10 Upgrades Under $100 to Boost a Home’s Value

American Home Shield recently published the following tips when selling a home: 

  1. Add a fresh coat of paint. At about $30 a gallon, paint is one of the least expensive ways to spruce up your living space. Add paint in neutral, earth-tone colors to bring out the best in each room.
  2. Explore energy updates. Evaluate your home’s energy efficiency by going to the U.S. Department of Energy website. There, you can get tips to make improvements that sellers will appreciate.
  3. Fix minor plumbing and electrical problems. It’s worth your while to take care of these problems before a potential buyer uncovers them during a home inspection.
  4. Add storage. Lack of closet space can be a deal breaker for some buyers. Adding a DIY wire or laminate system to all closets will give them the appearance of being more spacious and organized.
  5. Let light in. Ditch dark and heavy drapes for simple wood blinds and/or upholstered cornices. Update or add lighting fixtures — wall lights, lamps, ceiling fans with lights — to give the rooms a bright, more updated look.
  6. Give kitchen appliances a facelift. Mismatched appliances can make a kitchen look outdated — but that doesn’t mean you need to replace them. Many appliances can be updated with new doors or face panels.
  7. Don’t neglect the bathroom. Simple fixes can make a bathroom look more modern in no time. Get a new shower curtain, switch out the old toilet seat with a new one and replace drab or damaged flooring with vinyl tiles.
  8. Update your front door. It’s the first part of your house that potential homebuyers see. Give it a fresh cost of paint and consider switching out your current lock-and-handle set for a sturdy, more modern piece of hardware.
  9. Power up. Rent a power washer — it’s less expensive than hiring someone to do it — and thoroughly clean your house’s exterior.
  10. Curb appeal. When it comes to your yard, definitely sweat the small stuff. Clean up clutter and have it hauled away or store it in the shed. Get rid of weeds and add some in-season plants and flowers to your walkway or in pots on your front porch. Make sure to mow your lawn as needed — potential homebuyers frequently drive by unannounced.
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5 Tips for Fall Lawn, Tree and Shrub Care to Prep for Spring

With fall around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about preparing your lawn for the winter months.  According to TruGreen, here are five tips for homeowners to prepare their lawns for spring’s growth. 

ASSESS
Inspect your lawn, trees and shrubs.  Identify problem areas in need of pruning, replacement or treatment.  Note area where grass has thinned out or is in need of nutrients which appears as light green.  Also look for pest and weed infestation and overgrown shrubs and trees

 AERATE & PRUNE
Help your lawn breathe through fall core aeration to strengthen roots and prepare for spring.  Conduct corrective pruning of trees and shrubs to enhance plant appearance and thin rather than top-shear overgrown shrubs and flowering trees to preserve their shape.

REPLACE
Fall is the ideal time for successful seeding of bare lawn areas and over seeding of healthy grass to improve lawn thickness and density.  Replace dead or floundering plants in fall for a healthier landscape and improved curb appeal in spring. 

MOW & MULCH
Mow your lawn into the fall and avoid removing more than one-third of the leaf blades with each cut.  Return grass clippings and back to the sol for added lawn nutrients and use tree leaf compost to nourish plants. 

FEED
Feeding your lawn gives grass roots, trees and shrubs the energy needed to prepare for a healthy spring revival.  Keep fertilizer on target to prevent run-off and seep fertilizer granules that may reach pavement back onto your lawn.

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