attic bedroom 5 ideas to utilize your attic space

5 Ideas to Utilize Your Attic Space

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Most people use the attic as an extra storage space. In my house, it’s where we put the holiday decorations, gift wrapping, and boxes of family keepsakes. What do you use the attic for?

Would you like to repurpose your attic into a new living space? This is a trending renovation project that can also add value to your house when you decide to sell. Here are some ideas to utilize your attic space and make it your new favorite place in the house.

1. Another Guest Bedroom

If family and friends come to stay, adding another guest room will help fit everyone comfortably. Fit in one or twin beds, maybe a small bureau or chest for putting away clothes. Throw a plush rug down for a soft, warm footpath. Also, you can add soft bedside lighting instead of ceiling lighting, like a couple of table lamps or pendants.

2. Kid’s Playroom

Kids want a secret hideout, a place that is their own. Turn the attic into your child’s clubhouse, where you don’t care if it is a mess, with toys everywhere. Guests will never see it.

You can coat one or more walls with chalkboard paint for the kids to write and draw on. Add some comfy chairs and a large throw-rug. Put in cubicle shelves to organize art supplies and playthings.

3. Peaceful Reading Nook

If you are like me, finding a quiet place to read is hard in a full house. There is too much commotion, too much noise, and you cannot hear the characters on the page.

Turn the attic into your private reading room. All you need is an upholstered couch, maybe a blanket, and a side table for your coffee or wine. Scaled artwork will give the illusion of higher ceilings. Add a skylight for by-day reading and bright task lighting for at night.

4. Your Private Studio

If you are a painter, sculptor, musician, or another sort of artist, you want a creative space that inspires your best work. The attic can be that space. Being at the top of the house will contain noise and fumes from oil paints and turpentine. Just be sure to put in the proper ventilation for your own well-being.

5. A New At-Home Office

57% of employees work remotely now, and working from home continues to trend. Perhaps this is the case with you or your spouse. Maybe one or both of you need a space dedicated to professional work.

You can add one or two desks and comfortable chairs, maybe a small coffee bar and sink. Consider a skylight for natural lighting, promoting better productivity, and desk lighting if you work late hours.

Renovate or Sell

The average cost to renovate an attic can range anywhere from $8,000 to $80,000. When you sell, it may provide 50% to 75% ROI, depending on the attic conversion and if it was well done.

Renovating the attic is a good idea if you choose to stay in your house for another couple of years. Otherwise, you can save your money, on this and other upgrades or repairs, by selling to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on the house AS-IS. You can use the sale earnings as a down payment on your next house and maybe convert its attic into your ideal space.

white kitchen do-it-yourself kitchen renovation tips

Do-It-Yourself Kitchen Renovation Tips

Home » Home Styling


Do you want to give the kitchen a fresh, new look before selling your house? A full-blown kitchen remodel recoups only 54% of its cost when you sell. Consider instead making small upgrades that still boost your house value. Here are some easy, budget-friendly things you can do as part of a do-it-yourself kitchen renovation.

Pick Your Appliances First

If your appliances are outdated and you want to replace them, do so before doing anything else in the kitchen. You want to make sure your new appliances fit in the allotted spaces. Otherwise, you will need to widen those spaces.

Buyers appreciate a house with shiny, new appliances included. They may even pay a higher purchase price. New stainless steel appliances have an ROI of 141%.

Flooring Hacks

You will like a floor that lends your kitchen warmth and texture. Hardwood floors are popular, beautiful, long-lasting, and easy to clean. They also increase your house value, recovering 106% of the cost upon sale of your house. In fact, 50% of buyers are willing to pay extra for a house with hardwood floors.

Alternate flooring options for the kitchen include laminate, vinyl, and tile, ranging from $4 to $15 per square foot.

Save on Kitchen Countertops

Countertops are among the most expensive kitchen features. Granite and marble are very nice but very pricy. Lucky for you, there are faux options that imitate those materials and cost under $100.

Laminate and concrete are even cheaper. Per square foot, laminate costs $10 to $40, while concrete prices at $8 to $15. You can enhance your options with special design hacks, like laying epoxy over laminate to give it a shine or painting it with black chalkboard paint.

