November 29, 2023


Getting a Tax Refund? Spend It on These Home Improvements

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If you’re a tax procrastinator and you’re just now finding out that you’re getting a refund, it might be tempting to use the financial boon for something frivolous. Instead, why not make your home more comfortable—and valuable—with some smart improvements?

The IRS estimates that the average tax refund in 2023 will be $1,997. That’s a healthy chunk of change that you could use to upgrade your space and add value to your property. But no matter the size of your refund—whether you’re expecting just $100 or anticipating a $10,000 windfall—there are plenty of ways that money can enhance your home. Read on for some of the best home improvement ideas for any tax refund budget.

RELATED: 18 Home Improvement Projects You Can Tackle with Your Tax Refund

1. Improve Your Kitchen Storage

iStock-1149708961 tax refunds home improvement Middle-aged woman picking food from storage cabinet in kitcheniStock-1149708961 tax refunds home improvement Middle-aged woman picking food from storage cabinet in kitchen


Even a small tax refund can make a big impact in your home. One place where a small investment goes a long way is in kitchen organization. With less than $100, renters and owners alike can buy products for storing sheet pans, pot lids, dry goods, and more to make their kitchen drawers and cabinets easier to navigate.

RELATED: The Best Food Storage Containers for Your Fridge and Pantry

2. Invest in a Robot Vacuum

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Sweeping and vacuuming quickly become tedious, but now that robot vacuums are readily available, you can delegate the task to a machine instead. Robot vacuums can be set to clean at a certain time so that your home is always spotless, even when you’re away or too busy to do it yourself. Many also have intelligent mapping technology that allows them to identify the most efficient paths and avoid obstacles while cleaning. There are many options on the market, including the eufy G30 from Anker, available for less than $200 at Amazon.

RELATED: The Best Robot Mops

3. Install Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

iStock-1396955693 tax refund home improvements Worker hands sticking wallpaper on walliStock-1396955693 tax refund home improvements Worker hands sticking wallpaper on wall


Looking to make a big aesthetic impact with a modest tax refund? Consider transforming a space with peel-and-stick wallpaper. While wallpaper used to be difficult—and messy—to install, today’s peel-and-stick styles are easy to apply and remove. The total cost of the project will vary, depending on the size of the space, but average wallpaper prices range from under $1 per square foot to $5 per square foot. Those on a tighter budget should consider using peel-and-stick wallpaper for an accent wall or in a smaller space like a powder room.

RELATED: 13 Places to Buy Temporary Wallpaper

4. Have Rugs Professionally Cleaned

iStock-1291113951 tax refund home improvements Janitor Cleaning Carpet With Vacuum CleaneriStock-1291113951 tax refund home improvements Janitor Cleaning Carpet With Vacuum Cleaner


If you have carpets or area rugs in your home, it may be time to invest in having them professionally cleaned. While it’s possible to clean rugs yourself, nothing can compare to the results that the pros can deliver. The national average cost for carpet cleaning is $178 per carpet, but it’s well worth it. DIY solutions can potentially damage certain fiber types, whereas professional cleaners have access to specialized equipment and techniques so they can safely treat each material according to its specific needs.

RELATED: The Best Carpet Cleaning Companies

5. Add Home Automation

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Tech lovers looking to indulge in the latest home gadgets may want to consider adding smart home automation this year. This technology allows users to do tasks like turning on lights, adjusting the temperature, preheating the oven, and more from their tablet or smartphone. Users can also set schedules to completely automate the process. The average cost of installing home automation is $835, but it can run significantly higher for more sophisticated systems.

RELATED: 18 House Functions You Didn’t Know You Could Control from Your Phone

6. Get a New Mattress

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We spend a third of our lives sleeping, so having a comfortable mattress is paramount. To ensure a good night’s rest and adequate comfort and support, mattresses should be replaced every 7 to 10 years. Having a good-quality mattress in tip-top shape is especially important for those who suffer from chronic pain or discomfort, as it can alleviate stress on pressure points and help improve sleep. Expect to spend about $1,000 for a mid-range mattress.

RELATED: 9 Home Upgrades the Climate Bill Can Help You Pay For

7. Upgrade Light Fixtures

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Good lighting is one of the unsung heroes of any well-decorated home. Consider using your tax refund to upgrade light fixtures throughout your house, swapping out builder basic models for picks that have more style and personality. Since working with electricity can be dangerous, it’s probably best to have the new fixtures installed by a pro. As you’re budgeting, keep in mind that while having a single fixture installed could cost as little as $75, heavier, more complicated installations could cost upwards of $2,000. The cost of the fixtures themselves, of course, will vary widely in price, depending on style and materials.

RELATED: 10 Bathroom Lighting Ideas for an Instant Update

8. Hire a Gardener

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While some people treat gardening as an enjoyable hobby or a way to relax, others find that lawn care is simply a chore. Consider using your tax refund to outsource the task. Depending on your budget, you can just call in someone to set up your garden for the season or hire a professional to perform year-round maintenance. Expect to spend about $225 a month, or $2,700 a year, for basic garden upkeep. Those with bigger budgets should consider investing in professional landscaping. Calling in the pros to redesign your landscaping adds major value to your home and is one of those decisions that homeowners never regret.

