With remodels on the rise, you want to give your property an updated look without breaking the budget.

With whole-house flips slowing down, remodels are becoming more common. Kitchen and bathrooms are usually the focal point of these remodels. But the problem with trying to give any property a new look by remodeling the kitchen, bathroom, or both is that it’s sure to make the rest of the house look old and even more dated.

How and where to spend your money will be your biggest hurdle as you try to give the home a whole new look and feel. Investing in the kitchen and bathrooms will pay off since buyers will pay attention to them the most. Building your home remodel around the design foundation (e.g., hardscapes such as flooring, tile back splashes, countertops) you use in those rooms will help guide you with refashioning the rest of the home.

Here are five easy ways to give your investment property a fresh look, resulting in a home sure to wow potential buyers.

1. Lighting

Nothing says “old” faster than lighting. Yet new light fixtures can often be one of the least expensive things to refashion in a home. Plus, because many of them hang low, they are more apt to be noticed. Lights make a statement, so be sure to look at design elements such as color, texture, and finishes. Remember, “fashion” light fixtures often begin to look old very fast.

2. Bathroom Fixtures

Most houses have more than one bathroom. If one bathroom remodel is in the budget, the other bathrooms in the home may suffer if they don’t get updated. However, there are smaller improvements you can make without doing a full-scale remodel of the remaining bathrooms.

Changing out the bathroom fixtures is one of the biggest ways to bring any bathroom up to date fast. Bathroom faucet finishes change right along with everything else in the design world, so pay attention to which finishes are in or up and coming. A faucet is a touchable item, meaning more than likely anyone who enters the bathroom will touch it; therefore, changing out the faucets becomes that much more important .

3. Window Treatments

Window treatments are not as popular as they were in years past, so changing them out or even taking them off all together might give your room a refashioned look at no cost. Because fabric window treatments fade, rip, and even smell, just pulling them off the windows altogether can give a room an updated look and feel. If window treatments are needed for privacy, take the old ones down and replace them. Window treatments are not expensive and can be purchased right off the shelf at many box stores.

Although most buyers won’t pay much attention to new window treatments, they will notice old window treatments.

4. Carpet and Paint

As investors, we’d like to address both carpet and paint, but sometimes the budget won’t allow it. Yet both can scream “OLD”! Carpet can get quite pricy, but think about it the same way you do window treatments. Old carpet can be stained, smell, and have a dated color. Paint has its issues too. It can be faded by the sun and also be a dated color. To make matters worse, the home may feature a different paint color in each room.

Faced with a limited budget, you will need to make your decision about updating paint or carpet based on the circumstances for each individual house. However, if you have an even tie between them and money becomes the deciding factor, painting the whole interior of the house gives you the most bang for your buck. Paint is going to be right in any buyer’s face while they are looking around since it covers more surface than carpet and is at eye level. Also, if a buyer doesn’t like the carpet, they usually realize it’s easier to switch out the carpet at a later date than it is to paint the whole interior of the home with all their furniture in it.

5. Hardware

Replacing the hardware in your home hardware is an absolute must. It’s easy to do, and it’s inexpensive. Most important, replacing it will update any room fast. Think about hardware in the same way you do earrings, a necklace, or a tie. Look back at pictures of how people used to dress years ago. More than likely, what will make their fashion dated is their accessories—the wide thin ties, mood rings, or gold and silver necklaces. Homes are no different. By adding new in-fashion hardware to any room, you will quickly give the room a fresh new look.

By relighting a home, renewing its bathroom faucets, removing or replacing old window treatments, replacing old carpet or repainting, and installing new hardware, you can quickly give any home a new look for much less than the cost of a full remodel. Scrutinizing what’s in fashion for colors, textures, and finishes will help your remodeling go much smoother with greater results. Potential buyers pay attention to what’s in style. Buyers are often more versed about home fashion design than investors, so paying attention to new design trends is a must.

  • Michele Van der Veen

    Michele Van Der Veen, host of Good Day segments including Flip It, Decorate Like A Designer and Stage To Sell, started her career in real estate investing over 30 years ago. A published author herself, she has also been recognized and featured in international magazines for her unique approach to interior design. Acquiring a formal education from the Interior Designers Institute of California, Michele’s experience stems from building custom homes to flipping over 100 homes and working in commercial real estate development alongside her father at a young age. Not afraid to push the limit on her own designs/investments, she will often be heard reassuring her team about her decisions by saying “Don’t worry we are the comps!” For more on Michele’s work or to contact her go to iHeartHomescorp.com.

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