10 Big Impact, Low Cost Remodeling Projects

In today's market climate, many homeowners question whether they should make any improvements to their home prior to placing it on the market for sale. The question is asked: Will I get this money back when the offer comes in from a Buyer to purchase my home? In most cases, large-scale improvement projects in this real estate market are not a good idea. For example, homeowners may not be able to recover the cost they spent to install a new pool, complete a full kitchen remodel, or add extra detailing such as crown molding or bookshelves. Perhaps, at this time, it is better to discount the purchase price rather than spend an exorbitant amount of money on large projects.

Having said all of this, making small and cost-effective changes can be a good idea. A fresh and clean home is much more well-received by Buyers than a property that looks dated and tired. Consider one or more of the following simple, cost-effective improvements to help give your home a pristine and sparkling new look, all the while keeping your money in your wallet so that you are ready for your next home purchase!

1. Tidy Up Kitchen Cabinets:

Potential Buyers oftentimes open kitchen cabinets for a quick look inside. Homeowners can add roll-out organizing trays so that when Buyers take a peek they feel that there is plenty of room for the organization of their own goods.

2. Add or Replace Tile:

The goal of doing this type of upgrade is to make a room much cleaner. Inexpensive new tile can be found at many stores and will help to keep the cost of the improvement down. Adding a kitchen back-splash or freshening up the look of your master bathroom counter can have a positive impact on a Buyer's perception of your home.

3. Add a Breakfast Bar:

When a wall separates a home's kitchen and family room, the homeowner might want to consider cutting an opening in this space so that a breakfast bar can be created. The total expense for such a project can be kept down as, typically, all that would be needed to make this change is the cost to purchase an oversize granite slab and the cost of labor.

4. Install Granite Tile Instead of Slab:

While slab granite counters are popular, another unique look that proves to be much more cost-effective and popular with Buyers is granite tile counters. A granite slab purchase can be upwards of $6000 for just the slab versus granite tile improvements which will cost a homeowner, depending on the size of the project, likely less than $1000.

5. Freshen Up a Bathroom Without Re-tiling:

A dated bathroom, new medicine cabinets, new light fixtures, new faucets, and vanity can make a world of difference. The total cost of these improvements can be easily kept fairly low. Likewise, instead of replacing the tile, the existing grout can be scraped and re-grouted. One other idea that helps steer a Buyers focus away from dated shower tile is to add a new shower door.

6. Add a Room:

Look for large spaces that can be enclosed to create a new bedroom or office for only the cost of creating a wall. It's a quick procedure that can take a contractor no more than a couple of days but can potentially add a large sum to a homeowner's purchase price.

7. Spruce Up Cabinet Fronts:

It is always a good suggestion that homeowners update their tired-looking kitchen cabinets. Reconditioning is the least expensive method for under $1000 in which contractors take out nicks and scratches, then recondition the wood with oil and add new hardware. Re-facing is another avenue in which homeowners can replace the cabinet door and drawer fronts and, likewise, have a new skin put on the interior boxes. The latter treatment is more expensive but allows a homeowner to go from oak cabinets to dark-stained cabinets in a day.

8. Replace Light Fixtures:

Older light fixtures can date a home, both on the interior and exterior. By replacing them with newer, cleaner, and more current models, a home is given an immediate facelift that Buyers will certainly appreciate.

9. Enhance Landscaping:

The first impression Buyers experience with a home is the very moment they pull into the driveway. Oftentimes, curbside appeal sets the tone for the mood of a Buyer's property tour. Simple things like adding flowers for color can make a world of difference. Be sure to keep the lawn and shrubbery well-manicured. Also, consider a good power washing and, perhaps, replacing the front door with something newer. Glass and wrought iron doors or doors with an inset window are popular for twofold reasons: the front of the house looks improved and the foyer gets more light, making the interior of the home more bright and cheerful.

10. De-clutter: 

De-cluttering a home is free! A homeowner should be sure to pack away items that clutter countertops and floors prior to any showings. The rule of thumb is that there should only be three items per counter surface and very few items on any floors other than furniture. Takedown the majority of personal photos. Keep kitchen countertops uncluttered and clean. Enlist the help of your real estate agent for more tips.


BESPOKE. REFINED. LUXURY. As the number one Pacific Sotheby’s team in San Diego, having closed more than $3.5 Billion in residential sales, Luxury Real Estate Agents - Brizolis Janzen is a powerhouse of knowledge and expertise. MISSION STATEMENT: The dedication and commitment to the best interest of the client is always at the forefront of our practice. [email protected] [email protected]

Contact Us
Follow Us