5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Home This Winter

With colder temps approaching and less things to do outside, it’s the perfect time to do some projects around the house that will add value to your home without breaking the bank. Especially if selling in the spring is something you’re considering!

Let’s be honest, it can be overwhelming deciding which home projects are worthwhile, and not to mention deciphering between what you like and what potential buyers will like. Also, it’s a real fear that you’re going to drop lots of money on a project that won’t yield you more money in a few months. So, what kinds of things can you do to your home this winter?

Understand the Value of Your Home

Understanding how home value is determined is an important piece. When it comes down to valuing a home, the appraiser’s opinion is very important because the appraiser gives the bank the OK on what buyers are paying for your house. If it comes in low, that could leave money on the table for you as a seller.

Secondly, buyers determine value based on what they’re willing to pay/offer on a house. So, the more appealing you make your house, the greater chance you have of making the most money on it.

New Doesn’t Have to Mean Expensive

Appraisers and buyers alike give value for new fixtures in a house. Fixtures don’t have to be crazy expensive; they can be budget-friendly, yet still elevate the look. New light fixtures are a great option. I’m not talking about simple “boob lights“; think a bit more stylish, like a flush mounted light or a semi-flush mount that matches the hardware throughout your home.

Plumbing fixtures like a new kitchen faucet or bathroom faucet are also a great option. These can completely update the look of a room for very cheap. Places like Menards have private label brands that offer trendy looks and tones at a discounted price.

New mirrors, a towel bar, toilet paper holders, and cabinet pulls in the bathroom are another inexpensive option to update the space and add value. Other items to consider are new door hardware to carry the hardware theme throughout or new “smart” locks for the exterior doors. Creating a cohesive look throughout will give great results.

Color is Important

Color really packs a punch. Choosing inviting tones in your home is not only proven to yield you more money, but color also invokes a positive or negative psychological response. Certain colors like red are across the board a color that should be avoided when trying to add value to a house.

In general, the more fresh you make the space look, the more value will be perceived by buyers and appraisers. So, when choosing paint colors, pick bright and neutral colors that will be universally appealing.

If You’re Going to Splurge…

If you’re going to splurge, spend it on flooring. Not the most expensive flooring because generally you won’t get dollar for dollar return on this – go with a neutral flooring that is durable. Buyers pay attention to flooring and often shy away from homes that need a lot of new flooring.

A rule of thumb is hard flooring like luxury vinyl planking should be used in main areas, bathrooms, kitchens, and hallways. Carpeting is acceptable in bedrooms, and some buyers prefer this.

Take Care of Deferred Maintenance

Any major repairs you’ve been putting off should be addressed now. This can be costly, but it will add value to your home. These weigh high on buyers’ “must-have” lists. Things like a new roof, new windows, new insulation, new HVAC, and new siding are value buyers consider highly. Just make sure you keep track of the receipts, warranties, and manuals.

The Bottom Line on Home Projects

The bottom line here is that if selling your home in the near future is something you’re considering, you need to put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer, considering what they prefer. This likely isn’t bold colors or funky design elements – save that for your next home!

By putting your bold preferences aside and sticking to these rules, you’re going to appeal to more buyers, which will likely yield you more money for your home. Buyers prefer a cohesive, neutral, and up-to-date look. It doesn’t need to cost you thousands of dollars to elevate the look of your home to get thousands of dollars in added value.

For more inspiration on DIY home renovation, check out Whitney’s post for making your house into a smart home!

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I’ve lived in 15 different places in 30 years. Growing up in a divorced family, we moved a lot. During the recession, I called many places home. I’ve seen my childhood home go into foreclosure and seen many friends & family experience the same. Home has always been more of a feeling than a place for me, as it had to be during hard times. Most of my family was in the mortgage and real estate industry. I saw them lose their jobs and businesses when the market crashed in 2008. In a matter of a year, several homes that meant a whole lot to me get foreclosed on and bought by someone else. The world as I had known it for 18 years changed pretty much overnight. It was a scary time for me as I was a freshman in college. My mom was in a new relationship with my now step dad, and I wasn’t sure where home was for me. Deep down, I had a very strong desire to live in a space that was all mine for a long period of time. I was sick of moving, sick of struggling, and wanting stability. I knew I had a long way to go before I would be able to afford my own home. I had a lot of growing to do in all aspects of life. I had four years of college to complete, a career to establish and get my credit where it needed to be. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life or Communications degree, to be honest. All I knew was that I wanted to help people in some capacity. Everything came into focus for me when I was 22 and almost done with college. I was searching for a new job & came across an opportunity at a boutique real estate office in downtown Royal Oak. I went in for the interview and got the position on the spot. I also enrolled in my real estate licensing class, took the exam, and got licensed. I knew this opportunity to learn the business inside and out was my ticket to making a career for myself. I knew a career into real estate could have the potential to change my life and help me help others. It was redemption for me after what my family went through in 2009. Finally, I was taking control of something that turned my world upside down. I also knew that real estate was in my blood! I was only at that job for about a year, as it wasn’t the right environment for me to succeed. I moved on to a career in real estate, which inspired me to create Higher Living Real Estate. I got married in 2017 and we were finally in a place to take the ultimate risk and buy our first home in 2018! We’re expecting our first child this fall. House hunting took a lot of convincing on my part to my husband, Vic. He thought we should stay in our rental that we’d had for seven long years. and save more money. He worried that we would get in over our heads. I was fearful too, I mean I had seen people I love lose everything. I didn’t want to lose everything I had worked for. But something inside me said f*ck fear and to go for it, you’re ready! So, that’s exactly what we did. We got our pre-approval, had the money for the down payment, and found the home that we wanted to buy. On my 29th birthday, we closed on our first home. It was an experience that changed our life. It had been almost 15 years since I was in a home that was not a rental or roommate situation. My husband and I now have something that is ours, that we can paint and design the way we like. We can have friends and family over and entertain. These were all things I thought were super far away for me. Now, we’re expecting our first child, we’ve started to think about getting a larger house. We know we're going to grow out of this house soon. It’s scary to think that the home we worked so hard for and are finally settled in won’t be our forever home. But, we know that there’s something out there that will be big enough for us & the family we want to have in the coming years. Let's be honest, the journey to start a family is scary enough. The thought of selling our first home & buying something new on top of it all can be a lot to handle. Taking a financial risk coupled with balancing a family is difficult, but I choose to not let fear define me. Having been through that leap recently myself, I know exactly how you’re feeling. I know what petty arguments you’re having with your partner. I know what it takes to get through the process as quick & seamless as possible!


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