Brian Ridgway | Bethesda Real Estate, Washington Real Estate, Chevy Chase Real Estate


Not all home improvements cost thousands of dollars. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the most impact. So, if you’re avoiding putting your house on the market because you know it needs work, or if you’re passing over the house in your budget’s sweet spot because you think it might be a money pit, check out these inexpensive options for adding to your property’s value.

$999 and under

  • Give your appliance package an overhaul: Upgrading appliances to modern, energy-efficient versions gives your kitchen an instant update. Wait for the next holiday sale (New Years, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Black Friday) to hit up the big box appliance and DIY stores for deals on appliance packages. Stainless steel remains on-trend and complements any kitchen style.
  • Trick out your turf: Re-sod your lawn to replace the weed-prone mixtures to give your property instant curb appeal. Consult with a landscape professional to make certain the sod you choose is best for your property's soil, drainage, and sun/shade requirements.
  • Deal with the door: After all, your entry is the first impression of your home. Replace the outdated one with an architecturally advanced solid core beauty or give your home a needed decorative leaded window version. Then, stain or paint it with an eye-catching splash of color.
  • Lighten up: Change out all existing light bulbs for high-efficiency LED replacements. Not only will your utility bill go down, but if you choose “daylight” or “warm” bulb versions, your home will feel light and bright.
  • Add a fan: Replacing ceiling light fixtures for fans gives your room an instant upgrade. Choose from sleek metallic models for a modern look or beautifully detailed versions to match your home's authentic vibe. If you happen to live in a temperate climate, a whole-house fan is an excellent investment. These fans, installed in a hallway ceiling or at the top of the stairs, pull cold air from lower levels throughout the home reducing your need for air conditioning.
  • Fix the fixture: Okay, so sometimes they aren't fixable. But faucets and light fixtures are easy to replace. Check your local hardware store for sales, closeouts, and other discounts on lighting or faucets and you will give your home a whole new look for less.
  • Pitch the popcorn: If your home still has those outdated popcorn ceilings, invest a little elbow-grease into scraping them off. Over a weekend, using a softening solution available from your favorite DIY store (and some drop cloths), spray and scrape those ceilings smooth. Once your ceiling is clear of the texture, paint it a lovely flat white or complementary color to your walls. Trim them out with crown molding for an added touch of luxe. Paintable polyurethane versions become indistinguishable from wood when installed and brushed with a lovely glossy white.

Over time, a little change here, a little upgrade there and your home's value magically improves without breaking the bank. If you'd like a professional opinion about which updates and upgrades could add the most value to your home, schedule a consultation with a real estate professional.