From the tortoise to the Hare: Focusing improvements on increasing resale value

Life takes us down twists and turns that are surprising, and often stressful when we least expect the upheaval.  I have been living in my Albuquerque home for the las three years, slowly making improvements and adding to and an ever-growing wish list of renovations to make the space my own. We have been chipping away at the improvements that have the most effect on day to day life, like adding a shower and tiling the hall bathroom and saving up for big renovations, like creating a pitched roof from my current flat roof. When my husband and I began trying for a child, I added a new item to this list and began planning a nursery. These projects made every day living more comfortable and did not focus at all on resale value.

Now, this was all well and good until a great looking house came onto the market. The house is, bigger, beautiful brick, and right next door to my father! The logistical and personal benefits of the new house are just too good to pass up. However, that leaves me grasping for a new strategy with my current house. Instead of slowly renovating and remodeling to fit my own personal needs and tastes, I need a new strategy.  I want to add the most value to my home with strategic renovations, quickly! Sprucing up the entire property to create an inviting, quick-selling home will not be a simple task. So, I researched simple tips and tricks that give a homeowner the most resale bang for their buck. When looking to sell a house, it is very important to pick remodeling projects that will give you your money’s worth in increased resale value. This is what I found:

 Fix any major blemishes

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Blemishes to repair prior to sale include cracked paint, dingy carpet, outdated light fixtures, holes from past paintings and pictures, and any mold, mildew, or water damage. These issues that my family has learned to live with, and really don’t even see anymore, are major eyesores for potential buyers. While looking over my interior, I found many projects that I could do quickly. These quick and easy projects add to the resale value of my home. I found cracked and discolored paint around my fireplace, a dent in the hallway where a runaway skateboard had made its mark, a few old outlets that aren’t used anymore and had lost their covers, and more than a few walls that bore crayon marks and picture frame holes!

While planning on living in the home for years, these little bumps and messy spots were not a big deal. Looking through the eyes of a buyer is another story! Each project by itself only takes an hour or two, but it looks somewhat overwhelming all put together. In order to tackle the volume of painting and spackling work, I am calling in reinforcements! Many hands make light work, and some of my family and friends are willing to pitch in (and in return for their services, I will be providing food and drink for the laborers!) and have a painting party.

Kitchens and Bathrooms sell houses!

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Nothing brings people into a house like a top notch kitchen. Freshly painted cabinets and new countertops can update a kitchen easily and add thousands of dollars in resale value for a modest investment. This room in my home is going to need a lot of work to spruce up before we sell! I had been waiting and waiting to do anything major with the kitchen because we were going back and forth about increasing the size of the room and possibly moving appliances. Now that we are selling, instead of creating a custom space, a different tactic is needed. A design scheme like the one pictured here is my inspiration.

We already have gorgeous stainless steel appliances, and repainting the cabinets and replacing the countertops will add a modern feel to the somewhat dated space. I am a fan of brighter colors, and it does make me sad that I have to wait a while longer to have my bright orange kitchen!

Updated bathrooms are another key feature buyers look for, and replacing vinyl with nice, neutral tile, and laying a fresh coat of paint can open up the small
spaces significantly. In my hall bathroom, we have already increased the value by adding the plumbing and fixtures to create a tub/shower combination. We also tiled the shower enclosure and the floor. Before we leave, I want to use this same tile to replace the worn down vinyl in the master bathroom. I am not going to replace the shower enclosure with tile, (It is just not cost effective) but I have found a wonderful epoxy resin refinishing project that will bring it back to life.

The importance of curb appeal to resale value

A sale can never happen if I do not get people through the front door! I am going to focus on beautifying the landscaping by cleaning up weeds in the driveway and sidewalk in front of the house. Patching any stucco that has begun to crumble will add resale value as well. The yard is an area that makes a major impact on potential buyer’s first impressions, and to ensure that people are motivated and excited to see my house I am working hard to spruce things up.

First thing’s first, clean up the weeds and prune plants for maximum effect. Healthy, easy to maintain landscaping engages interested buyers. The ease of maintaining landscaping takes some of the stress and worry out of purchasing a home. I have some wonderful desert willow trees, rose bushes, and colorful lilies that are about to come into bloom. I am going to wait to take most of the pictures until they are eye-catching pops of color throughout the yard! While refinishing the roof, so I am going to have the professionals remove these strange fake vegas along the roof line to modernize the front face of the house. Once completed, these minor improvements make the property shine!

I will be sharing my trials, tribulations, and interesting techniques and tools that I find in this journey to buying a new home!

Author’s Home


What are some of the home improvements that you prioritize when you are getting ready to sell a property?

Comment below, and let me know!


My name is Amanda, and I have lived in the New Mexico desert my whole life. I love to be outdoors and have taken the inspiration I find in nature into my home decoration and renovation projects. I let these eclectic and bohemian styles influence the renovations and design projects in my home. Growing fruits and vegetables, canning, and preserving them is a growing passion of mine, and I chronicle my journies through writing full time. When I am not blogging or remodeling at home, I love to be outdoors hiking or camping with my husband and three dogs, as well as tending to my gardens at home.

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