Select A Department:

Courses in this Department

How Ready Are You to Buy a Home?

Determining Your Dream Home and Finding It!

Factory Built Homes Are Worth a Look

Purchase Manufactured Homes with FHA Loan

How to Buy a Foreclosed Home

Pros and Cons of Corner Lots

Know the Neighborhood Before You Buy

Tune in to an Open House on the Radio

Finding a Qualified Broker or Agent

Shopping for a Loan and Choosing a Lender

How to Improve Your Credit

How to Survive the Loan Application Process

Making an Offer and Signing Contracts

Cancel Your Contract in 3 Days

Understanding the Closing/Settlement Process

Choosing Home Inspection and Settlement Professionals

Double Check Your New Home - The Walkthrough

Know Your Consumer Rights

Seniors Have Many Housing Opportunities

Preparing for the Big Day -- Relocating Moving

Make Your Home Your Castle - Cost Effective Redecorating Ideas


Cost-Effective & Cosmetic Changes

Liposuction for the Kitchen?

Superficiality Is Okay

It can make a BIG difference. It may not change the structure, but cosmetic work can work wonders.

You may want to consider making some cosmetic changes instead of structural ones to trim costs and raise your resale value. This is particularly true if you just bought a home that was decorated in the extreme style of tacky.

Cosmetic changes are less expensive and much easier to do.

Some Easy Facelifts...

...that have a BIG impact.

New paint and hardware in a kitchen is the perfect place to start a facelift and one of the most popular do-it-yourself projects.

You may want to change the counters for another dramatic change. If the cabinets are functional, think about refinishing, painting or re-facing them instead of replacing them. Keep your mind on the surface. You won't be able to move a dividing wall or enlarge a window with cosmetic changes, but you will keep your costs down while significantly changing the home. Superficial as it sounds, you can make or break a house through decorating.

Tiny Works... times.

You don't need to be grand to make a dramatic statement. Sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest impact. If you pick the focal point of a room and change that piece, you will change the feel of the entire room. Try just changing the tub in the bath or the counters in the kitchen. You may be surprised how much those little touches can do. Look at the cabinet and door hardware throughout the house. Even changing light fixtures can make a tremendous difference. It doesn't need to be big to be effective.

Be Bold

It's your home.

In a similar vein, choose boldly. Some real estate agents will tell you to be conservative in your choices for resale purposes. And they may be right. But this is your home so you choose. You can ignore what they say and go for it. Paint that wall Monet blue or brick red. Install seafoam green carpeting. Make your home individual by making bold choices. Or you can use bold choices in ways that are less permanent and easily changed to appease both camps.

Look Down

Floors make a statement.

One of the best places to start is the floor. It is a great place to make a dramatic statement. It acts as the unifying element of the home. Whatever you do there, will affect the entire house. Since this is a costly element of the home, however, you may want to pick a natural color that will blend with every color scheme. It will help when you put the house back up for sale a few years down the road.

Let Yourself Go

Within your budget.

The point is you don't have to be conservative, even if your funds are.

This is your house, so you need to make the choices. Since cosmetic changes are less expensive than structural changes, it may be the time to be bold and make a statement. Or you may want to create a backdrop for a dramatic statement with your furnishings. Either way, look at the surfaces for ways to create an individual statement.

But What If That Isn't Enough?

Let's take a quick look at some structural changes.

Page 5 of 9