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Blog :: 06-2020

The best resource for information about real estate, our local area, and current topics that impact you.

Read our blog for household tips, tricks, home improvement, buying/selling tips, DIY, and so much more!

If there is anything you'd like to see us write about, let us know!

Budget-Friendly Home Improvements That Increase Home Value

When selling your home, making it look attractive to buyers is one of the first steps to a quick sell. While a quick sale is great, selling your home for as much money as possible (while still on a budget) is next level!

Big home improvements can be costly and time consuming, but there are many affordable updates you can tackle on your own that will make your home more appealing and desirable on the market. This may mean more money in your pocket when it comes to closing time!

**Note that making any kind of small improvements to your home could increase the value of your home. As you make upgrades, both big and small, the desirability and value may also increase. 

Updates in the Kitchen:

Spruce Up Your Backsplash

If you have a boring backsplash and want a cheap update, there are affordable peel & stick tiles or overlays found on Etsy. Upgrading your backsplash will add instant appeal and can completely change the look of your entire kitchen! Check out these awesome peel and stick tiles on Etsy:


RePaint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Sure, this is a daunting one, but we all know how important kitchens are for buyers! Your kitchen has been well lived-in (and loved) and there are probably many memories, stains, and scratches that you may not notice, but buyers will.

Replacing the entire kitchen can be extremely expensive, but a DIY fresh coat of paint on your cabinets will make your kitchen feel new - something all potential buyers want! 

Upgrade Your Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

After you have newly painted cabinets, add new hardware. This is one of the best ways to upgrade your kitchen on a budget because it adds instant appeal. You can find affordable cabinet hardware at Home Depot

Change Out Your Kitchen Lighting

New decorative lights in the kitchen will instantly update the space and make your kitchen feel new and inviting. There are many affordable pendant lights at Home Depot for under $50, or, check your local thrift store, as you can sometimes find awesome vintage chandeliers, pendants, or other kitchen lighting!

If you're in New Hampshire, check out Revived Furniture & Home Decor. It's a great family business and they have very unique, vintage lighting for affordable prices! Check them out HERE.

$29.00 at Revived Furniture & Home Decor


Laundry Space Upgrades:

Most buyers look for a decent laundry space during their home search. While it may not be a deal-breaker in some cases, it never hurts to give it a little upgrade. Here are a few ways to upgrade your laundry space:

Add storage and/or shelves

If you have a large laundry room, add storage and shelving in blank spaces. If you have a laundry closet, add shelves in any space you have left :-)

Laundry Room Shelving or Cabinet

Add a Decorative Rod For Clothes - This is a cheap way to make your laundry space feel complete. Find a decorative curtain rod, or, install a hanging/shelve system!


Bathroom Upgrades:

Replacing an entire bathroom can cost you thousands, but there are many upgrades you can make on a smaller budget:

Change out the vanity

No, it's not as expensive as you think! You can find very affordable vanities at Home Depot for under $200! If you want a pop of color, purchase an unfinished wood vanity and paint it the color of your choice!

Add Storage, Medicine Cabinet, or Mirror

Buyers LOVE storage, so you can never have enough. Adding additional shelving, a medicine cabinet, or storage mirror in the bathroom will add instant appeal when buyers start exploring the home in person. In addition, if you have a small bathroom, a storage mirror will be a big bonus. You can find affordable storage mirrors and medicine cabinets at Home Depot

For powder rooms, add a decorative mirror to make the space feel spacious and inviting. You can find very affordable, decorative mirrors at TJ Maxx, Home Goods, & Marshalls!

Adding storage can be as simple as floating shelves or hanging cabinets (things that will stay with the home when you sell).

Update the Shower Head 

Adding a large, new shower head can make the shower, and entire bathroom, feel updated and new! Even better, this is an easy installation and DIY! You can find affordable shower heads at Home Depot or Lowes. 

Other Upgrades:

Update Your Closets

If your closets are boring and basic, you can upgrade the look of every closet in your home with a few budget-friendly changes! Adding additional storage, and optimizing space in all closets is key - we basically don't want to just be able to hang things.

Remember, buyers love storage! In bedroom closets, add extra clothing and shoe storage with shelving or install a DIY clothing system. These systems (shown below) can be found for under $200 and will instantly attract buyers when they open closet doors to explore! Add similar shelving and storage in coat closets!

Update The Thermostat

If you have central heat and air, this is a great way to make the home feel "new" to buyers. Especially in older or out-dated homes, when you have new technology, it helps make the home feel updated throughout.

A Nest Thermostat is very popular these days, and it can be purchased for under $200! Make sure to do your research and ensure you're purchasing a thermostat that works with your current systems. 


Last but certainly not least, clean your home! Making your home spotless may not increase the value of your home drastically, but a dirty house will decrease the value - food for thought!


