (like job loss, income reduction, loneliness, etc.), it’s been a challenging year. But in times of great trial, sometimes it’s helpful to reframe our circumstances.
As a homeowner, you can look at this era of quarantine and social distancing as an opportunity to tend to all of the home projects that you’ve put off for years. You may never have another time like this where you’re at home and have minimal obligations outside of the house. Use it wisely!
5 Home Improvement Projects for Austin Homeowners
Sometimes you do a home improvement project because it’s something you want to do. Other times you do a home improvement project because it’s something you need to do to keep your house in line with comparable properties in the market. Then there are times when you do a home improvement project because it’s something you want and need to do. Here are a few that fall under this latter heading:
1. Minor Kitchen Remodel
Americans have smaller families than at any point in history, yet live in larger properties than ever before. At the same time, we’re spending more time in just a few concentrated areas of the home. Pretty crazy, right?
We’re not necessarily advocating that you ditch your big house and downsize to a tiny house. However, if you’re going to invest in a remodel or upgrade, it would make sense to invest in the areas of your home where you spend the most time.
According to a research study conducted by a team at UCLA, 68 percent of the average family’s time in the home is spent in the kitchen and family room. (And in many of today’s Austin homes, the kitchen and family room seamlessly spill over into one another.)
So why not focus on the kitchen?
A major kitchen remodel can be a serious undertaking – costly and time-consuming – but a minor one is accessible to anyone. If you’re handy, you might even be able to do most of the work on your own.
Here are some recommended improvements that would put your house in line with the top of the Austin housing market:
- Reface cabinets. Is your cabinetry looking a little dated? You don’t necessarily have to rip everything out and start over. (Which is expensive.) If you have solid wood cabinets, you can probably get away with buying new doors and then repainting the cabinets to a tone that fits your new style.
- Quartz countertops. Get rid of laminate or dark granite and replace with light quartz countertops. Not only is quartz affordable and high-end, but it’s easy to take care of. You’ll love it!
- New hardware. Only have a couple hundred dollars to spend? You can easily swap out dated cabinet and drawer pulls with sleek, contemporary options without breaking the bank.
- Fresh backsplash. Again, this is a super cost-effective yet highly impactful upgrade. You can even buy backsplash tile sheets, which saves time and allows you to quickly go from boring to stylish.
If you have the time and money, do all of these! If you’re lacking in these areas, pick and choose the ones that you believe will make the biggest impact.
2. Add a Deck
Outdoor living is something most Austin home buyers are interested in. It makes a property more versatile during all four seasons – and it also looks great!
There are plenty of outdoor living options, including screened porches, firepits, and outdoor kitchens, but a deck is an easy and cost-effective option. (If you have any basic carpentry skills, you can probably handle this on your own.)
3. Paint Your Front Door
Believe it or not, painting a front door is one of the highest returning home improvement investments you can make. It’s a small project that can be done in an afternoon, yet it makes a big visual statement in the curb appeal department.
“While cool, neutral wall colors like tan and light blue are still popular, we’re seeing a notable shift in home design where pops of color — particularly in darker hues of blue and gray to even black — are becoming increasingly popular,” designer Kerie Kelly writes.
Pastel colors – like blues, pinks, and greens – are also very popular in the Austin market at the moment. Don’t be afraid to try something different. If you don’t like it, you can always repaint it fairly easily in the future.
4. Upgrade Light Fixtures
Cheap light fixtures take away from the unique flavor of your house. If you’re going to splurge on something, it should be custom/luxury hanging light fixtures. They make a huge visual statement – particularly in the kitchen and dining room.
For a few hundred dollars, you can find some pretty stunning fixtures. Try shopping online for the best deals, but do your research to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting.
5. Upgrade Your Flooring
Tired of dated carpet or tile, but don’t want to splurge on hardwoods? A simple upgrade to vinyl plank flooring can make a big difference in the appearance and feel of your home. It’s especially good in bathrooms, hallways, kids’ rooms, and basements. (Best of all, anyone can install it. Most vinyl plank floor products can be scored with an exacto knife and snapped by hand.)
Green Residential: Austin Real Estate Company
Green Residential is a real estate company in the Austin real estate market. Whether you’re looking to buy a house, sell a home, or outsource management responsibilities for an investment property, we’re here to help. Please contact us today and we’ll let you know how we can best serve you!