We have an age old saying that “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” This simply means that beauty is subjective, and what might be beautiful for one person isn’t necessarily the same for other people. Well, this might be true for physical beauty, but I can’t say the same for real estate properties. What I’m trying to say is that in real estate, the house speaks for itself. If it looks nice then you’ll definitely catch a good price, in good market conditions, but if it looks bad then prepare to wait a very long time before your property gets an offer. Case in point, Vicki Wushe, author of “Using Other People’s Money: How To Invest in Property,” admits that she can haggle the price of a property by pointing out to the sellers what’s wrong with their houses and the cost of fixing it during negotiations. So whether you’re planning to improve your home’s looks because you want to sell, or you just want a better looking living space, then here are some tips on how you can turn a “dump” into a quaint living space without spending too much money in the process.
1. Use your internet
Lack of inspiration isn’t an excuse, nowadays, since tons of home improvement tips can be found in popular websites such as Pinterest, Buzzfeed, BoredPanda, and the like. For example, contributors for these sites often submit pictures and instructions on how to hang up strings of twinkling lights, or recreate the frosted glass look on your windows. One project in BoredPanda, recommends readers to install a sandpit underneath a work desk, so that you can work in your bare feet and pretend you’re at the beach while working.
2. Cover it up
Old homes usually have bare walls or faded wallpapers or paint. The best solution for this is to call in the professionals to apply a fresh coat of paint or wallpaper. Another alternative is to do the project yourself, if you have the proper skills for it. Unfortunately, if you really don’t have the money to spare for repairs, a creative solution for this problem is to cover these barren walls with old ordinance survey maps or with giant Scrabble boards. This adds not only color, but also some attitude in the space.
3. Let the light in
Rooms with lots of natural lighting are inviting and lively, that’s why it’s important to let the light in your “ugly” home. So if you want natural light, but you don’t have the budget for a remodel, there are some cheap solutions to get around this problem. Just put a lot of reflective surfaces in a room, like mirrors or shiny decorative balls, into the room, and place them where they can reflect the sun’s rays into the room. Sarah Beeny from the Channel 4 television show “Double Your House For Half the Money” says that “It’s a fantastic way of directing light into the house, if Mother Nature is just not doing her stuff.”
4. Use the other senses to your advantage
Remember that there are 5 senses. If your private property can’t please the sight, then at least you can use the other senses, especially the sense of smell, to make up for the lack of visual appeal. A house for sale would smell really nice if it’s been cleaned thoroughly, but one way to make it more fragrant is to make it smell like a quaint country home. One of the real estate agents I know always try to batch a bake a batch of fresh cookies, before she starts a home viewing, so that when the buyer walks in they get a whiff of home-baked goodness and they start associating good memories with the property.