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Making a mint on your home without breaking the bank

Posted at 9:30 PM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 00:37:46-05

PHOENIX — If you're selling a home in Phoenix right now, you're in luck. Low inventory and a lot of buyers means you may not have to wait long to get an offer. In fact, you may get multiple offers, especially if your home is listed for $300,000 or less.

Whether you're looking to sell now, or wait, there are a few small upgrades you can make that could add anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 to the value of your home, depending on how much it costs.

ABC15 is looking into home upgrades that will make you a mint on your home, without breaking the bank.

East Valley realtor Sarinah Brooks tells ABC15 the reality is, right now your home is competing with hundreds of bright and shiny new buildings sprouting up all over the Valley.

"The new builds are more energy-efficient, and they are modern inside," said Brooks.

These builds allow buyers to customize their homes. From your dream floor, to paint color, door frames, and bathroom fixtures - there are so many ways you can design your home to suit your taste. But, sellers of older homes may have one big advantage.

"The easiest way is to utilize your lot size. A lot of the new builds are on smaller lots. Older homes were built on larger lots," said Valley realtor Thomas Hanes, with Bliss Realty & Investments.

A few basic upgrades to your home could make your home more competitive on the market.

If you're the do-it-yourself type, you can definitely save a lot more money on these home projects. Brooks said her husband helped her do most of the dirty work, but they did hire some contractors to help them out along the way.

"Painting the ceiling and painting the walls were super inexpensive to do and it's a really quick update," said Brooks, adding that you'd be surprised what a fresh coat of paint could do to instantly upgrade your home.

Even inside her home, Brooks said she had all of her interior doors re-painted. "A painter quoted me $20 a door," said Brooks.

She hired someone to shave off some drywall to turn their doorway arches into higher modern straight lines, to give it a more modern look. "It is such a minor fix, but it really improves the house and makes it look more modern, it cost us $400," said Brooks.

When it comes to a full kitchen or bathroom remodel, realtors say, save your money or go for partial upgrades that won't break the bank.

Even just replacing a granite countertop for your laminate one, or adding one or two energy-efficient appliances or toilets could add some value to your home.

"Me as a buyer, I look at granite countertops and I start making cinnamon rolls in my head with the space that it's going to provide me to do that with," said Brooks.

Thomas Hanes with Bliss Realty & Investments estimated Brooks's had added a total value of about $60,000 to her home with all of her upgrades, but keep in mind, the Brooks's did most of the work themselves and hired contractors for tough to tackle jobs, like electricians and plumbers.

In Mesa, realtor Jeff Wood with Keller Williams introduced us to his clients Kelly Moore and Lee Standage. The couple was looking to sell their home. They had done a few basic upgrades along the way, such as adding gravel to the backyard, a fresh coat of paint, and new floors."It was about $1,500 for the flooring but we did all ourselves," said Kelly.

Just with these upgrades, Wood said the home was under contract within two weeks. The home got multiple offers, all $15,000 over the asking price.

Wood said when it comes to upgrades looking at the cost return on investments was key.

Right now the best cost returns according to include garage doors, manufactured stone veneer, minor kitchen remodels, the addition of a deck or patio, and entry door replacements.

If your budget is tight, one of the easiest things you can do is to de-clutter.

All that costs is sweat equity but it can make a big difference when a potential buyer walks through your doors to look at your property.