As we’ve made decisions about renovating our new home, we’ve definitely considered the “return” on our investments as well as our desires to make the home perfect for us. Updating the kitchen and bathroom, and new paint inside and out were top priorities (and looks fantastic!). Not all home improvements are worth the investment, but some are. Check out these 8 affordable home upgrade suggestions.

Get The Most Bang For Your Buck With These 8 Affordable Home Upgrades

Giving your home some TLC with an upgrade here or there can add a touch of luxury, but not all home improvements are worth the expense. Whether you just moved to a new home, or are prepping to sell, there are likely some upgrades you want or need to make. But when you’re on a budget, do you know which home renovation projects are worth the investment?

We’ve nailed down eight upgrades that will give you the most bang for your buck when you’ve got less than $2,000 to spend.

Touch Up the Kitchen — Bathrooms and kitchens sell homes, so you can’t go wrong with a kitchen remodel, even if you don’t have a huge budget. Refinish or repaint cabinetry for a fresh, clean look. Upgrade hardware to something sleek and modern. Shop “scratch-and-dent” stores for nearly perfect stainless steel appliances. Replace laminate counter tops with more affordable granite, such as Napoli, Baltic Brown or St. Cecilia. Decide which kitchen upgrade is most important and start there.

Modernize Your Bathroom — Replace traditional ceramic tile with timeless subway tile. And the plastic tub surround with a tiled shower with a mosaic pattern. Upgrade faucets and fixtures to bronze or chrome. Stick to classic features and avoid anything too trendy. Rather than replacing the tub, consider surface restoration to recoat the existing tub or shower to make it look new, without the cost of new.

Put On a Fresh Coat of Paint — A new paint job provides dramatic results without a huge investment, especially if you make it a DIY project. Giving the inside of your home a fresh coat of paint with whites and neutrals can go a long way in updating the look of your home and appealing to potential buyers. Neutrals help buyers envision themselves in the space. Lighter tones also look best with hardwood floors and can brighten a dark room or make a small room feel larger.

Invest in New Flooring — If your home has hardwood floors hiding under the carpet, pull back the carpet and refinish the floors. No existing hardwoods? Look into eco-friendly and affordable flooring options, such as bamboo and cork. Install new, plush carpet in bedrooms and put laminate or ceramic in bathrooms. Shop the “remnants” section at flooring store to find great bargains for smaller spaces. To stick to your budget, you may need to pick and choose which rooms get a flooring upgrade. If existing carpeting in bedrooms is in good shape, opt for a deep cleaning, rather than a complete overhaul.

Give it Some Curb Appeal — The front of your house is the first thing people see; what kind of impression do you want to give? Planting trees will add curb appeal and also help prevent erosion and block storm water runoff. Colorful flowers in pots or beds near the front porch and along the front of the home create a welcoming first impression. A bright coat of paint on the front door says “welcome home.”

Light it Up — Lighting isn’t just functional – it also creates atmosphere and ambiance. Put overhead task lights or ceiling fixtures in bathrooms. Install recessed lights in the kitchen, with a hanging pendant light over the island or kitchen sink. (You can purchase a pendant light kit to fit over existing recessed lights at your local home improvement store for under $40.) Brighten your kitchen workspace and create ambiance with under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen. In living spaces, install lighting that can be controlled with dimmers. A few other simple electrical upgrades you can do include adding extra outlets and more ceiling fans to make life more comfortable without breaking the bank.

Add Energy Savers — Making your house more energy-efficient doesn’t require an investment that will take years to pay off. Some upgrades are surprisingly affordable and pay for themselves in short order. In fact, some green home improvements may even pay off in rebates and tax incentives. Start by sealing up any leaks where there is an exchange of air between the inside and outside. Install insulation in the attic or crawl space under your home. Beyond energy-efficient kitchen appliances, consider adding a tankless water heater.

Don’t Forget Simple Home Maintenance — A new kitchen or bath loses its appeal if there are underlying maintenance issues, such as plumbing problems. Although less glamorous, it’s always worth your money to keep the existing structure of the home sound. Repair or replace any troublesome plumbing, fix running toilets, have the foundation inspected, repair quirky electrical issues and fix any other issues that may only be masked by a cosmetic upgrade.

A complete home makeover will cost you a pretty penny, but just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t make simple improvements to your home that will pay off when it comes time to sell.

If you’re considering purchasing a new home or renovating your existing home contact me today to get prequalified and ready to buy.

From the PrimeLending blog by Mandy Jordan