Buying a house – whether it’s your “forever home” or a house you’ll only be in for a couple of years – is a big deal. Any time you put down such a large amount of money and attach your name to debt, you want to make sure it’s perfect. The problem is that homes are rarely, if ever, perfect. And in crowded markets where prices are quickly rising, you sometimes have to buy something with a few flaws. But in many cases, you can overcome these issues with a few quick fixes.
8 Simple Changes and Updates
There are big problems and minor ones. A big problem is something like a crack in the foundation, mold in the basement, or leaks in the roof. While you can technically deal with these issues, they aren’t ideal. It’s usually better to remove these properties from your list and keep shopping.
Then there are minor problems. These are small and/or cosmetic issues that are more a matter of preference than an issue of structural integrity or quality. You shouldn’t let these flaws scare you away. They can typically be fixed with a small investment and healthy amount of elbow grease.
When buying a home, you have to look past the cosmetic issues and understand that most surface-level issues can be fixed. Here are some examples of simple updates and changes you can make to turn a generic house into your new home:
Paint the Walls
Walls can be painted with very little experience or skill. The most common transition is to go from dark and warm colors to lighter and cooler colors. Not only does this make a room brighter and more cheery, but it can also change the perceived size of the space.
“Enlarging a room with lighter colors enables your eye to travel continuously around the space, making the room appear more spacious,” designer Kristen DiNobile writes. “When you use different colors, your eye stops at the line where the color changes. This makes the edges, and therefore the size of the room, more apparent. You see the boundaries. With the same color, you don’t see boundaries and space seems to continue.”
The key to a good paint job is to prep. Tape off edges, lay down a protective cloth, and buy the right brushes and rollers. If you take the time to get the space ready, the actual application of the paint is effortless and (dare we say) enjoyable.
Swap the Kitchen Backsplash
The kitchen is a highly personal space where you spend a lot of intimate family time. As such, it’s the room in the home that new homeowners most like to change and update.
If you have a massive renovation budget, then you can feel free to gut the kitchen and replace everything – including flooring, countertops, and cabinets. But if you’re on a strict budget, simply swapping out a dated backsplash with a fresher option will do wonders.
These days, you can even buy backsplashes that stick on, which means you don’t have to cut tile or apply grout. (But even going the latter route is easier than most people think.) Take a trip to your local home improvement store and ask for some suggestions on materials and processes that fit your budget and skill level.
Install New Hardware
You can really freshen up a room and transform its style simply by replacing hardware. This includes door hardware, bathroom knobs, kitchen drawer pulls, faucets, etc. If you take care to find hardware that matches the dimensions and hole template of your existing hardware, it’s as simple as removing and reinstalling the new item. Otherwise, you may have to do some additional repair work to ensure a seamless fit.
Add Crown Molding
One of the quickest ways to take a room from basic and drab to sophisticated and luxurious is to add crown molding where the walls meet the ceiling.
Crown molding can be purchased in a variety of styles from any home improvement store and you’ll simply need to cut the pieces to size using mitered joints in the corners. Other than a saw, all you need is a nail gun to pin the molding into place.
Install New Hanging Light Fixtures
It’s common for starter homes to have cheap fixtures hanging in dining areas – and they can really hold a room’s look back. Thankfully it’s super easy to swap out hanging light fixtures and get a look that you really want. (Here’s a guide for safely and quickly swapping out fixtures.)
Remodel the Fireplace Surround
If your living room has a fireplace, it’s most likely the focal point of the room. Thus, the easiest way to change the look and feel of your living room is to remake the fireplace surround to your liking. Easy tweaks include painting brick, upgrading the mantel, painting tile, and/or mounting a TV.
Paint the Front Door
If your house needs a bit of curb appeal, consider painting a boring white front door a different color. A bright pop of red, yellow, or blue will make an otherwise conservative entrance look exciting and cheery.
Painting a door is fairly straightforward, but there are some different factors to take into consideration. Here’s a helpful guide that walks homeowners through the process in a step-by-step fashion.
Plant Some Flowers
Aside from cleaning up the landscaping, pulling weeds, trimming bushes, and pressure washing hard surfaces, planting fresh flowers around your house can really make your house feel like a home. Go ahead and invest in some big planters to give your front porch an updated look and feel.
Buy and Sell With Green Residential
Buying a house is an emotional and financial decision. It’s important that you weigh all of your options and make a smart choice that sets your household up for happiness and success for years to come. At Green Residential, we’d love to help you accomplish this. Contact us today to find out more about our home buying and selling services!