Easy Home Improvements & Repairs

Last week I sat down to watch one of the many HGTV television shows featuring home buyers comparing several housing options. This particular show highlighted a real estate agent presenting various properties to a recently married couple. The clients discussed a comfortable maximum price and list of requirements. The agent then located three homes that closely matched the specified criteria. The program closely documented the process of weighing each of the options. The format is fairly basic yet oddly compelling.

Easy home improvements that can save money and not prohibit a home purchase.In this particular episode the wife expected a move-in ready palace. The husband was a little more realistic, but was still overly optimistic. The first house showing prompted remarks like, “No, no, no, no, no!”, “Gross!”, and “Unacceptable!” The second two showings spurred similar responses. The real estate agent became noticeably frustrated, but kept her cool as she attempted to explain the ease or difficulty of various modifications. In the end the couple selected the third house, but not without some additional complaining along the way.

Many of the obstacles identified by the prospective buyers in the show were basic, low-cost improvements. These types of do-it-yourself projects are easy and can be accomplished with little or no prior experience. In fact, these necessary improvements may work to the home buyer’s advantage. Other buyers may be discouraged from making an offer on the property because of the same cosmetic issues, which will decrease competitive demand. With a little research, an interested buyer can determine the time and resources necessary to modernize the home. Armed with detailed information, it is possible to negotiate a much lower purchase price. And with a little sweat equity, much of that work can be done by the buyer, saving even more money.

Easy home improvements include window shutters, hardwood floors, hardware, and paint.

Wall color is possibly the top item prospective buyers criticize. In unfurnished spaces, walls are the predominate surface, causing unattractive colors or patterns to dominate the environment. Yet, painting may be the single easiest home improvement project requiring minimal cost and time. Removing wallpaper is more time consuming, but is still on a DIY level.

Unfashionable light fixtures and ceiling fans can really detract from home décor. Outdated pieces are usually easy to replace, even if they may require the assistance of an electrician. Either way, it is a simple exchange.

Undesirable window treatments such as curtains, drapes, blinds, or shades can negatively influence a room’s mood. Replacing with bold functional window shutters will instantly transform the interior, with the ability to invite light into the space with open louvers and easily close for privacy. Custom indoor shutters can be ordered online to save money and easily can be installed by the homeowner. New window coverings are also often necessary in recently built homes where they are not typically included.

The price can quickly rise on replacement hardware, including door knobs, cabinet pulls, and hinges, but should never be a deal breaker on a house purchase. Select personal styles and colors for an instant transformation.

I’m well aware that real estate agents are constantly reminding clients that all of these items are simple modifications. Hopefully this reminder will help confirm that cosmetic issue should not automatically rule out purchasing a property with fundamental worth.

By Brian Wright