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February 26, 2024
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I’m a Real Estate Agent: The Best $100 You Can Spend in This Market Might Surprise You


With interest rates stabilizing and mortgage rates hitting below 7% for the first time in quite a while, you might wonder what the housing market will do in 2024. Some experts believe that home prices will drop modestly in 2024 due to increased inventory, CBSNews.com reported.

Whether you plan to put your home on the market this year or think of taking advantage of lower interest rates by refinancing your mortgage, you might be thinking of ways to invest in your property to increase its value.

Fran Lisner, real estate agent at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, shared what she would recommend homeowners do with $100, $1,000 or $10,000 to invest in today’s market. It’s not a surprise that her recommendations would help you stage your home for a faster sale in a competitive market or potentially increase its appraisal value if you’re refinancing.

“By making strategic investments in areas like lighting, flooring, organization, and aesthetics, you can create a home that not only serves as a valuable asset but also provides you with a comfortable and enjoyable living space,” she said.

Spend $100 on New Lighting

Most homes no longer use energy-hungry incandescent bulbs. But upgrading to modern lighting fixtures can help improve the look and feel of your home, especially on these short winter days. Lisner recommended affordable, modern fixtures from websites like Wayfair, and focusing on key areas like the entry, dining room, and bedrooms. “Good lighting not only enhances the aesthetics of your home but also creates a welcoming ambiance,” she said.

Spend $1,000 To Get Organized

Whether you’re staging your home for sale or just looking to live more comfortably, Lisner wholeheartedly endorses using a professional home organization service to help. A home organizer can help you de-clutter your home so you can live more comfortably. “This not only improves your overall living experience but also makes your home more attractive to potential buyers.”

If you feel like everything in your home already has a rightful and functional place, you might want to put that money toward new flooring instead. “Beautiful floors can instantly transform the look and feel of your home, adding value and appeal,” Lisner said. “Consider refinishing or replacing your floors.”

While the average cost for flooring, including installation, runs about $7 per square foot, or $3,500 for 500 square feet, according to Modernize.com, you can find options that cost $2 per square foot or less. You can install many types of flooring yourself to further reduce costs.

Spend $10,000 to Give Your Home a Facelift (Inside or Out)

If you have $10,000, it may not be enough for a full-scale kitchen or bathroom remodel that will provide years of enjoyment and boost your home’s value.

“It is common knowledge that kitchens and bathrooms play a significant role in selling houses, but there are a few other ways to maximize your home’s financial value, regardless of your budget,” Lisner pointed out.

For instance, you can improve the overall look of your home with a whole-house interior paint job for roughly $10,000, depending on the size of your home. “A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your home’s appearance and appeal,” she said.

It costs an average of $4,500 to $6,000 to paint the entire interior of a 1,500-square-foot home, according to HomeGuide.com. A 2,500-square-foot home could cost up to $10,000, including labor and materials.

If you have a smaller home, you can put what’s left of that money toward lighting, floors, or improving the outdoors with professional landscape design. “A well-maintained exterior can significantly increase the value of your property,” Lisner said.

With that in mind, she pointed out that if your home’s interior doesn’t need any extra TLC or a fresh coat of paint, consider updating the exterior with new siding. According to Forbes, it can cost as little as $8,420 to install vinyl siding on a 2,500-square-foot home. If your home is smaller than that, you can splurge on higher-quality materials and still keep the price under $10,000.

Final Note

Whether you’re planning to sell your home within the next few years, refinance for a lower interest rate or better terms, or just want to make an investment in your house to improve your quality of life, there’s a lot you can do, depending on your budget.

“When it comes to your home, there is a fine line between simply living in a house and creating a space that allows you to live well. As a real estate agent, it is my job to provide sound financial advice on how to spend your money in ways that not only increase the value of your home as an asset but also improve your overall lifestyle,” Lisner concluded.

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