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30 Home Improvements to Add Value


Home Improvements: Under $100
Tip 1: Spend an Hour With a pro
Invite a realtor or interior designer over to check out your home. Many realtors will do this as a courtesy, but you will probably have to pay a consultation fee to a designer. Check with several designers in your area; a standard hourly fee is normally less than $100, and in an hour they can give you lots of ideas for needed improvements. Even small suggested improvements, such as paint colors or furniture placement, can go a long way toward improving the look and feel of your home.

Tip 2: Inspect it
Not every home improvement is cosmetic. Deteriorating roofs, termite infestation or outdated electrical systems — you can't fix it if you don't know it's broken. Hire an inspector to check out the areas of your home that you don't normally see. They may discover hidden problems that could negatively impact your home's value. Small problems (such as a hidden water leak) can become big, expensive problems quickly; the longer you put off repairs, the more expensive those repairs will be.

Tip 3: Paint, Paint, Paint

One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value. When selecting paint colors, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, painter's tape, drop cloths and brushes. So buy a few gallons and get busy!

Tip 4: Find Inspiration
An alternative to hiring a designer is to search for remodeling and decorating inspiration in design-oriented magazines, books, TV shows and websites. Simply tear out or print off the ideas you want to try and start your to-do list. Keep it simple — when remodeling on a tight budget, do-it-yourself projects are best.

Tip 5: Cut Energy Costs
The amount of money you spend each month on energy costs may seem like a fixed amount, but many local utility companies provide free energy audits of their customers' homes. They can show you how to maximize the energy efficiency of your home. An energy-efficient home will save you money now, which can be applied to other updates, and is a more valuable and marketable asset in the long run.

Home Improvements: $100- $200

Tip 1: Plant a Tree
If you aren't planning to sell your house today, plan for the future with a landscaping improvement that will mature over time. Plant shade trees — not only will mature trees make your home more desirable but a fully grown, properly placed tree can cut your cooling costs by as much as 40 percent. Mature landscaping is also good for the environment, providing a necessary habitat for wildlife while adding valuable curb appeal to your home.


Tip 2: Low-Maintenance Landscaping


No question that shrubs and colorful plants will add curb appeal to any home, but when shopping at your local garden center, make sure that you "think green." Purchase plants that are native to your region or plants that are drought-tolerant; these require less water and maintenance, which means more savings to you and more green in your wallet.

Tip 3: Money-Saving Luxury
Speaking of water, here's another way to tap into extra savings; install a water filtration system in your kitchen. Not only do these systems purify your water, they will also lower your grocery bills — no more bottled water. A water filtration system is an inexpensive addition, but it's the sort of small luxury that homebuyers love.

Tip 4: Improve the air Quality Inside Your Home
Air quality isn't just about the conditions outdoors. If you have older carpets in your home, they might be hiding contaminants and allergens. The first step to determine if these need replacing is to hire a professional company to test your indoor air quality. If the results prove that your carpets should be replaced, choose environmentally friendly natural products like tile or laminate floors. Hard-surface floors are much easier to keep clean, don't hold odors, give your home an updated look and, in general, are more appealing to buyers.

Tip 5: Save the Popcorn for the Movies
Finally, what's on your ceiling? Few structural elements date a house more than popcorn ceilings. So dedicate a weekend to ditching the dated look and adding dollar signs to the value of your home. NOTE: some older ceilings could contain asbestos so before undertaking this project, have yours tested by professionals. 
Once you're in the clear, this is a project you can tackle yourself. First, visit your local hardware store for a solution to soften the texture, then simply scrape the popcorn away. Removing a popcorn ceiling may not seem like a big change but one of the keys for adding value to your home is to repair, replace or remove anything that could turn buyers away.

Home Improvements: $200-$400

Tip 1: Clean up the Lawn
Overgrown or patchy lawns and outsized bushes will cause your home to stand out — in a bad way. The good news is that taming your jungle is an easy fix. For a few hundred dollars, hire a lawn service company to trim your lawn and shape your hedges. Your curb appeal will go from messy to maintained without blowing your budget.

Tip 2: Cleanliness counts
The old adage that you only get one shot at a first impression is true. So, make the interior of you home shine from the moment someone walks through the door. For less than $400, hire a cleaning service for a thorough top-to-bottom scrubbing. Even if you clean your home regularly, there are nooks and crannies that you may miss or overlook. Let a cleaning service do the dirty work to really make your home sparkle.

Tip 3: Visually Increase Your Home's Square Footage
The size of your home dramatically affects the value, but square footage isn't the only space that counts. Visual space or how large a home feels also counts. The key is to make each room in your house feel larger. Replace heavy closed draperies with vertical blinds or shutters to let light in — a sunny room feels larger and more open. Also, try adding a single large mirror to a room to visually double the space. Finally, clear the clutter. The more clutter, furniture and plain old stuff you have in a room, the more cramped it will feel. For less than $400, add an attractive shelving unit to an underused space and store your clutter out of sight.