 For more seller tips, you can also check out our articles:

 8 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home More Attractive to Buyers

10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal

12 Ways to Upgrade Your Backyard on a Budget


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12 Ways to Upgrade Your Backyard on a Budget

12 Ways to Upgrade Your Backyard on a Budget

Everyone loves a good backyard, but redoing your entire backyard may seem like a daunting job. The good news is there are many affordable upgrades you can make on your own! These budget-friendly upgrades will have your backyard looking cozy and inviting in no time, without breaking the bank!

In addition, if you're trying to sell your home, making these changes to your backyard will definitely please potential buyers! When spaces feel cozy and comfortable, that means a quicker sell!

1. DIY Patio

DIY Gravel Patio

If you already have a patio or deck, skip to #2. If you're in need of a patio or deck, keep reading!

Patios can be costly to build, however, a gravel patio is by far the easiest, and cheapest way to build one on a budget. A gravel patio is made by clearing your desired space, building a simple border, laying down landscape fabric, and dropping your gravel! Check out these easy instructions from City Farmhouse.

2. Add A Dining or Bistro Set

Large dining sets can be costly and set you back a few thousand. However, you can find more affordable larger dining sets at Ikea, Target, Wayfair, and Overstock!

If you're on a tighter budget, try searching for outdoor bistro sets. These 3 piece dining sets can seat 2 people, and can add instant appeal to any backyard nook, garden, patio, or deck! Check out some affordable dining & bistro sets below:

Wayfair Bistro Set


3. Build A Bar!

You may have to be a little handy to do this DIY, but making your own bar can save you a ton of $! You can buy pallets, or, you can search around for some stores who throw away their extra pallets. Some stores have certain rules that prevent them from giving their pallets away, but if you see a few next to a business, it never hurts to ask!

Check out this DIY pallet bar on Pinterest from 1001 Pallets:

DIY Pallet Bar

4. Add Comfortable Seating

No, we're not talking about fold up chairs! Having comfortable seating will immediately transform your space and make you want to be outdoors. Whether your budget is $30 or $300, you can find very affordable outdoor seating at and (they give 10-15% off your first purchase online if you sign up for their emails!). You can also try - but make sure you check their reviews to ensure the product and seller is legit!

AMAZON TIP: If you're ever looking at a product on Amazon and start wondering if their reviews are legit, go to and paste the amazon product link into their website. Fake Spot analyzes every Amazon review and will give you a score from A-F on whether they're legit or not (A is the best, F is the worst).  


5. Add a Rug

Outdoor rugs are a great way to enhance any space! You can place a decorative mat at your backyard door - these are great for wiping off shoes when coming and going inside. You can find quality, large decorative mats at Home Depot for under $15! 

If you have a deck, check out Amazon, Overstock, & Wayfair for large area rugs. You can find 5'x8' area rugs (and larger) for $65 or less!

6. Build A Fire pit

DIY Firepit

You can purchase metal fire pits for under $50 - these are great for those who want to move the pit location around throughout the yard. However, for those who want a built-in fire pit, but don't want to spend a ton of money, check out this $60 DIY fire pit from Keeping It Simple Crafts

7. Add a Nook!

Everyone loves a good nook! Nooks can be anything from an outdoor mini garden, seating area (bench), pathway, reading area, or hammock space! Adding a nook to your backyard will split up the space, and make it feel more inviting and comfortable!

TIP: Design your nook to fit your hobbies and interests (e.g., reading nooks, garden nooks, nap spaces). 


8. Add a Walkway

This can go hand in hand with #7! Purchasing a lot of stones can be costly, however, there are many options to create a walk way on a budget:

  • Purchase fewer stones (at around $3 a piece from Home Depot) for a smaller pathway
  • Mulch pathway
  • Gravel pathway
  • Wood Pathway - planks or rounds

Place your new walkways in areas of need - empty space, entry to a nook, entry to a door, wrap to front of home, etc. Check out these DIY pathway ideas from Bob Vila

9. Hang Lights

Adding string lights will make your space feel comfortable and soo cozy! You don't need to go overboard and buy hundreds of lights. You can find very affordable outdoor string lights at Home Depot, and all you need is a few strands to light up your space in the night for a great outdoor vibe!

10. Add a Bird Feeder & Bird House

A cute bird house will add a nice touch to your backyard, and even better, you can attract all sorts of beautiful birds! Bird feeders are a little more complicated since different types of seeds will attract different types of birds. Either way, attracting more birds to your backyard will make your space feel like a natural oasis!

11. Add an Herb or Vegetable Garden

This tip will definitely make your backyard feel more homey, but it is surely a bigger task to take on than the rest! If you don't have a lot of time for gardening, trying planting something easier, such as an herb garden (Rosemary, Dill, Lemongrass, Thyme, Basil, etc).