RELATED: 12 Outdoor Upgrades That Make Your Home More Valuable

9. Refinish Hardwood Floors

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Those lucky enough to live in homes with hardwood flooring know how much warmth and character genuine wood adds to a space. Make those floors shine like new or have them stained to fit your current taste by using your tax refund to have your floors refinished. For an entire home, this project typically runs between $2,400 to $6,000, depending on the size of the home.

RELATED: New Floors? 5 Top Hardwood Options to Know

10. Invest in New Appliances

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Using a tax refund to invest in new, energy-efficient appliances can actually save money in the long run when it comes to energy costs. Not only will you lower your monthly bills, but you’ll also know that you’re playing a role in protecting our planet. Expect to spend $1,500 each for a refrigerator and stove. Many states and municipalities offer tax holidays and financial incentives for purchasing energy-efficient models, so be sure to research local options before making a purchase.

RELATED: Solved! The Best Time to Buy New Appliances at a Discount

11. Build a Deck

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Expand your living space into the outdoors by building a new deck this spring. You can use it for hosting barbecues, parties, and family gatherings, and it’s a great place to relax and watch the sunset or gaze at stars at night. The average cost of a new deck is $7,500, though prices vary based on size, style, and materials used. Not only will a deck add an aesthetically pleasing outdoor living space to your home, but it will also increase the overall value of your property.

RELATED: Building a Basic Deck? Top Tips for DIYers

12. Replace the Windows

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In terms of energy efficiency, one of the smartest improvements homeowners can make is replacing their windows. Installing well-insulated, airtight windows can help reduce heat loss, and this can save you money on your energy bills. Today’s windows are designed with sustainability in mind, with low-emissivity coatings and other treatments that help your home stay warmer while letting in plenty of natural light. Replacing an individual window, including labor, costs on average about $800. Depending on the number of windows you need to replace, this project can quickly set you back between $8,000 to $10,000. But what better way to spend a tax refund than on a satisfying project that consistently ranks high on homeowners’ to-do lists?Consider windows from the best window brands, such as Renewal by Andersen, when planning this high-ROI project.

10 Recommendations for Generating Eco-Welcoming Outdoor Property Improvements

We have talked a great deal about diverse eco-helpful household improvements that you can make. Most of our discussions have centered all-around producing indoor renovations eco-helpful. Nevertheless, it is also a good notion to check out coming up with eco-welcoming house improvement strategies for the exterior of your dwelling as perfectly.

Summertime is a fantastic time to be outside the house. You can get the job done on your landscaping, entertain friends, or chill out in the sunlight. Your out of doors dwelling is the center of it all. You can also be eco-helpful by employing eco-friendly out of doors decor, repurposing features, and applying sustainable design tips. This is good for you and the Earth.

If you are organizing any eco-helpful outside property advancements, then you want to know how to prepare them. Of training course, you will also need to make a decision what sorts of home advancements you will want to target on in the very first area.

Eco-Welcoming Outdoor Household Improvements to Take into account and How You Can Program for them

Just like the inside of of your household, the outdoors exterior also requirements preparing and prepping just before you embark on our venture. It is crucial to very carefully investigation your choices to be certain charges are nominal and you are maximizing the area of your backyard. No matter how massive or modest your backyard is, we have the essential actions to comply with when planning to embellish your outside dwelling room. You could want to look into eco-friendly landscaping tips like these as effectively.


Just before setting up any task, it’s significant to have out the important investigate essential to produce your style. This makes sure expenses are minimum and no money is wasted, nevertheless you are nonetheless maximizing the place of your yard. Doing your study is also crucial from an environmental standpoint. If you make blunders because of to undesirable organizing, then you will unnecessarily waste power and materials, which is lousy for the surroundings.

You do not want to get halfway by way of a job only to uncover that much more cash is needed to total the desired job.

Use Environmentally friendly Materials

You will want to lessen your influence on the atmosphere by applying eco-pleasant components. Look at employing recycled or reclaimed wood for your exterior deck challenge. Lumber yards have suppliers for a excellent assortment of reclaimed and recycled timber. Concrete, wrought iron, and railroad ties are turning into well-known elements for outside assignments. These inexperienced components can greatly enhance your backyard garden or Diy outdoor household venture.


It is essential to try to remember that size does not matter when coming up with your back garden. Any out of doors house can be reworked into the great extension of your within home. Including key parts and style and design concepts can create a sort of illusion that your backyard garden is greater than it really is, this kind of as the direction you lay your decking. Owning explained this, it is significantly far more significant how your back garden feels and how you can make the most of the place you have relatively than how big your outdoor area is. It is a lot more significant to make absolutely sure your back garden is eco-pleasant.