Tip 4: Small Bathroom Updates Equal a big Return
Bathroom updates are always a smart move. Even if you can't afford a full remodel, small changes such as replacing dated wallpaper with a faux or textured finish and replacing old lighting will update the room without denting your wallet.
Tip 5: Add new Energy-Efficient Fixtures

A functional, decorative ceiling fan is a beautiful thing. It provides necessary light and, in warm months, creates a soft breeze reducing the need for expensive air conditioning. But, an outdated, wobbly, loud or broken ceiling fan is a useless eyesore. Replace old fixtures with new ones to make your home more enjoyable for you now and to increase the bottom line should you decide to sell.

Home Improvements: $400-$750

Tip 1: Big Return on Bathroom Updates
A great room to update for less than $750 is the bathroom. The two rooms that benefit most from even small renovations are the kitchen and bathroom. One cost-effective change — like replacing an outdated vanity, old plumbing and lighting fixtures or adding a new tile floor — will guarantee a lot of bang for your buck and give your bath an updated, modern look.


Tip 2: Any Kitchen Update Equals Added Value
The same rule applies in the kitchen. You don't have to start from scratch to create a winning recipe. For maximizing your home's value, kitchen updates are key. Start by swapping out just one item, such as a stained sink or ancient microwave for shiny new stainless models. Even small kitchen updates will add big value to your home.


Kitchen Is Key to Adding Value 
Experts tell what kitchen improvements offer the most bang for your buck.
Tip 3: Replace Worn Carpets or rugs
Take a look at your home's soft flooring. Are your carpets and area rugs stained or worn? Nothing turns buyers off more than the thought that they will immediately need to replace all of the flooring in a home. Ideally, you may want to replace them all, but if a limited budget puts a snag in that plan, start by replacing the carpet in the room that shows the most wear and tear and replace the others as your finances allow.

Tip 4: Keep up With Regular Maintenance and Repairs
Walk around your home and make a list of all the little things that are broken or in need of repair. Individually, small repairs might not seem important, but if every room has just one thing wrong, those small things will add up to create the impression that your home has been neglected. If you don't feel comfortable tackling the repairs yourself, hire a handyman for a day and watch your "to do" list disappear. Staying on top of maintenance today eliminates problems down the road should you decide to sell.

Tip 5: Get Help with Getting Organized
Hire a professional organizer for a day. They will show you how to organize various rooms in your home and teach you tricks for keeping it organized. How does this increase your home's value? Simple — a clutter-free home appears cleaner and larger, which is more attractive to homebuyers and therefore more valuable.
 

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What my clients are saying  

My experience while purchasing my first home was the best experience I've ever experienced. With Lisa's guidance it was a stress free experience. She made sure I was comfortable and understood every step. She gave her opinion from the heart. You can tell she genuinely wanted you to have the home you desired. She is very personable and that's great when you are purchasing a large investment. I am forever grateful of her help. So if you are looking to have a wonderful experience while purchasing or selling any property Lisa Kelly Realtor is the way to go.

 

~ Candace Engram

I had such a positive experience working with Lisa. Not only is she a complete professional, but such a compassionate human being. Her knowledge guiding me through the Florida real estate process was so helpful as a first-time Florida homebuyer. She was always prompt and responsive while going above and beyond. She attended all key inspections in person and kept me informed throughout the entire process. If you are looking for a great real estate experience, look no further. Lisa is your gal to get the job done. I will definitely be working with her again in the future.

 

~ DJ Bradley

I had such a positive experience working with Lisa. Not only is she a complete professional, but such a compassionate human being. Her knowledge guiding me through the Florida real estate process was so helpful as a first-time Florida homebuyer. She was always prompt and responsive while going above and beyond. She attended all key inspections in person and kept me informed throughout the entire process. If you are looking for a great real estate experience, look no further. Lisa is your gal to get the job done. I will definitely be working with her again in the future.

 

~ DJ Bradley

We can’t say enough good things about Lisa Kelly! From the moment she stepped through our front door, she demonstrated all the characteristics you want in your realtor: integrity, friendliness, optimism, thorough knowledge of her field, state-of-the-art technical savvy, unflagging energy and sensitivity to all our own needs and feelings. Our house sold in four days and we are certain this success was largely due to Lisa’s skill and hard work. We highly recommend Lisa Kelly to anyone looking for a top notch realtor!

 

~ Tom and Kim Manske

We can’t say enough good things about Lisa Kelly! From the moment she stepped through our front door, she demonstrated all the characteristics you want in your realtor: integrity, friendliness, optimism, thorough knowledge of her field, state-of-the-art technical savvy, unflagging energy and sensitivity to all our own needs and feelings. Our house sold in four days and we are certain this success was largely due to Lisa’s skill and hard work. We highly recommend Lisa Kelly to anyone looking for a top notch realtor!

 

~ Kim Manske

Sidney Wyland Lisa Kelly was our realtor that helped us with our move from Utah to Lakeland. She is a very good resource for us in Lakeland and helped us buy our new home. We found Lisa on the internet. She has helped us with all the contacts and scheduling to insure all things here went smoothly. The closing on our home was completed on time which was very important as we had are household goods being delivered from two different states. She also continues to be there for us for any referrals or help we may need here locally. I would highly recommend her to anyone buying a home.