If you're ready to take the next step and grow some veggies, make sure you do your local research to see what grows best in your area (and when it grows best). 

For beginners, check out the 10 Best Vegetables to Grow for Beginners by Our Inspired Roots.

12. Buy a Hedge Trimmer & String Trimmer

This one is worth it, and may sound more costly than it actually is. Hedge trimmers and string trimmers are game-changers, and you can purchase both for less than $100 at Home Depot or Lowes.

Hedge trimmers obviously trim hedges, bushes, etc. String trimmers tackles what your lawn mower can't, like that stubborn long grass or weeds around tree trunks and rock walls. Both of these tools are well worth the money and will make your backyard feel clean and landscaped!


10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal

Budget-Friendly Outdoor Decor

Whether you're hosting guests or selling your home, curb appeal matters! A clean and inviting exterior makes guests (and potential buyers) feel warm and welcome.

Professional landscaping can be costly, but there are plenty of affordable ways to boost your home's curb appeal without breaking the bank.

Check out these 10 easy, budget-friendly ways to boost your home's curb appeal:

1. Light Up Your Gardens & Walkways

Dark homes feel uninviting. For a welcoming vibe, add some affordable landscape lighting! Line your walkways and/or gardens with solar powered landscape lights. You can find these at Home Depot for 6$ each (or less), and they're low maintenance and powered by the sun!

Budget-Friendly Outdoor Decor

2. Refresh the Front Door

A new coat of paint on the font door can make all the difference, and shouldn't cost more than $25 to DIY! If you're feeling bold, choose a color to make the whole exterior pop.  Make sure to purchase quality outdoor paint to prevent chipping and protect from harsh weather. 

When choosing a door color, choose a few options and bring the swatches outside in the natural light (day & night) before you make your final decision. To ensure you love your color, grab a few sample colors and paint them on your door. Look at the colors in all sorts of outdoor lighting (daytime, night time, cloudy, sunny, etc). 

Budget-Friendly Outdoor Decor

3. Add a Wreath

Wreaths are not just for Christmas! Adding a wreath to your door can make visitors feel more welcome, and there are many types of wreaths for all seasons. Some wreaths can be very expensive, but you can also make your own for cheap!

There are many affordable wreaths on While most of these wreathes are bare, you can decorate them yourself with dollar store finds including: faux flowers, burlap ribbon, buttons, paint, seasonal decor, etc. 

Budget-Friendly Outdoor Decor

Amazon Wreaths

4. Update Your Outdoor Lighting

Outdated lightening can make your whole exterior feed drab. Updating your lighting will add instant curb appeal, and it can be done for an affordable price! Home Depot has many budget-friendly lights - see below:

Home Depot Lighting

5. Add Seating

If you have a porch, add seating to make the space feel more cozy! You can find affordable outdoor chairs, side tables, and benches on and If you sign up for their website updates, they'll give you a 10-15% off coupon for your first purchase!

If you don't have a porch, try adding a bench in a garden nook, or near the front door. Add a few outdoor pillows for more pops of color!

6. Add a Welcome Mat

Add a decorative welcome mat to create an inviting vibe right when guests step up to your door! You can find several affordable, large welcome mats under $15 at Home Depot, Wayfair, Overstock, Walmart, and Target!

7. Add Potted Plants or Hanging Baskets

Adding potted plants will boost your curb appeal immediately! If you have a porch, add a few hanging baskets to fill in empty space, and add vibrant colors to your exterior without spending a ton of money (and time) planting in the ground!

8. Update Your House Numbers and Mailbox

This is one of the cheapest ways to give your exterior an upgrade. Adding a new mailbox will help make the exterior feel fresh and new. You can also find affordable outdoor numbers at Home Depot, or, check out for some home made address signs!

Budget-Friendly Outdoor Decor

Etsy Address Signs

9. Add a Mini Mailbox Garden

This upgrade will add an extra boost to your new mailbox! First decide whether you want perennials or annuals. Perennial plants and flowers will come back each year and are low maintenance, but they're often less vibrant and colorful than annuals. Annuals are more maintenance, but you'll have more varieties and colors to choose from!

Perennials to Plant: 

  • Lavender
  • Verbenia
  • Rosemary
  • Hysopp
  • Daylilies

Annuals to Plant:

  • Geraniums
  • Petunias
  • Salvia
  • Zinnia

10. Decorate for the Holidays

Everyone loves holiday decorations! A few adjustments to your outdoor decor during season changes and holidays will make your home a fan favorite in the neighborhood.

We mentioned changing up wreaths during seasons and holidays, but try adding a few other decorations: pumpkins, holiday signs, and of course, winter and Christmas decor! Need some holiday inspiration? Pinterest is the place to go!