10 upgrades under $1,000 that increase home values

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A clean, well-maintained home in tiptop condition will yield maximum profit when it comes time to sell. However, you don't have to shell out the big bucks to make sure your house is in mint condition. There are a number of upgrades you can do for under $1,000 that will impress buyers and prompt strong offers. Whether you're a condo owner in Seattle, WA, or prepping a home for sale in Charleston, SC, you have plenty of ways to increase your home values with budget-minded, strategic upgrades.

Add a water filtration system

Installing a whole-house water filtration system is a serious game changer. Additional filtering to remove pollutants and chemicals from our drinking water has become necessary in many cities across the U.S. However, many homeowners have been dealing with the issue on their own, by either using a clunky, refillable filtering pitcher or purchasing drinking water in environmentally unfriendly plastic bottles. Increase your home's value and impress buyers with filtered water directly from any faucet in the house — it's pure luxury, and this amenity will pay off now and in the future when it's time to sell.

Install a programmable thermostat

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating your home accounts for more than 40% of its total energy usage. Programmable thermostats allow you to customize a temperature profile throughout the day. Reducing the temperature inside your home by a degree or two while you sleep can lead to huge savings on a monthly basis. And with energy costs on the rise, many buyers will appreciate your forward thinking in assisting them with long-term savings — especially if you put in a Wi-Fi–enabled thermostat that can be controlled by your smartphone or computer.

Add more grounded outlets, or upgrade the outlets you have

If you live in an old house, chances are, two-prong-receptacle outlets outnumber grounded, three-prong outlets in your home. Adding more three-prong outlets is a small project that can greatly improve the functionality of your home. It's possible to retrofit a new three-prong or GFCI receptacle into the two-prong outlet box without rewiring, as long as the box itself is grounded. Or if you're happy with the electrical structure you have but are sick of looking at dingy tan switches, consider updating to new white ones. You can even add fancy new outlets that have USB ports or timers to control lights.

Update your fixtures

Updating tired, worn fixtures will breathe new life into any space. Give your bathroom and kitchen a critical look — could the drawer pulls and cabinet handles use an update? If new kitchen cabinets are outside your budget, new hardware is a simple way to update the room's entire look and feel. What about the faucets? A sleek new kitchen faucet with a sprayer combines practicality with design and will be appreciated by buyers. Anticipating and tackling these smaller projects will have a big selling impact. And — bonus! — you can enjoy them in the meantime.

Replace the toilet

Replacing an old, cracked, or outdated toilet can make a significant impact on your bathroom aesthetics. Purchase a stylish new one for a few hundred dollars or take the environmentally friendly route and opt for an almost-new secondhand toilet (just be sure to buy a new seat). Repurposed construction material outlets offer a variety of well-priced goods.

Reglaze the bathtub

You can see buyers hold their breath as they slowly pull back the shower curtain, hoping for a sparkly new tub. Exceed their expectations for just a few hundred dollars by reglazing your existing bathtub. The process can be accomplished in a day and will be ready to use in just a few days. Roll up your sleeves for a DIY weekend or call in the professionals; either way, you'll come in under budget.

Install a tile floor

A shiny new tile floor can breathe life into the darkest bathrooms. They're easy to clean, resist microbes and allergens, and wear well in high-traffic areas, making them a perfect material for the bathroom. Flooring liquidators typically sell a variety of quality tile, so start there. If your bathroom is small, you can probably even splurge on some designer options! Then save the rest of your budget for a professional installation.

Add new blinds or plantation shutters

Is your home still sporting aluminum blinds or old-school vertical blinds? Consider replacing them: New window coverings can really modernize a room. If your windows are a standard width, you can buy basic wood blinds at a home improvement store (and most allow you to customize the length). If your window size is irregular, you'll have to special-order them. To add a truly upscale look to a room, try plantation shutters — they can be a major selling point with the next people to own your home.

Replace the front door

The front entry is the focal point of your home's curb appeal. Give your home a face-lift and replace — or repaint — the front door. With security and safety in mind, choose a door that will appeal to a buyer's practical side (and don't forget to consider new hardware too). Another way to add interest and style to your home is by adding color to make your front door a statement.

Add a walkway

A new path leading to the front door can really elevate the look of your home. While brick pavers add a traditional and classic look to the exterior of your home, you can also choose stone, concrete, or even rocks — just make sure the look of the pathway matches your home's style. Regardless of the material, a walkway is a welcoming feature, beckoning guests (and buyers!) inside to have a look around.

What affordable upgrades have you made to increase the value of your home? Share in the comments!

The post 10 Upgrades Under $1,000 That Increase Home Values appeared first on Trulia's Blog.

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13 features homeowners want the most
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13 features homeowners want the most

1. A laundry room (92%)

2. ENERGY STAR® appliances (90%)
3. Exterior lighting (90%)
4. ENERGY STAR® rating for whole home (88%)
5. ENERGY STAR® windows (87%)
6. Ceiling fan (86%)
7. Patio (84%)
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12. Table space for eating in kitchen (80%)

13. Walk-in pantry (80%)
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