Lots of owners decide to have their out of doors dwelling space as an extension of their inside inside. You would like to have your inside inside move into the garden. This can also support elongate the really feel to this. A recent pattern at the moment is to continue on the grey theme inside and translate this to the outdoors, such as grey fencing and gray decking. Alternatively, some property owners opt to preserve the natural aesthetics of a backyard garden and have the common wooden-like result theme. Introducing heat tones, browns, and greens to the backyard can assist you to rest and truly feel at one with character.

Use Vitality Effective Fixtures

Out of doors lights fixtures are important for the two aesthetics and operation. On the other hand, previous fixtures can use a ton of strength and boost your vitality bill. To help you save electrical power, swap aged fixtures with power-productive or photo voltaic-run ones. LED lights are a great replacement for incandescent bulbs as they burn up cooler and give off brighter mild. Use these lights to illuminate walkways, entryways, garage, and landscaping around your home. They are improved for the world, considering the fact that they have effectiveness rankings of 40 to 50 p.c, while incandescent lamps only have performance scores of 10 to 20 %.

Select your decking coloration

It is crucial to look at your decision of shade when deciding on your decking, as this will be in your yard for fifteen years or in excess of. The decision of your decking colour can carry the inside of your dwelling to the outdoors, which will support the move and sense of this place. No matter whether you want to insert the gray tones outdoors (which are very trendy appropriate now) and include a additional minimalist stylish feel to your back garden, you may perhaps opt to introduce gray composite decking and gray fencing. You can get a vast array of decking colors from a reliable decking supplier. Some householders like to continue to keep their gardens much more standard, keeping the purely natural aesthetic that arrives from wooden.

Including measures

Your backyard garden could have an uneven surface, so you might want to add a elevated decking region. Not only does this increase the area you have, but this also utilizes your place in the essence you may possibly be capable to increase storage underneath your raised region. It is essential to contemplate the height you have your raised decking. If your methods are additional than 3 actions large, you may well would like to insert railings or balustrades to these. This may well increase your first price of the task.

Insert nature to your backyard

Insert character to your garden by introducing a assortment of crops and trees. This not only adds color and character to your garden but will also draw in wildlife which can assist you to experience at household with character. Adding a unique wide variety of plants, ranging in a wide variation of heights, can incorporate definition to your backyard garden. This can also support develop a secluded experience to your backyard garden if you would like to have extra privateness.


At the time you have prepared your decking place and planting spaces, you may possibly wish to contemplate which pieces of furniture you want to include things like. Irrespective of whether this is to add an outdoor eating desk or bbq spot, these would be excellent for your entertaining region. If you enjoy obtaining friends and family members close to, you may want to add an outside kitchen space for internet hosting.

Seek the services of a skilled

At the time you have prepared your backyard garden and considered all style strategies, you might want to select to retain the services of a professional to entire the position. Far more elaborate ideas and patterns may perhaps be hard to create, even if you take into account your self to be helpful. You could conclusion up investing additional money having this corrected if you make a slip-up.

Outdoor House Enhancements Need to Be Eco-Welcoming

There are a large amount of fantastic ways that you can make residence advancements outside. You may perhaps want to take into account the eco-helpful thoughts outlined earlier mentioned.

Easy Home Improvements Under $100

Even if we're not committing every weekend to home renovations, most of us likely have a wish list of home projects we'd like to tackle if we ever have the time and money to make it happen. Maybe you dream of installing shiplap paneling to give your bathroom a relaxed, coastal look, or perhaps you're thinking about finally painting your front door that color you've had saved on your Pinterest board for years. Luckily, you won't need to wait to win the lottery to realize your home's potential—all of these easy home improvement ideas cost $100 or less to complete, but they make a room look like a million bucks.

Many of these ideas don't require buying anything new, but simply updating the items you already own with custom touches. A builder-grade bathroom mirror looks high-end when you add a frame, while a dated wooden headboard turns luxe once wrapped in elegant tufted fabric. These small-budget, big-impact changes will make your dream home more affordable than you ever thought.

The Problem: A Boring, All-White Room

The DIY Playbook

If you love the peaceful, beachy look white wood paneling brings to a room, then let this office makeover from The DIY Playbook inspire your next home project. Before the shiplap was installed, the entire room was a blank slate begging for a redesign. Bridget Dutkowski, one of the bloggers behind The DIY Playbook, documented her hunt for the perfect white paint for this room (she ultimately went with Behr's Falling Snow), but after a few months working in a minimalist office, she was ready to introduce some personality.

"After adding the furniture into my office, I realized that the white paint seemed like it could use some additional texture to really warm up the space. That's where the DIY shiplap came in!" she says.

Frugal Fix: Add Inexpensive Shiplap

The DIY Playbook

To introduce some texture into the space, Dutkowski created a shiplap accent wall out of inexpensive plywood. How do you get enough wood to cover an entire wall for less than $100? "Instead of buying individual pieces, which can add up quickly, I opted to buy four large plywood pieces and had those cut down to 6-inch strips," she explains.

