As most real estate agents will tell you, remodeling, decorating or repairing your home can go a long way towards getting it sold. For that matter, it can add value to your property in case you want to sell later - that is, if you don't choose the wrong places to buy cheap:
- Windows - Never buy a window based on which one is cheapest. You want windows that look good, and, as most real estate agents will recommend, you want energy-efficient windows. During 2009 and 2010, you may be eligible for a Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency of up to $1500 when you purchase Energy Star windows.
- Paint - Paint is one of the biggest places people skimp when it comes to cost, and a big no-no. Cheap paint may take several coats to look right; those several coats can end up leaving blotches and runs. In addition, cheap paint has a tendency to peel or wash off under light cleaning. If you're going to add painting to your remodeling or repair work, quality is always better.
- Doors - Whether it's for a shower or a screened-in porch, the door you choose can make all the difference. A rickety shower door falling off the railing is a big "don't buy" sign. While you don't want to blow your whole budget, the doors throughout your house should be of quality material. Likewise, a solid front door adds to the curb appeal and security of your home. Some exterior doors also qualify for the Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency. Find out if your exterior door qualifies for an Energy Star Rebate or Tax Credit.
- Flooring - Unless it's expensive carpet on sale, cheap flooring never looks like anything but cheap flooring. Low cost carpet and wood flooring seldom has high durability and is likely to wear out before you're ready to replace it again. Take the time to find quality flooring at a price you can afford - don't go cheap!
Many real estate agents will push quality, but the biggest point they'll push these days is - go green! It may not be the cheapest option, but the benefits in efficiency and property value more than make up for the cost.