Friendly Backsplashes

There are easy-to-apply, DIY backsplashes that stay up with adhesive backing or construction glue. These include laminate, which is wipeable and waterproof, veneer stone, subway tiles, or tileboard. Prices for these materials range from as low as $6 to upwards of $13 per square foot.

Cabinet Makeovers

Instead of gutting your kitchen storage, you can give your cabinets a facelift with a fresh coat of paint. You can alternatively stain or lacquer wood cabinetry. Try also adding new hardware – sleek metals add a unique flair and look great if they match the finish of your kitchen sink.

If you paint your cabinets yourself, your base cost may be around $200, subject to the paint brand and supplies you need. Kitchen hardware ranges from $2 to $20, depending on the hardware material.

Let the Pros Do the Important Things

Plumbing and electrical work are best left to the professionals. This way, you save time and effort and do not risk getting hurt. Rewiring old outlets and hanging new lights can take weeks on your own if you do not know these things. Why risk incidents when you can pay to have it done right the first time?

Overhaul Expenses, Sell to an Investor

Is the kitchen DIY remodel to sell your house? Consider the drawbacks. Are there other areas of the house that need attention, maybe major repairs? Is it something you can really do by yourself, or is there a risk that if it goes poorly you will have to hire a professional? Plus, how much time and budget do you have to spend renovating? If you are on a deadline to sell, there may be no time to make improvements.

Don’t waste your time and money! Instead sell your house AS-IS to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on the house without upgrades or repairs. They actually prefer properties that need TLC and will do the work themselves. You can close in a month or less and spend your earnings on your dream house that comes with its own high-end cooking space.

patio ways to elevate your backyard (and outdoor spaces)

Ways to Elevate Your Backyard (and Outdoor Spaces)

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Your backyard is just as important as the interior of your home. If you are thinking of selling in the future, 67% of buyers say a private outdoor space is essential in their home search. They want a safe space for pets and children to play and to entertain and promote healthy living. Here are 7 ideas to elevate your backyard and outdoor spaces.

1. Build a Patio or Deck

The average ROI for a professional deck is around 75%, and between 30% to 60% for a patio. What’s the difference? A patio is paved, while a deck is a platform made from lumber or composite. Both increase the square footage of your house and create a space in the fresh air to visit with guests. You can also add furniture or a creative cover, like an awning, pergola, or canopy, to your deck or patio to enhance the space.

2. Outdoor Kitchen

If you love entertaining and cooking, you will love an outdoor kitchen. Rather than go in and out of the house, you can serve and entertain guests seamlessly in one place. Alfresco kitchens are fully functional and can include cabinetry, a grill, bar, wine fridge, or wood-fired pizza oven.

3. Swimming Pool

A water escape is great if you live in a hot climate. Special features, like pool seats, waterfalls, and lighting, also enhance your pool’s appearance. Just know: a pool does not increase your home value any more than 7%, so only put one in if you plan to enjoy it for a couple years.

4. Fire Pit

Spark up warmth and memories around an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. These require little maintenance, are tasteful, and great for every occasion and season. You can spend hours of quality time around one, making conversation and delicious s’mores, and get a sense of the great outdoors in your own backyard.

5. Cultivate a Garden

Gardening cultivates good physical and mental health. Gardens elevate your outdoor spaces with greenery and colorful flowers. You can also plant a produce garden. It will give you fresh, organic food, and you’ll feel good about the fruits of your labor.

6. Build a Better Fence

Good fences make great neighbors. You care about your privacy, right? You want to feel safe and know your activities are your own, and not privy to snoopy neighbors. Build a tall, sturdy fence to contain your backyard oasis and keep children and pets safe.

7. Add Ambient Lighting

The right lights and lighting features can make your outside feel like an extension of your home. They help highlight other features, and promote a sense of awareness and safety at night.

Elevate Your Sale, Sell to an Investor

Elevating your outdoor spaces is great if you plan on living in the house for the next three to five years. Otherwise, don’t waste money on what you won’t enjoy. Instead, elevate your sale by selling to an investor.