By painting the plywood with the paint she had left over from the walls, she was able to cut costs and create a cohesive look. When combined with a soft rug and a wooden shelving unit, the wood-paneled wall makes the office feel cozy.

The Problem: A Front Door in Need of a Refresh

A Pretty Life

The color you choose for your front door is not only the first thing visitors notice about your home, but this decision may even affect the value of your house. To help narrow down the color choices, some homeowners turn to the advice of experts, but instead, Jo-Anna Rooney from A Pretty Life opted for a color that reflects how she wants guests to feel when they walk into her home. Before the door received a makeover, it was an attractive red color, but after five years without a refresh, it was starting to feel stale.

Frugal Fix: Brighten Up the Entrance

A Pretty Life

"I wanted to paint our door a sunny yellow because our front porch receives no sunshine, so I decided to add some of my own. I also wanted our family and friends to be greeted by a cheerful door," explains Rooney. Compared to the former red color, the bright yellow hue creates more contrast with the surrounding charcoal trim.

"Both colors are great, but the yellow just suits us so much more!" says Rooney. When selecting a front door color, there's no single hue that works for every home, but the color you choose should match the feeling you want your home to inspire.

The Problem: An Old, Ugly Headboard

Home Made by Carmona

Ursula Carmona of the blog Home Made by Carmona was the not-so-proud owner of an outdated headboard she inherited from her grandparents, but she longed for the type of diamond tufted headboards sold at home stores for hundreds of dollars.

Rather than splurge on a store-bought beauty or build a new headboard from scratch, Carmona decided to use the dated headboard she already owned as a framework for building something more magnificent. After adding wooden boards to the stripped-down frame, the former eyesore was ready for its refresh.

Frugal Fix: Give It a Tufted Fabric Facelift

Home Made by Carmona

Once covered in fabric and tufted with buttons, no one would ever guess that a dilapidated headboard hides inside this elegant piece. Although remarkably similar to the tufted headboards found at expensive home decor stores, the makeover cost less than $50, thanks to Carmona's creative repurposing of materials.

"While most people run out and buy upholstery foam (which can run well over a hundred dollars for just a couple yards), I used cheap $11 egg crate mattress foam with the same results," says Carmona. Creative material alternatives, coupled with the patience required to tuft the fabric by hand, paid off in this $50 statement piece.

The Problem: A Builder-Grade Bathroom Mirror

Making Home Base

Builder-grade accessories, such as unframed mirrors and uninteresting light fixtures, are common in newer homes that have been built quickly. These cookie-cutter details may lack personality, but that's no reason to ditch these fully functioning pieces.

By adding a couple custom updates, builder-grade accents can be made to match your personal style. When Chelsea Coulston of the blog Making Home Base moved into a home with large, unframed mirrors in the bathroom, she knew a quick custom frame would transform the space.

Frugal Fix: DIY a Frame

Making Home Base

The only major change in this bathroom is that a simple white wooden frame now outlines the mirror, yet the entire room seems more polished. If you have some spare wood and know how to cut a 45-degree angle, this project is a cinch. Coulston finished the frame in an afternoon (about three hours to frame two mirrors) and the total cost came to $40, because she already had some extra paint on hand. "To get two proportionally sized mirrors would have been way out of our budget," says Coulston, but an easy DIY fix proved very affordable.

The Problem: Short on Storage

Ginger Snap Crafts

Before Ginger Bowie of Ginger Snap Crafts decided to revamp her laundry room, the space lacked one important essential: storage. Besides the washer and dryer, the only other detail in the sparse room was a small shelf set too high on the wall to store items that are reached for often, such as detergent or dryer sheets.

The main goal for the makeover (other than adding some flair) was to outfit the room with cabinets for linens and supplies. The second goal? To give Bowie a spot to fold laundry beside the couch.

Frugal Fix: Make Easy "Custom" Cabinets

Ginger Snap Crafts

The secret to "custom" cabinets priced under $100? Shop secondhand stores for the units, then make them your own with a fresh coat of paint and wood trim from the hardware store.

"I was able to keep costs down by shopping the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I got the cabinets we installed above the washer and dryer for $20. That was a steal!" she says. A couple coats of white paint later, they look brand new.

A wooden board above the washer, attached to the wall with brackets, provides a perch for folding towels and t-shirts. After the $99 makeover, the room is not only a more pleasant spot to do a load of laundry, but it's also a more functional space, so she can get it done in less time.

The Problem: Outdated Kitchen Cabinets

Inspiration for Moms

If you don't have it in your budget to replace the kitchen cabinets you can't stand, there's a good chance paint could help you live with them—at least until you're ready for a full remodel.

Laura Tusken, the owner of Inspiration for Moms, wasn't satisfied with the builder-grade cabinets that came with her kitchen, but when she started a remodel, she realized that sprucing up the original units was much more cost-effective than replacing them. Willing to put in the elbow grease required to update the cabinets, Tusken decided to DIY rather than buy, and ended up saving hundreds of dollars.

