With Arizona real estate values rising, homeowners are using easy DYI home improvement to update
The housing market has led to disappointment and loss of ambition for millions of homeowners who were affected or repelled by its collapse five years ago. Not only did home sales hit record lows – while foreclosures hit record highs – but the number of homeowners making improvements on their home also fell dramatically, for good reason. With property values on the floor (right next to buyer interest), the costs of completing major projects outweighed the benefits.
Essentially, investing money in a home renovation or even small DYI projects would end up adding very little to a home’s property value. For the last three to four years, home improvement activity has been dead, but now hardware store owners all across the country have a reason to smile.
With home prices having stabilized and continuing to improve in most markets, in addition to low financing costs and higher consumer confidence, homeowners have been beginning the projects they’ve put off for so long. In Phoenix-metro, prices have risen nearly 30%. That alone is a sign that now could not be a more perfect time to pick up the hammer and get back to work. (Heck, you may even have equity soon enough!)
Here are four inexpensive, refreshing options to consider when improving your home.
- Paint with your happiness in mind. Diversifying the colors in your home can be a great home project to do on an uneventful weekend. Studies have shown that painting your entire house one color is not only boring – it’s emotionless. Painting a room a color that coincides with the room’s purpose can actually increase happiness and friendliness amongst family members. Among the color/room matches are:
- Browns, oranges, and reds in dining and living rooms
- A comforting and soothing blue or cream in the bedroom and kitchen
- Quiet shades of green in the bathroom
Better yet, painting is one of the least expensive home improvement options that anyone can do. Next time you take a trip to the hardware store, consider buying different colors of paint to add a touch of style and warmth to your home.
- Touch up the exterior. All it takes is a clean-cut landscape to raise the property values of a house and an entire neighborhood. It is possible to keep your yard looking nice without spending a lot of money. By putting in a little time and a little DYI effort, you’ll be able to take great pride in the nice work you’ve done – and others will too. A quick remodel of your house’s exterior should focus on the trims, including:
- Getting new outdoor lights.
- Putting in a new front door or swiping on a fresh coat of paint
- Adding or fixing up exterior window shutters
- Mowing the lawn (which includes edging and weeding) on a regular basis.
And anything else that visibly needs to be fixed. Touching up the exterior will make your house presentable to anyone who passes by and may encourage your neighbors to do the same, which can benefit the entire neighborhood.
- If it’s broke, fix it! From something small like a broken coffee pot to something big like a leaky roof or broken window, there’s no good reason to leave something broken – especially if it’s taking up space in your house or causing a burden to your family.
A good idea is to create a to-do list of all the home improvement projects that need to be completed around the house, even if you can only start with the small ones. This way, you can keep track of the repairs, call the necessary professionals, or plan on buying whatever replacement items or tools you’ll need to get the jobs done from your local home improvement store
A wobbly chair, a cabinet door hanging on its hinge, or a drawer that won’t close all the way are things you can probably do yourself. Even medium-sized projects like fixing a leaky faucet (unless you have bad plumbing!) can be completed with the proper knowledge and tools. However, larger projects may require you to hire a contractor; planning ahead can help you find just the right person for the job.
Regardless of what’s broken, it’s important that it gets fixed. Don’t just let these things slip your mind, as waiting to long may cause permanent damage. As well, it will create a more harmonious home.
- Maximize space and comfort. The best way to live comfortably in a house is to get rid of all the unnecessary clutter. Whether books or old clothes or boxes of junk you’re never going to use again, what’s the point of keeping it around when all its doing is taking up space? (again, creating harmony!)
The simple solution here is to toss it! Storing items such as old papers, toys, clothes, etc. is pointless, and you and your home would be much better off if you threw away or donated things you have no use for. It may sound like a chore, but in the long run it can be exciting to create so much more space to move around. Once you start clearing space and realizing just how much more you can enjoy your home, you won’t want to stop.
Aside from throwing away stuff, try organizing. Built-in and consumer storage solutions can minimize the clutter and space needed to store all the items you don’t want to throw away. This is also a great way to turn a room back into the room it was meant to be.
A simple bookshelf can keep an office organized – and keep you motivated to work in it. Instead of using your bedroom as a storage room, throw away and organize all the items that are taking up space, whether you use them or not.
Home improvements can be relatively simple and cost-effective. It doesn’t take a complete renovation to increase the property value and enjoyment of a home. Whether you are still waiting until the recession storm blows over, now is the perfect time to create your DIY home improvement plan.
If you’re not sure what you’re home is worth, are past the point of wanting to improve the home you’re in, or just wondering if it even makes sense to do (if you’re considering selling your Arizona home), give me a call to see! I’d love to come check out your house and provide some useful feedback.
Tracy (G+) is an Arizona Short Sale Realtor, Investor, Rehabber, and Foreclosure Expert.
She also is an avid blogger, vlogger, contributor to the Bigger Pockets Blog, and consultant on all things Arizona Foreclosures.