For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, we’re starting to move from Summer into Fall and before you know it, Jack Frost will come calling just in time for the holiday season, and as the winds of change blow from one season to the next, it’s usually a pretty good time to start taking some stock on what’s happening with your life goals.
Whether you’re thinking about heading back to school, or you have teenagers that will be leaving for college at different stages of the Modern Mom’s life, our financial planning needs a revisit too. This is true for your short term investments or retirement funds but it’s also very true for your property holdings. Perhaps you already have a second home and you’re thinking about how to unlock some equity to boost your cash flow or maybe it’s time to upgrade, here are ten awesome tips to help you put the best face on your home before you take it to market, and that won’t break the bank to get it there.
#1 – GO PRO.
We don’t mean the camera device, rather we mean getting in a professional to give your home the trained eye once over. They know what they’re looking for in terms of style, space utilisation, defects in moulding or décor and moreover they can give you expert advice on what you can change that’s within your budget to achieve the biggest impact. If you don’t have the inherent skills to go it alone, this is not the time you want to start learning them.
#2 – SIZE MATTERS
Or at least the perception does. You can instantly add the perception of more useable space simply by adding shelves and storage units in areas that are currently not being used. This is where your “pro” will come in very handy.
#3 WHAT’S COOKING?
So your kitchen is where you’re probably going to spend most of your available budget. Unless you already have the type of kitchen that Martha Stewart would be proud to call her own, then updating appliances, surfaces, backsplashes and lighting can go a long way to adding a big amount of value to your home.
#4 CHECK, EVERYTHING
Check for termite infestations, woodworms, rotting floorboards, uneven surfaces, squeaky doors, cracked porcelain in bathrooms…everything. This is another area where you want to spend a bit of money to get a pro in to check it with and for you. This will save you many blushed cheeks (and probably some checks too) later.
#5 LET THE SUN SHINE IN
An entire Renaissance periods worth of artists cannot be wrong. Light is everything and your home is no exception. Refresh tired drapes and get them in tie backs, open up spaces with french doors or keep what you have but remove features that block the sunlight.
#6 WHEN IT COMES TO MAINTENANCE, THERE IS SUCH A THING AS TOO LATE
You’ve heard the saying “better late than never”, right? Well, that applies to most areas in life except when it comes to maintaining your home. The earlier you start the better and the good news is that when you find faults early on, they’re usually a lot cheaper and easier to restore or fix and as an added bonus, a good maintenance record adds bags of value to your home.
#7 ARE YOUR CARPETS MAGIC CARPET RIDES, OR HIGHWAYS TO HELL?
Sure a well-worn rug says “homely” and “lived-in” – but there’s a difference between shabby chic, and…well, shabby. Appearances matter so if your favourite front room rug is looking worse for wear and a replacement isn’t in your immediate budget make sure it’s gone by show day.
#8 BATHROOMS FOR YOUR SOUL
There’s a very good reason why bathrooms have been such an important part of our homes since the days of ancient Rome. Nothing says “sanctuary” more than a beautiful bathroom. Along with your kitchen, you could do with spending some decent money on your bathroom too. This doesn’t have to happen overnight and it can be a work in progress while you sort out your finances, but if long-term gains are the goal for your home, then adding bathroom bliss to your list of priorities is a must.
#9 GARDENS FOR YOUR LIFE
Get your family together and make it a bonding event but get to the bottom, of your garden. Along with common living areas inside your home, a garden (whether it’s a patch or a piece of paradise) is a relatively easy way to add a lot of value to your home. Find some inspiration for creative seating, here.
#10 AND FINALLY, IF IT’S BROKE…FIX IT!
There simply is no way around it. If you have any broken bits hanging about your palace, it is time to get it fixed, repaired or replaced. If you need window replacement, new doors a balustrade upgrade or swimming pool resurfacing you need to get it done.
Part of the reason why getting our homes ready for market is so stressful is that so many of the cosmetic as well as deeper repair issues that could have been fixed in good time, have now got to be fixed in no time and there’s no reason for this. Unless you need to sell your home as a matter of urgency, this is something you can plan for and plan for it well. Start your plan with your end goal as a departure point and if you take just one take away from this post, let it be this: start with a pro. Get someone on board who can walk and talk you through everything that you need to achieve to maximize the potential equity hidden in your home.
Once you know all of that, it’s a lot easier to place it onto a timeline and financially cost and plan for it as well.
It’s quite amazing how first impressions can be formed by relatively small things like updated appliances, kettles, coffee machines and refrigerators. You can create instant style appeal with metallic finishes and branded appliances.
Most importantly, take your time and if you’re going to do it – do it well and always remember, have a blast doing it too.