Frugal Fix: Fresh Paint and New Pulls

Inspiration for Moms

While the kitchen underwent many changes during the remodel, one of the most dramatic upgrades is the painted cabinets. Luckily, it also happens to be one of the most affordable. After sanding and priming the units, Tusken painted them a modern gray hue. Sleek stainless steel pulls finish the look, but for only $2 or $3 a pop, they won't break the $100 budget. Finally, by extending the original cabinets up to the ceiling, Tusken helps the room look taller than it did before.

The Problem: A Dingy Carpeted Staircase

Sand and Sisal

A fully carpeted staircase is one of those features guaranteed to give away a home's age. While removing the carpeting and starting fresh requires some work, it doesn't need to be an expensive project. Want proof? When Kim Wilson of Sand and Sisal snapped this "before" photo of her stairs in the midst of a kitchen renovation, carpeting made the space look dated, but just $120 later, the look is fresh and coastal-inspired. Although this project went $20 over budget, the finished effect is worth every penny.

Frugal Fix: Install a Runner

Sand and Sisal

After removing the outdated carpeting, Wilson sanded, primed, and painted the wood staircase hiding underneath. At this point, the staircase looked so fresh and modern, she was tempted to stop the makeover right there.

"But I knew that with four kids, those white steps wouldn't stay white for long," she said. To give the stairs a fighting chance, Wilson then installed a seagrass runner, which she secured to the stairs with a staple gun. The seagrass matches Wilson's shore-inspired aesthetic, and it protects the white stairs from a stampede of dirty sneakers.

The Problem: Dated Bi-Fold Closet Doors

Monica Wants It

When Monica Benavidez of the blog Monica Wants It moved into her home, the office closet was outfitted with wooden folding doors. While the rest of the office underwent a complete makeover, the original closet doors sat in the basement for several years, awaiting a makeover.

A few years later, tired of staring at her messy closet while working in her pristine office, Benavidez finally decided it was time to finish what she started. Rather than buy new doors, she got creative with wooden lattice strips and some pretty coral paint.

Frugal Fix: DIY a Decorative Trim

Monica Wants It

After adding wooden lattice trim and brushing on three coats of beautiful coral paint (it's Dishy Coral by Sherwin Williams), the doors are unrecognizable. For the trim, Benavidez created a sophisticated X design, punctuated by pretty brass and lucite pulls.

The estimated cost of the entire project, including paint, lattice strips, caulk, sanding blocks, and door pulls is just $75, but the finished doors look many times that price. To get the look, use wooden lattice to make custom designs on your closet doors, and be bold with an unexpected hue.

The Problem: Vintage Linoleum Floors

Dear Lillie Studio

When Jamie Druke of Dear Lillie Studio updated her late uncle's home, she inherited all of the details that come with a home designed in the 1970s—including this hallway with green walls and a matching green linoleum floor.

Rather than remove the tiles and face what's hiding underneath, Druke opted to brush over the unattractive flooring with a fresh coat of paint in a contemporary hue, once again proving paint's magical ability to refresh dated design decisions.

Frugal Fix: Give It a Paint Makeover

Dear Lillie Studio

While this isn't the biggest makeover Dear Lillie Studio has ever tackled, they report it's one of the cheapest. A couple of coats of white paint on the walls and four coats of gray paint on the linoleum floor brighten up the formerly dim hallway.

"It took a couple of weeks of painting during naptimes," says Druke, but the final result is worth the time put in. Located between the garage, bathroom, and laundry room, this hallway gets a lot of traffic, but a few months after it was painted, Druke reports that it's still holding up well. While this quick fix isn't designed to last forever, for less than $100, Druke was able to modernize a 40-year-old eyesore.

Cheap DIY Ideas for Home Improvements in San Diego Homes

July 18, 2022

Home. It’s where we make memories, laugh, relax, and play. These days, home is where many of us work too.  If you’re lucky enough to own a home in San Diego, then you know what a sanctuary it can be.  It’s the one place you can truly be yourself, enjoy your privacy, and feel safe doing your own thing.  If you cherish the luxuries and benefits of homeownership, you might be thinking about giving your “home sweet home” some upgrades. If so, here are a few tips on home improvement in San Diego that can make your abode more cozy and appealing than ever before.

Why Should You Consider Home Improvements in San Diego?

Home life took a dramatic turn thanks to the titanic shifts caused by the pandemic. With forced quarantines, our homes became more than a place to crash – they became our safe harbors, our ports in the storm, and safe havens. Suddenly, we found ourselves spending unprecedented amounts of time in the home. In turn, this motivated many San Diegans to start getting serious about DIY home improvements. 

In fact, San Diego home improvements continue to rise well after the height of the pandemic because many homeowners have grown accustomed and even prefer staying home more often these days.  As a result, homeowners are motivated now more than ever to make their domiciles more functional, welcoming, entertaining, and efficient.  

Alternatively, many San Diego home renovations are a result of owners attempting to fetch a better price because they’re trying to sell their homes.  One of the best reasons for home improvement in San Diego is appealing to house hunters.  While it’s true the real estate market has been crazy these past few years – one thing is certain – San Diego home remodel and/or improvements are the number one advantage for selling a home in SD. 