Most investors make a cash offer on a house AS-IS. Your backyard can be a brown plot, dead and unkempt. An investor will still buy the house and fix the outdoor spaces themselves. The interior of your house can also be neglected or mid-renovation, and an investor will still make an offer. You can enjoy a quick closing and use the money to elevate the backyard of your next house.

LED light 6 energy-efficient upgrades that improve house value

6 Energy-Efficient Upgrades That Improve House Value

Home » Home Styling


Energy-efficient upgrades can improve your home value and save you on energy costs. If you plan to sell your house, consider these six improvements to go green with good return on investment.

1. Energy-Efficient Windows

Heat transfers in and out of your house through the windows during hot and cold climates. Windows, then, are responsible for 25% to 30% of your heating and cooling energy use. If you replace your windows, look for these three things:

  • The ENERGY STAR label;
  • A low U-factor; and
  • A low solar heat gain coefficient.

If you prefer to keep your windows, consider instead laying Low-E reflective window film over them.

2. Insulation

Hot air rises, and the attic, if not well-insulated, is responsible for as much as 85% of your heat loss. If you add insulation to the attic, basement, exterior walls, and crawl space, you will reduce energy waste.

According to energystar.gov, you can save up to $200/year by air sealing your house and adding insulation.

3. A Cool Roof

Your roof endures the brunt of seasonal weather changes. It wears and tears and eventually needs replacing. Consider replacing it this time around with a cool roof. Cool roofs remain 50% cooler during summers because they are white (or some other reflective color). Also, the metal material absorbs less heat and reflects sunlight away from your house.

4. Upgrade Your Appliances

Your appliances account for 15% of your house’s energy consumption. Major appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers consume a significant amount of energy.

The Energy Star label makes it easy to identify a high-efficiency model. Use the Energy Star Rebate Finder to find special offers near you.

Homebuyers often worry about additional expenses that follow a house purchase, including new appliances. When included as part of the house, energy-efficient appliances make buyers feel better about paying a higher purchase price.

5. Smart Home Systems

After the release of Amazon Alexa and Google Home, home buyers got excited about innovative home technology. Voice-activated devices that control multiple components of a house can help save energy. Consider, then, installing a smart thermostat, smart lighting systems, and energy meters in your house.

6. Energy-Efficient Lighting

In 2019, the National Association of Home Builders found 77% of buyers want a house with efficient lighting. This is easy to achieve: just switch out lights for LED or CFL bulbs and put in supportive lighting fixtures. New bulbs and fixtures can reduce lighting energy use by 50%.

Save Dollars, Sell to an Investor

If you want to save money and forgo these upgrades, consider selling to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on the house, regardless if it is green or an energy vacuum. You can enjoy a quick closing and invest in energy-efficient upgrades for your next house.

luxury bathroom upgrades that will not increase home value

7 Upgrades That Will NOT Increase Home Value

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Some upgrades improve the value of your house, while others do not. Some may even decrease its value. Here are seven home improvements to avoid if you are thinking about selling your property.

1. Adding a Sunroom

Sunrooms are a great space to enjoy the outdoors away from bugs and the elements. Building a sunroom is expensive, ranging anywhere from $30K to $70K, depending on its features. It is a beautiful addition, but has one of the lowest returns on investment (ROI).

2. Luxury Bathroom Upgrades

Upgraded bathrooms can add value to a house; however, some bath features are too luxurious and scare off buyers. These might be over-personalized finishes, hot tubs, or whirlpool baths. 

According to Remodeling magazine, on average, you only recover half of what you spend in upscaling your bathroom. So if you want to renovate, do it a few years before you sell, so you can enjoy your newly-renovated bath.

3. Extensive Landscaping

Landscaping improves your curb appeal. Doing regular maintenance is good – pruning the trees, raking leaves, and mowing the lawn. Be careful, though, about adding elaborate features, like ponds, waterfalls, or bridges. Buyers see these enhancements as an increase in maintenance. Moreover, they prefer to add their own personal touches to the yard.

4. Swimming Pool

Once upon a time, a pool or hot tub added value to a house, especially in hot climates. Now buyers see them as an added cost of maintenance and a potential hazard that requires insurance. At best, a pool increases your house value by a mere 7%.

