We are now seeing rebound in home sales prices. So that has incentivized many American homeowners to go ahead and invest back into their homes.
We are going today to look at inexpensive sources and methods for fixing up your home so that it is nicer for you and you are also adding curb appeal and value for a re-sell down the road. If your sweat equity goes up, you could also eventually borrow it out and invest it into a second home or whatever.
Many years ago when I started seeing TV commercials prompting people to take out home equity loans for vacations and boats and such, I knew there was going to be trouble. Never pull equity out of your home for such things. Never. Never take money from an appreciating asset to buy a depreciating asset. Don’t spend gun money on butter, as Robert G Allen (“How To Buy Real Estate With Nothing Down”) would say.
Wealthy people buy antique furniture because it is a collectible and hold its value and appreciates. So does the art on the walls and the Rolls in the garage. They didn’t buy their living room set at Rooms To Go. In retail, the highest markups are on furniture and jewelry. Four times wholesale cost. They buy furniture wholesale for one-fourth of the retail price they will charge, so when they have a “Half Off” sale, gee, then they are just doubling their money. Drive a new car off the dealer lot and its value drops 25% immediately. These items are “butter”. “Guns” are assets that appreciate such as real estate, equities, gold and silver, antiques, art, etc. Nothing sadder than to drive through a low-income housing project and see Lexus and Cadillacs parked there. Living in a Section 8 HUD apartment, don’t own the real estate they sleep in, but they buy a brand new Lexus. Showing off, yes, but they are showing off to the other idiots who think outward displays of wealth ARE wealth. Can you say, “nouveau riche?” Most lottery winners are broke in 5 years.
So keep that in mind when you re-decorate, you want to balance between “buttery” stuff that is just plain comfortable (and that’s OK! ) and “gun” stuff that will increase value. I pay about $150 a month for cable and Netflix. Sounds high. But I used to blow that at a nightclub in a couple of hours. I never go to bars or clubs anymore, not even to restaurants because I am a vegetarian and often can’t find any menu items to eat. I am home all the time, so I think I am getting off cheaply to have a good variety of cable and movies to watch from the security and comfort of my own home. Looks like butter but to me it is not, it is a big savings over the expense and risk of going out.
Big discount department stores such as Wal-Mart and Target offer a big variety of inexpensive furniture odds and ends, small chests, bookcases, ottomans, etc. Sears also has great stuff!And they are on Amazon and eBay as well.
I know that Wal-Mart itself has boosted its collection of home furnishings such as rugs, lamps,patio furniture, bathroom accessories, decorative accents like pillows and cushions. Check their Better Homes & Gardens line of products. Good name, nice things. Target has its own new line of home accessories, the line is called Threshold. Dinnerware, glassware, linens, etc. JCPenney has new lines from designers like Jonathan Adler and others. I remember when Martha Stewart was the rage, and I will tell you something about Martha Stewart. I bought bed pillows and they went flat, so I emailed her website and they asked me for a few details like the SKU number of the pillow. Several days later a big box arrives at my door with new pillows and also a complete bedding set: comforter, shams, sheets and all. Really outstanding customer service and I have never forgotten it. I like Ralph Lauren and Laura Ashley, too.
For wall art, you can get incredible museum-quality reproductions on canvas from Old World masters such as Da Vinci and Raphael and newer work from Salvadore Dali and others. It really adds a pop of color! Try Old Masters Reproductions online.
How about the following ideas/suggestions:
Budgeting – research and get ideas by attending model homes that are staged and decorated, open houses, etc. Definitely visit places like Home Depot, Lowes and HGTV and sign up for their newsletters. I now Home Depot and Lowes even offer free classes for various do-it-yourself projects around the house. I send my own workers and handymen to the classes all the time; they are professionals in their own minds but can always stand to pick up fresh pointers! eBay even has a new modality you can set up in your Preferences specifying a type of décor you like such as Art Deco or Victorian or Vintage 60’s, etc. Then you automatically get notification emails about new items put up for sale that conform to those criteria you have set up, maybe you just want Turkish rugs. (I always want Turkish rugs!) I collect antique brass bowls, for example, so I get notifications about brass bowls, wine pitchers, etc. I fill up curio cabinets I buy at yard sales or even get for free from Craigslist and fill them with collectibles like that. I also like miniature pewters, and Chinese porcelain. Not only is the collection growing in value but it really enhances my home. I go for the classics: book-lined shelves, gilt picture frames for my oil reproductions, the back-lit curio cabinets, and I contrast that with ultra-modern technology such as computers and flat screen TV”s and a black and stainless steel kitchen. With cherry wood cabinets, if you can imagine.
You will have to pick and select carefully for your amount of living space. Frankly I am overwhelming my space here. But I am in the property maintenance business for foreclosures the bank owns now and is trying to sell via a Realtor, so we go in and clean out the junk first of all and I am always finding things to keep, sell or take to the metal recycling center for cash. My stock rotates! I change coffee tables like others change their underwear. Try to spend where you live. I am rarely in my bedroom, but always in my living room, it is my nerve center, desk, computer, TV, huge leather chairs and sofas. I put my money there.
Learn to compromise, you don’t have to have “the real thing” especially an original oil painting masterpiece. Reproductions are good. Maybe instead of new carpet, put down tile or hardwood and get a nice Turkish or other area rug.
Repurposing: Make one thing into another. You see this a lot with lamps and table bases, fins something funky and put a piece of beveled glass on it and you have a unique table. Lamp kits are a couple dollars at any hardware store. Buy a drill bit for glass and turn old vases and ceramics into lamps. Start an online business! Likewise, refinish second-hand, under scarred paint I have found cherry and mahogany dressers and tables that came out stunning for a few dollars of stripper and varnish and some elbow grease. Another online business!
A new coat of paint inside and outside works wonders. Use a good high-quality paint. We always use, from Home Depot, their Behr’s Ultra Premium Plus with the primer in the paint, it covers well in a single coat.
I hope these suggestions help! From the box below you can contact me, send me questions, comments and photos of your work!