5 Easy Upgrades for New Homeowners

Turn your new house into Home Sweet Home with these popular upgrades.

Contribution by Andrea Davis

Congratulations! You’re now the owner of a new home.

Whether it’s your first place or the newest in a series of homes you’ve bought over the years, it’s important that you take maintenance steps immediately following the purchase. While the seller probably did some work before putting it on the market, you want to make sure the house stays in top shape for a long time.

Here are some upgrades that every new homeowner should do after settling into their home:

Make sustainable upgrades to the home

As homeowners become aware of the home’s impacts on the environment, take steps to upgrade the interior and exterior to be more sustainable. Energy-efficiency costs will vary depending on what kind of upgrades you decide to do. For example, installing LED lights is an inexpensive project for the weekend, whereas a more extensive sustainable upgrade like new green flooring installation could cost between $2,500 and $3,600. While any of these investments pay back in the long-term, it’s important to budget and plan ahead.

Maintain and add to the landscape

Medina, WA Listed with Coldwell Banker BAIN

The yard may have been well-kept or neglected, but either way you’ll want to put your own personal touches on it. While you should continue to maintain the lawn, it’s also a good opportunity to tailor the landscape to your needs. You could install a deck or patio for entertaining, or build a swimming pool if you live in a particularly hot climate. Planting new trees, shrubbery and colorful flower beds will also help your yard stand out. While many choose to maintain landscapes themselves, you can hire a lawn care service for more tedious and time-consuming tasks.

Personalize rooms with paint

Before it was sold, all the rooms in your home may have been painted neutral colors like taupe, white or grey to depersonalize the home. Now that you own it though, it’s a chance to make the rooms yours by adding color. Paint options like pastels and browns allow the chance to mix up the color scheme without needing to paint it later when it’s time to sell. This is also a good chance to cover up any problem areas you missed on the walls during the walk-through.

Enclose the yard with a fence

Los Angeles, CA Listed with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Adding a fence around the backyard is a good way to increase value to the home and figure out where to go with design based on what type is installed. There are various fencing options available to homeowners, and each one benefits in its own way. By installing a fence, you can then proceed with designing the rest of the backyard landscape—deck, porch, patio, swimming pool, etc.—to flow with the fence. Fence installation costs will average around $2,400 to $3,400, depending on the material and area of the yard.

Replace the doors and windows.

Over the years, doors and windows endure a lot of climate conditions and damages from repeated use that wear them down. It’s a good idea to replace doors—the front door especially—to avoid cracks, air leaks and other problems. Installing new windows is another smart option, as it can be an opportunity to install energy-efficient double-pane windows which can help save on the utility bill.

Andrea Davis is the editor at HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with home improvement professionals in their area for free. Connect with Andrea on Google+

 

Lindsay is the Manager of Social Media for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and is a licensed real estate agent. She was born and raised in New Jersey and just bought her first home in Livingston, where she grew up. When Lindsay isn’t busy facebooking, tweeting or instagramming she is enjoying life with her husband Joe and cat Rory. She enjoys binging on Netflix, cooking and Zumba.

Resources to Help You Sell Your Furniture
Spotlighting a One-of-a-Kind Mexican Oasis in Honor of Cinco de Mayo