Even the kitchen remodel cost in San Diego is well worth the price, because home buyers tend to look at kitchen upgrades first when deciding to purchase.   Moreover, any reno can potentially make a big difference in the asking price, which could mean home sellers who make improvements stand to earn more money on the purchase of the house.

Whether you want to boost the value of a home you’re selling or just want to spruce your place up for added comfort, style, and function – home improvements can mean significant benefits. What’s more, you don’t necessarily have to do a total overhaul to make an impact.  Some of the cheapest home improvements can make a tremendous difference in how your home looks and feels.  Having said all this, here are some helpful DIY ideas for home improvements in San Diego. 

How To Make Home Improvements in San Diego On A Budget 

As mentioned, home improvements in San Diego don’t have to cost a fortune.  Homeowners can use many options and strategies to reduce costs and get glowing results.  However, if you’re thinking of a whole home remodel, where to start might be a big concern because it can be such an epic and potentially expensive proposition. No matter what kind of upgrades you’re contemplating, here are some suggestions about how to make home improvements on a budget.

Financing Your Old San Diego Home Project

If you’re facing a hefty historical home renovation, or need to do some major upgrades to outdated areas of your abode, you might consider applying for a renovation loan.  For instance, if you qualify, you could get an FHA 203k loan. This is a loan from the Federal Housing Administration that covers renovation costs and your first mortgage with a fixed or adjustable rate. 

You might also look into a Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation loan which are funds tied into the refinancing of your mortgage that you can use to make upgrades and improvements to your home. Getting HomeStyle loan approval requires above-average credit scores from borrowers.  However, the regulations on renovation work that can be done with this loan are more lenient than an FHA 203k.  Alternatively, an FHA 203k loan approvals aren’t as strict about credit scores, but there are more contingencies on what kind of improvements can be made with this type of financing.  

Lastly, you could opt for a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). Most lenders allow homeowners to borrow up to 80% to 90% of their home value. In this scenario, you can borrow against the available equity in your home to make improvements. The home is used as collateral for the HELOC.  As you repay the balance on the line of credit, the amount of credit available is reloaded in the line and available for use on future improvements. 

Affordable Interior Home Improvement DIY Projects For Your Old San Diego Home 

If financing renovations isn’t an option, but you’re still wanting to do a San Diego home renovation, there are several affordable options on the table for you.  With minimal cost, you can make an old home look good as new.  Here are a few affordable interior DIY projects that will make a big difference in your home’s appearance and value.

Remove & Replace Carpet 

One of the more simple DIY projects that will enhance your home is removing the carpet and replacing it with new.  This could be a huge boon to the environment of your home because, over time, carpet can get ultra-filthy.  Not only does carpeting start to look old and tired after a while, but it can also be a harbinger of allergens and dirt build-up that can be harmful to a household’s health.  

Once you start ripping up the old carpeting, you may find a goldmine. To explain, many old homes in San Diego were originally built with hardwood flooring.  If you find that’s the case with your home, why not think about restoring that original flooring? Original hardwood floors are a big plus for home buyers, so it could be a coup if you’re renovating with an eye to selling your home.  Moreover, restoring original floors means you don’t have the expense of buying new carpets and enduring the labor to install them. 

Freshen Up Walls

Look at any number of before and after pictures from any DIY project involving wall preparation, and you will undoubtedly be stupefied by what a transformation this simple improvement can make.  Think about removing old wallpaper and replacing it with an updated print.  Or, opt to put a fresh coat of paint on the interior walls.  These improvements are relatively simple for even the most amateur DIYer.  Plus, paint and wallpaper are one of the least expensive improvements you can make.  

Even if you don’t want to go through the hassle of wallpaper or new paint, you can still get a glowing look on your interior with a good scrub.  Fix scratches and clean up stains on the walls in your house.  The result will render a fresh, invigorating, and renewed vibe.

Add Solar 

Perhaps one of the most excellent prospects for home improvement in San Diego is going solar.  This is also a phenomenal improvement for your pocketbook because it could save you a ton of money on your electricity costs. In fact, the more power you use, the greater potential you have in savings by going solar.  Additionally, adding solar energy to your home is contributing to the betterment of the environment.  Not to mention, a solar-paneled “green” home is a highly coveted feature for new home buyers. 

Before you start seeing dollar signs when considering going solar, you should know that there are tax credits and incentives that can counteract the expense of installing solar panels and a power station. To explain, you may be eligible for the Federal Solar Tax Credit.  Currently, homeowners can stand to get a 26% tax credit for solar systems installed in 2020-2022.  For the year 2023, the tax credit is 22%, and will continue to be that rate until 2024 unless Congress changes it.

