Want some ideas to help enhance the value of your house and/or your client’s house? Here are some ideas that cost under $1,000:

1. A programmable thermostat – The Department of Energy tells us that heating totals more than 40% of a home’s energy usage. A programmable thermostat that enables you to customize your temperature profile throughout the day will help lower energy costs. If the home is for sale, buyers will appreciate your consideration of long-term energy savings.
2. Replace the toilet(s) – Newer toilets are taller and use less water than older toilets. Even if you buy an “almost new” second hand toilet, buy a new toilet seat.
3. Update faucets and hardware for cabinets.4. Re-glaze the bathtub so it sparkles.
5. Install a tile floor in the bathroom or any6 high trafficked area. Tile is easy to clean, resists microbes and allergens and wears well.
6. Add new blinds or, if you want to go all out, plantation shutters. New window coverings modernize any room.
7. Either repaint or replace the front door. Your front door is the focal point of your home’s curb appeal as well as the tone setting entrance to your house. Replace the door’s hardware as well.
8. Add new and/or updated walkways into your home and your garden to welcome guests and/or buyers. Brick pavers enhance a traditional or classic look or think about using a material (stone, concrete, rocks, etc.) that is consistent with the style of your home.

Here are some additional home “fashion” features that cost above $1,000 just in case:

1. Quartz counter tops are more popular than marble…three times more popular. True, quartz is more expensive from the get-go but marble is prone to staining and needs to be resealed every year.
2. Hardwood flooring is more popular than carpeting. Hardwood flooring is easier to clean and lasts longer but carpeting is warmer on bare feet. There is the option of radiant heating if you choose hardwood.
3. A soaking tub gives your bathroom a spa-like feel but it’s a toss-up when compared with a claw-foot tub.
4. Bay and/or floor to ceiling windows are a toss-up. Maybe a mix and match?
5. Gas stoves…hands down. Gas is faster and cooks more uniformly than electric stoves. Gas is more expensive from the get-go but turns out to be cheaper over time.
6. Backsplashes update kitchens. Use either subway or basket-weave tiles.
7. Luxury buyers expect luxury, high-end appliances such as SubZero, Viking, Miele, Gaggengeau.
8. Contrast kitchen counters, cabinets and islands with lighter and darker colors. White/lighter/brighter cabinets make kitchens look bigger while darker cabinets look richer. Use them in contrasting functions and surfaces.

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