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Value-Boosting Home Projects for Every Budget

April 4, 2018

As the housing market continues to climb, now is a great time to consider how you can maximize the value of your home. Whether you are preparing to put your house on the market, or simply want to spruce up your living quarters, there are a lot of options when it comes to making updates and improvements. Start exploring value-boosting projects that may be at your price point.

Weekend Projects ($)

Setting aside time to take on cosmetic-focused projects can help bring your home up-to-date. Whether your home is older or starting to show the side effects of everyday wear and tear, DIY weekend projects can liven up your space.

  • Freshen up paint or say “so long” to wallpaper – Light, neutral colors are best if you are planning to sell.
  • Ditch the popcorn ceilings – If your ceilings are stuck in the 80s, smoothing out the dated texture look can facilitate a more timeless appearance.
  • Upgrade kitchen or bathroom fixtures – Switching out faucets, knobs, handles and light fixtures can make your space feel more modern and functional.
  • Tend to the landscaping – Curb appeal is a big deal, and even a little bark mulch or hedge trimming can go a long way.

Budgeted Improvements ($$)

If you are looking to make a more impactful update to improve the overall functionality or appearance of your home, you will likely need to plan ahead for the associated costs. If you’re equipped with the know-how and tools to tackle these projects yourself, or can enlist the assistance of a friend or family member, you may be able to save some money. Regardless, these projects will be more of a commitment time-wise and financially, but may offer greater returns in the end. It’s recommended to confer with your local municipality’s building inspector prior to starting a project and to secure appropriate permits and inspections for work. Prospective buyers will likely want assurance that the work was done properly.

  • Open up the floor plan – Visually create more space by removing a non-structural wall or reconfiguring the setup of a room. There is major appeal in open-concept floor plans.
  • Keep up with regular maintenance and repairs – While tending to your heating/cooling system or replacing a deteriorating door frame may not give you the visual satisfaction of money well spent, proactive maintenance can help you avoid more substantial bills that come with significant repairs.
  • Take on minor energy-enhancing upgrades – Newer appliances and technology are not only more visually appealing, but also boost the efficiency of the home. Older homes can especially benefit from these types of advancements.

Big Ticket Value Adders ($$$)

If more substantial projects are needed to position your home in a favorable light for prospective buyers, you can expect to pay more to accomplish the tasks. It may be worthwhile to consult with your trusted real estate agent before tackling the larger projects, especially if the goal is to sell the house soon. Since we are still in a “seller’s market” with very few homes listed for sale, many real estate agents may caution about putting money into renovations and instead suggest the home be sold “as is” to allow the buyer to put their own personal touches in their new home. If a larger project would in fact facilitate a positive ROI, start setting funds aside well in advance to save up, and be sure to obtain quotes from various professionals to ensure you are getting the best deal. Keep in mind, a home equity loan or line of credit could also be an option to help you finance the expense, without having to deal with a high interest rate loan.

  • Tackle major energy-enhancing upgrades – Replacing your roof, windows, or hot water heater cost a pretty penny, but prospective buyers will be impressed to hear that those investments have already been taken care of. Added peace of mind is invaluable, and these types of updates will most definitely reflect a positive ROI.
  • Renovate the kitchen or bathroom – These areas of the home witness the heaviest amount of traffic and attention, and are often the rooms that show age and wear the least forgivingly. A recently renovated kitchen or bathroom can enhance appeal and value simultaneously.

A home’s general appearance can set the tone for the experience prospective buyers have when visiting the property and for how you feel when spending your time there. Help prospective buyers envision the possibilities that your home has to offer or reinvigorate your place for yourself at a pace – and price – that works for you.

Jim Oosterman is the Vice President of Melrose Bank. He can be reached by telephone at 781-665-2500, online at or on Facebook at

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