There are other incentive programs you can take advantage of that can reduce the cost of solar installations. Here are a few you may be eligible for and interested in:

  • Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit 
  • Disadvantaged Communities – Single-Family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) program 
  • LADWP – Net Metering 
  • Self-Generation Incentive Program 
  • Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Homes 
  • NEM 2.0 


Not only is insulation a necessity for the comfort and value of any home, it’s also one of the better improvements for a solid return on investment. To elaborate, upgrading insulation means big savings in reduced energy costs.  Be aware that different insulation materials vary in cost. For example, fiberglass insulation is typically less expensive than other insulation types. 

If researching prices, removing, and installing new insulation feels a little out of your depth, do a quick search online for “insulation removal near me.”  Getting a qualified professional might be your best option, especially if you are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of removing and installing insulation.    

Address & Fix Mold Damage

Not only is mold a major eyesore, but it’s also a potential hazard to your health.  And while a bathroom remodel in San Diego is a fabulous way to freshen up the necessary room, the simple DIY act of removing mold makes a huge difference in the look and feel of the bathroom.  It’s also a cheap improvement, typically requiring only household cleaning products, or a solution of bleach and water to remove unsightly mold in the bathroom.

However, if you have more troubling mold issues such as black mold, or an infestation in your walls, you might want to contact remodel contractors in San Diego to tackle mold remediation for you.  A contractor can identify if you have mold, and should explain the process for removing it.  Clearing mold and fixing damage caused by it will increase the value of your home.  More importantly, it will improve the safety of occupants – especially those who suffer from lung problems or allergies.

Improve Window Treatments 

Very often, homeowners live with the same window treatments for years upon years, making them virtually invisible over time.  If you stand back and take a hairy eyeball to your window treatments, if you’re honest, you might confess they might look outdated, dowdy, or downright shabby.  If you can relate, then it’s time for some upgrades.

Opt for wooden blinds for a rich, warm, inviting new look.  Or perhaps horizontal aluminum blinds would make the perfect enhancement for an industrial, modern appearance. Incorporate valances, drapes, or roll-shades for a textured pop of color. Even less expensive options such as plastic or paper blinds can significantly impact your home’s appearance. 

Affordable Exterior Home Improvement DIY Projects For Your Old San Diego Home 

While interior home improvements in San Diego are certainly enticing for homebuyers and homeowners alike, sprucing up the exterior of the home is just as effective for radical transformations.  What’s more, updating your home’s exterior doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are some ultra-affordable home improvement DIY projects you can do on the outside of your home that will make a difference without crushing your budget.

Power Wash The Exterior of Your Home

This tip might not sound like much, but power washing the outside of your home can be a real game changer in terms of giving it a facelift.  When we live in the same home for many years, we tend to overlook the grime that accumulates on the outside over time.  Once you subject it to a powerwash, you will be shocked at the transformation. If you don’t have a power washer on hand, you can rent one relatively inexpensively at almost any home improvement store in San Diego.

Upgrade/Clean Up Landscaping 

Landscaping is part of that ever-important element in the real estate industry known as “curb appeal.”  If you’re selling your home, having a well-manicured, clean, and tasteful landscape can leave a dazzling first impression on potential buyers.  Even if you’re not selling, there’s something about driving up to your new beautifully landscaped yard that says, “welcome home.”  In either case, cleaning up your yard and introducing a landscape aesthetic can revitalize the look of your home’s exterior.  It’s also fairly cheap to do.  The most investment this DIY project requires is elbow grease, time, and maybe a bit of sweat equity.   

Replace Sprinklers with Greywater System 

As a resident of San Diego, you’re probably very familiar with how much water is a premium commodity.  Calls to conserve water are frequent and getting more urgent every year. As a result, one of the most conscientious home improvements can be to replace lawn sprinklers with a greywater system.  Greywater is water used to wash dishes or do the laundry.  You can install a low-tech, simple greywater system inexpensively by applying a three-way valve to funnel greywater from home appliances to your lawn’s sprinkler system.  You can opt for a more elaborate system that can disburse greywater to your lawn and landscaping.  However, these may be more costly and often require a professional to install. 

Whether you go DIY or hire a contractor in San Diego to install a greywater system, this improvement is really attractive to both homeowners and homebuyers alike.  This is because these systems could save you anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 gallons of drinking water per year.  This is huge when you consider the current climate conditions and droughts in the area. In fact, outdoor irrigation (lawn watering) accounts for two-thirds of water consumption in California. In light of this staggering statistic, installing a greywater system can keep your lawn lush and your flowers blooming while simultaneously saving you water and money as well as contributing to the efforts to conserve water in San Diego.

Final Thoughts on Home Improvements to Your San Diego Home

In closing, we hope we’ve made a good case for DIY improvements for your home.  From simple cleaning to a fresh coat of paint, you will be astounded by what a few simple, inexpensive updates can do for the overall appearance and vibe of your home. 

Ultimately, doing your own home improvements is a brilliant way to increase value as well as give you a strong sense of pride. There’s something so uplifting in standing back and seeing your hard work shine through in one of your most precious assets – your home.  So get your work clothes out, don your gloves and get to work! You won’t regret all the fruits of your DIY home improvement efforts.