5. High-End Kitchen

Buyers want a kitchen that is both functional and aesthetic. However, the resale value of a high-end, chef-quality kitchen recoups only 54% of its cost in added value. Rather than invest in expensive appliances and materials, you can make small upgrades that yield a bigger payoff. These include painting the cabinets, replacing hardware, and adding energy-efficient models.

6. Upgraded Systems

Doing an overhaul on your plumbing, electrical, or HVAC systems is not considered an improvement. Instead, buyers see it as maintenance. If your goal is to sell the house, do regular maintenance to make sure you pass the home inspection.

7. Solar Panels

Energy-efficient upgrades can add value to your house. However, solar panels are not viable. The cost and ROI of solar panels vary widely by location and the type of panels. The average return for them is often around 10%.

Another issue is if you lease the panels, they belong to the solar company, adding no value to your house. Also, panels age and improved versions are available every year.

Upgrade Your House Sale, Sell to an Investor

Rather than remodel your house to sell it, there is an easier and more affordable solution. Instead, sell it to an investor AS-IS. Our investors love houses that require TLC. Better still, you skip the home inspection and close when you want to. You can enjoy a hassle-free, cash offer and invest your money to improve your next house.

kitchen remodel upgrades to increase home value

Five Upgrades to Increase Home Value

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Renovations can add value to a property. You might be wondering, though, which improvements give you the most significant return on investment? What changes make your house more comfortable and appealing to buyers? What do buyers even want in a house? These five upgrades are desired by buyers and increase home value.

1. Kitchen Remodel

You may have heard the phrase, “The kitchen is the heart of the home.” It is the center of activity, where family comes together daily. For this reason, it is one of the most important features on a homebuyer’s shopping list.

Buyers want a cooking space that is both functional and aesthetic. Rather than invest in a complete kitchen remodel, you can make small changes for less money that garner the same attention. Minor remodeling efforts include:

  • Updating the sink and faucet;
  • Refreshing sink grout;
  • Putting in new countertops;
  • Replacing backsplash;
  • Refinishing or painting cabinets; and
  • Swapping out lights.

Minor kitchen remodels show a return on investment (ROI) of at least 81%.

2. Build a Room

Buyers like a spare room that can be converted into another bedroom, alternate living room, or hobby room. You can turn an unfinished basement or attic into a new, attractive living space. All you have to do is put down some flooring, install drywall, and paint the walls. You can then pitch the bonus space as an added value, that the buyer can turn into a possible game room, craft room, or in-house gym.

Repurposing the attic into a finished room can net an average 56% ROI. A finished basement will give you a return of 70% to 75%.

3. Open Up the Floor plan

Buyers enjoy connectivity between high-traffic rooms, such as the kitchen and dining area or living room. Consult a contractor first before you start swinging a sledgehammer. Ensure the house stays structurally sound after you knock out walls or structural columns to open up the floor plan.

Homes with an open floor plan appreciate 7.4% a year.

4. Update the Backyard

Buyers spent so much time indoors last year, they now want a house with a functional backyard. A well-landscaped yard, alone, can contribute up to 28% of your house value. You can make your backyard more appealing by doing the following:

  • Landscaping;
  • Build a deck or covered patio; and
  • Replace the fence.

If you build a deck, consider extras like accent lighting and built-in seating. You might put in a fire pit for extra warmth and comfort.

You can also create a sense of flow between the outside and inside of the house with sliding glass doors. This feature is popular when entertaining, as it connects the living room or kitchen with a possible alfresco dining area.

5. Put in Hardwood Floors

Carpets trap dirt, dust, stains, and odors. They fade over time and require a tougher cleaning than solid flooring. Buyers nowadays like a house with polished, hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are beautiful, durable, easy to clean and add rich tones to the interior.

Hardwood floors earn you an average 70% to 80% ROI.

Save Your Money, Save Time, Sell to an Investor

Making these improvements costs money. If you can afford them and are in no hurry to sell, you may increase your asking price, depending on the upgrade. Otherwise, consider the alternative: sell to an investor for a no-obligation, all-cash offer. Most investors will purchase a house AS-IS, ranging from outdated, unfinished renovation to significant damage. You can enjoy a quick closing, without an endless parade of showings, and use the cash to improve your next house.