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5 DIY Fixes That Can Skyrocket Your Home’s Value

5 DIY Fixes That Can Skyrocket Your Home’s Value

Real estate prices can skyrocket when not enough houses are being built to keep up with growing demands. But that does not mean homeowners can just sit back and watch their property values go up. Managing a home is a lifelong endeavor, after all.

Fortunately, there are plenty of simple fixes which anyone can do to ensure that potential buyers will be awed. And even if you are not looking to sell, it’s better to put in the work now rather than frantically put up a patch job later.

Here are five simple (and reasonably cheap) things that anyone with any skill can do to make their home look fresh and increase its valuable.

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1. Do some gardening

Selling a house is all about presentation, and that starts well before the buyer ever enters the house. If a buyer drives up and sees overgrown or wilting plants or grasses, they will not have a good first impression. Think of it like a job interview where you show up wearing flip flops and shorts.

While there are landscaping companies which will charge you a fortune, there are tons of things you can do for a low price. Plant some low-maintenance perennials, which will be easier to maintain than buying annual plants which flower and wither every year.

Also, consider planting a tree. There are plenty of good trees to plant, but my personal favorite is a good, strong oak. An oak tree looks beautiful and provides shade if you live in a warmer climate.

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2. Fix up the entrance

The shrubbery will not be the only thing a buyer sees before they enter your house. The door is another potential liability. If the buyer walks in and sees a frayed welcome mat and the doorbell does not work, then that is a poor start.

You can get a new welcome mat for just $20 at Home Depot, and you can also get a new doorbell for around the same price. If your doorbell does not work, I would recommend just getting a new one instead of calling a repairman who will almost certainly overcharge you. Also, make sure that the lock is solid, but at the same time easy to lock and unlock. A solid doorknob indicates a solid home (and this applies to indoor knobs as well).

Furthermore, paint the door an appealing color, like red. The result should be a solid, secure but inviting door that, when combined with your landscaping, will create a good first impression.

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3. Paint (but be careful about it!)

A good coat of paint can make your walls look new – assuming that you do it correctly.

First, do not let your artistic sense run wild. You want a color which can appeal as many homebuyers possible, so pick neutral colors which will not scare anyone off. If you really want to pick more vibrant colors, then the kitchen is probably the best place to do so. A color like yellow or red will work here.

One of the key points in painting your walls is to note scratches and other repairs you may have to make, so keep track of that. And while you are painting the walls, get rid of any wallpaper.

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4. Repair the plumbing

A lot of homeowners aim for renovating the bathroom, but HGTV notes that this can often cost more than $10,000. You may be able to recoup the costs, but getting new tiles, improving sink fixtures, and fixing up a bathroom can be difficult.

If you don’t have the money or expertise, just focus on your plumbing. Check for leaks, remove mildew stains, and generally try to keep the pipes clean. You don’t need to be a total plumbing expert to fix mere leaks, but be careful as failure could mean spending thousands of dollars to get a plumber. Most repairs for homeowners that involve plumbing should be done by experts. But for simple jobs, here are some basic tips which any enterprising plumber should know before they take a good look at the pipes.

5. Clean the carpet

I’m not much of a fan of carpets. They absorb all sorts of fumes and liquids, attract carpet beetles, and are a pain to clean. But that does not mean that removing your carpet is necessarily a good idea, and I would only replace it with tile or hardwood floors if you plan to stay in your house for a long time. In the short term, just clean it. A professional carpet cleaner is not that expensive, but if you want to handle it yourself, just get your own cleaning machine and a vacuum. Regular treatments will ensure that the funky carpet smell you have noticed at your friends’ houses does not appear in your own.

Featured photo credit: Bernadette Gatsby via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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