 

~ Rick and Sidney Wyland

Just wanted to thank Lisa for a job well done. I worked with Lisa on 2 of our homes this past year. We sold one in June and another late in the year. Everything went smooth and all details were handled in a very professional manor. Thanks again Lisa; nice working with you. Lee Brown

 

~ Lee and Frankie Brown

We had been looking for a new home for about three months. We changed Realtors and began working with Lisa. She showed us a couple of places. We talked about limits on price and location. We looked again on a couple. We did not care for those. She emailed us about a home that was being restored for a flip. We met her at our current home. We liked the location and made an offer which was accepted. She did a great job getting the seller to accept and a wonderful job from there. The closing took about fifteen minutes. We have been very happy from that day on. Patricia and Bill Crabb

 

~ Bill and Patricia Crabb

We had been looking for a new home for about three months. We changed Realtors and began working with Lisa. She showed us a couple of places. We talked about limits on price and location. We looked again on a couple. We did not care for those. She emailed us about a home that was being restored for a flip. We met her at our current home. We liked the location and made an offer which was accepted. She did a great job getting the seller to accept and a wonderful job from there. The closing took about fifteen minutes. We have been very happy from that day on. Patricia and Bill Crabb

 

~ Bill & Patricia Crabb

Just wanted to thank Lisa for a job well done. I worked with Lisa on 2 of our homes this past year. We sold one in June and another late in the year. Everything went smooth and all details were handled in a very professional manor. Thanks again Lisa; nice working with you. Lee Brown

 

~ Lee & Frankie Brown

01/03/2017 - shunter317 Bought a Single Family home in 2016 for approximately $175K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa is an exceptional agent as she knows real estate law and the local market. She communicates and is extremely responsive to her clients questions and needs. She walked us through a complicated contract. We consider Lisa a new friend.

 

~ What Others Had to say

Highly likely to recommend 08/09/2016 - HappyBuyerNEOH Bought a Single Family home in 2016 for approximately $225K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: I highly recommend Lisa Kelly! She was awesome to work with through the whole process. Her communication and promptness went above and beyond my expectations. Working in the mortgage industry, I see all types of realtors, if you want a genuine, awesome, go getter- she is your girl!

 

~ What Others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 10/27/2014 - jessbparker Bought a Single Family home in 2014 for approximately $75K in Auburndale, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: I cannot say enough about Lisa Kelly. She helped my husband and I buy our first home when we had limited funds and difficult circumstances. She is extremely knowledgeable about homes, market, taxes- anything you could want to know. She is also an excellent advocate for her clients during negotiations, which really came in handy when you're a nervous first-time home buyer.Less

 

~ What others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 02/22/2014 - par167 Bought a home in 2014. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa Kelly is the hardest working woman I know! If you are in the market to buy or sell take it from my personal experience she delivers results!In Polk County or anywhere else for that matter you will be hard pressed to ever get better service. Paul Renner.....

 

~ What others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 02/25/2012 - user027478 Bought and sold a Single Family home in 2011 for approximately $275K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa is the most professional realtor I've ever worked with... she's direct, honest, highly-knowledgable, very responsive and a consummate professional. She played fundamentally important roles in helping us to sell our house in a tough market. She's a hard worker and also gave us great advice and we were able to sell after listing for about 30 days. She then helped us find and close on our dream home. Her persistance and negotiating savvy helped us buy a house that was not a very convential listing. If we'd had an average realtor, we'd have been a lot less successful with both our deals. I'd recommend Lisa to anyone who wants to work with a genuine professional. She could write a book on what it takes to be an outstanding service provider.

 

~ What others had to say

02/09/2012 - Alyson7707 Bought a Single Family home in 2009 for approximately $125K in Bartow, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: We absolutely loved our experience with Lisa.. She is incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated to finding the home of your dreams. We couldn't be happier with the home she found us or the time we spent with her--she made the experience exciting and easy. We do not hesitate to recommend her to friends and family and will absolutely work with her in the future. Thanks again Lisa! -Michael & Alyson Elrod

 

~ what others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 02/08/2012 - AimeeWeed Bought a Single Family home in 2010 for approximately $100K in Auburndale, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa was always quick to respond to my questions. I honestly think that my family and I would not be in this wonderful house without her hard work. She is honest, not afraid to give her opinion in a helpful way, and she is very knowledgeable in all aspects of her job.

 

~ what others had to say

Wonderful wonderful experience. Lisa is what I call a dream maker. I had the dream, and she made it a reality.Lisa's hard work, her quick response, her compassion in knowing I was a single mom purchasing my first house, has earned my loyalty in using her as my realtor for life.

 

~ what others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 03/09/2011 - reedswife11 Bought and sold a Single Family home in 2011 for approximately $75K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: This woman is amazing, we have run into every road block imaginable and she has negotiated our problems quickly and effectivly everytime. Always available and Always puts her clients first

 

~ what others had to say

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