Whether you are wanting to increase the value of your Portland home in preparation for putting it on the market for sale, or you’re wanting to make home renovations for improved livability, knowing which improvements to make are key. Though home renovations are often extremely expensive depending on the level of improvements that you are wanting to make, there are options that can be considered that will not break the bank but deliver on value AND livability enhancements that you will love.

So what are the best low-cost home improvements for increasing home value and/or overall livability?

Top Low-Cost Home Renovations To Increase Value

Real Estate Agent Darcey Edwards - Portland OregonWhat do the experts say about the top Portland home improvement projects that will add value or livability to your home? We reached out to Darcey Edwards a real estate professional in the Portland area with Edwards Realty Trust, voted one of the Best of Hillsboro for the second year in a row to get some insight on what her experience in the area can tell our readers about home improvement.

In our conversation with Darcey, she broke down the most important home reno projects that a Portland homeowner can do to improve their home value. Here’s her list.

1 – Paint

Portland low cost remodel - PaintThough it might sound too simple or not all that important, a fresh coat of paint can freshen up a room or your entire house at a fairly minimal cost. Be sure to select appropriate colors for resale or if you intend on staying in your home, something that you like and that will go with your intended decor.

On a side note, Darcey also suggested wallpaper as an option. There are now some really cool wallpaper products out there and they are trending in the Portland area. Just be sure to find wallpaper that is more neutral and not too crazy if you are making improvements for resale. A little goes a long way, so think accents, not entire spaces.

2 – Flooring

less expensive Portland remodel - FlooringIf there is one thing that makes a home buyer cringe it’s worn out carpet, wood flooring, or tile that is beat up and tired. You don’t want buyers to walk into your home and immediately be thinking about the additional expense that might incur with your home, but instead, you want your flooring materials to make a statement and give the potential buyer a feeling of “WOW”.

Yes, hardwood flooring can be very expensive, depending on what you choose however, there are lower-cost options such as engineered hardwood, bamboo, and luxury vinyl tile that are equally beautiful with a much lower expense. If you have a very tight budget you may also want to consider laminate flooring, but only if you intend on staying in your home. Laminate and carpet throughout a home are often the least appealing flooring materials to Portland-area home buyers.

3 – New Appliances

This is where things can quickly get out of control on the expense side of things. But when it comes to selling your home, buyers love to see new, high-end appliances that are already in place. Darcey suggests spending more on the appliances in preparation for selling, but take a get what you need lower-cost approach if you are planning to stay in your home and just want some upgrades.

4 – Efficiency Improvements –

If you want to please a potential home buyer, make your home chalked full of storage and efficiency improvements. Home efficiency options like shelving, storage, and space-saving options will not only make a buyer at ease with your property but if you intend on remaining in your home, you will never regret these efficiency improvements.

Darcey was very clear with her suggestions. “But to refresh a space or getting ready to sell, I tell people to do what they love if they are staying and to do neutral if you are selling.” We thought this was great advice!

Other Less Expensive Portland Home Improvements

If you have already completed or considered some of the above low-cost renovations to your Portland home and think you want to take it just a bit further, we believe the following are some that you need to focus on. Though a bit more money, these are the kinds of improvement projects that will also deliver value and livability right away.

Minimal Bathroom or Kitchen Remodel

low cost Portland kitchen and bath remodel optionsTake a look at the bathroom or kitchen that you are considering some renovations on. Look at them with an eye of a buyer, not just a homeowner. Consider the flooring, tile, countertops, and cabinets and whether any of these are still in style and/or in excellent condition. Determine which of these items can be kept as is and which of them can be improved (for example professionally re-painted cabinets, rather than replacing them).

Once you have determined what can be improved, then make a determination on what needs to go completely. You may want to keep your solid in style cabinets and have them professionally repainted but then completely remove and replace the backsplash tile and countertops. On the other hand, it might end up being that you just need new tile flooring or a new shower to be installed. In either case, you can find a minor remodel solution that improves your home livability or resale value, without the total remodel expense.

Curb/Landscape Appeal

Another low-cost improvement that many homeowners overlook is their home’s curb appeal. Yes, sometimes that requires new paint and concrete work, but many times it could simply be freshening up your landscaping.

Are your shrubs overgrown and covering up the lines of your home? Do your flowerbeds need new bark dust? Is your lawn lacking appropriate care and feeding? These little, low-cost items can make a huge difference in the first impression your home makes on a potential buyer or the feeling you get when you pull up to your own home after a long day at work.

What You Shouldn’t Do?

Important Point – Don’t do DIY projects poorly. If you know how to do it and can make it look professionally done, then that is one thing, but doing a renovation project wrong and it ends up looking like a bad DIY project will hurt you, not help you. Do what you are experienced and comfortable doing, then hire professional help on the things that require it. The bottom line is that if you do these lower-cost projects and do them well, the improved value will be the reward, so don’t cut corners.