Realogy Improvements Name To Anywhere True Estate

Realogy will be renamed Any place Real Estate, in accordance to an announcement Thursday at a Realogy Trader Day celebration at its headquarters in New Jersey.

With the manufacturer refresh comes a strategy to “reimagine the buyer practical experience at any stage in the genuine estate transaction journey,” according to a statement. Realogy promises to make investments in “improving and simplifying the dwelling acquiring and selling knowledge for buyers who are demanding a more seamless, built-in transaction.”

Ryan Schneider

“We will harness the electric power of our agent community, main makes and our technology to make a better transaction expertise for any purchaser, everywhere,” Realogy CEO and President Ryan Schneider mentioned. 

Now approaching his fifth year as CEO, Schneider has returned the company to worthwhile growth and cleaned up the harmony sheet. For Schneider’s upcoming chapter, he’s spearheading a new name and tactic, even though the information are sparse.

Schneider claims a new purchaser pushed approach likely forward though preserving the company’s effective franchise small business design, which, in great and flat housing marketplaces, generates generous funds stream — a necessity as the financial system sputters, stocks tank and the housing industry faces fresh headwinds.

Title modifications are a craze in firm branding. Facebook was renamed Meta very last calendar year and earlier Google altered to Alphabet, a holding organization and a greater way of describing the look for engines’ several ventures. In the situation of Facebook, Meta describes its foray into the Metaverse. But the modify also represents an exit from a slew of difficulties at Fb, which has turn into a tainted brand name.

In 2006, Realogy also ran from a spoiled manufacturer, when it changed its identify from Cendant. A year before, previous Cendant vice chairman Kirk Shelton was convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud and sentenced to 10 many years in jail.

Realogy’s name change this time all around experienced from none of the inflictions at Fb or Cendant.

Rather, the awkward name Realogy — hard to even pronounce — represented the company’s stodgy previous.

The new title is bolder, offering a lift to the corporation that celebrates its several authentic estate manufacturers. Which raises the question, will the new brand name ever compete with Sothebys, Coldwell Banker, Century 21 or Better Homes & Gardens?

The firm claims no, but the facts of the new method will fill in the blanks on that issue.


The do the job of an advertisement agency — in this circumstance, the San Francisco-based mostly structure studio Hybrid Design and style — is all more than the new identify and emblem, which has a good deal likely on, like the asterisk. Listed here is how the firm points out the branding things:

“The Wherever mark is an eight-stroke asterisk, symbolic of depth, connectivity, and amplification, with the base vertical stroke falling absent to lie horizontally as the foundation of a residence. The two reduce strokes kind a pitched roof, the linear middle strokes type the horizon line and the upper a few strokes variety the arc of a sunlight increasing previously mentioned the property.”

For me, the title “Anywhere” is the most partaking component, connoting a even bigger vision for the organization. It pops, combining serious estate with aspiration, meeting the branding exam of basic, appropriate, memorable, timeless and multipurpose.

The shade coded “RE” at the close of “Anywhere” feels like an old-faculty authentic estate marketing gimmick, cute but unnecessary. 

This may possibly be wherever lawyers arrived in. Having a provider mark for this sort of a generic term is difficult if not extremely hard.

For this reason the other ornaments. The provider mark bug sits behind the new identify.

The colour blend operates nicely and does not contend with any of the authentic estate makes. But according to executives, the rebranding energy does not end at the identify transform and brand. 

“This is not only a business and strategic transformation but also a society transform,” Tanya Reu-Narvaez, Realogy chief people officer, said in a assertion. “Our expertise system, led by our new intent and positioning, permits us to have interaction workforce everywhere in their occupation journey. Also, with our distant-1st, hybrid business technique, a lot of of our persons can literally operate from any area, providing workers the gains of productivity gains, versatility and decision.”

Get prepared for the jury of true estate well known view (300,000 “Anywhere” Realtors throughout the globe). When Century 21 and Coldwell Banker rebranded, anyone turned an skilled on fonts, marks and colour palettes right away. 

But this rebranding is much less private, mainly because it does not affect lawn indicators, organization cards or agent and broker ads. In addition, any marketing revolt will fizzle out quickly simply because people today have more vital things to perform on appropriate now.

Any where is a recharged business with a refreshing new title. Now we need extra details about its new customer technique.

Email Brad Inman

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What Home Improvements Add The Most Value?

Homeowners often undertake remodeling projects with an ulterior motive. Sure, they want to enhance their living space; but frequently they hope the renovation or addition will boost their home’s value as well. After all, aren’t three bathrooms better than two? Who wouldn’t want a state-of-the-art kitchen, a finished basement or a swimming pool?

Misguided thinking. When it comes to adding value, not all home improvements are created equal. In fact, “some home projects can actually decrease your home value,” says Mischa Fisher, chief economist at Angi, the contractor search service and house renovation site.

In general, you can expect home improvements to provide a 70 percent return on investment, according to the home remodeling loans platform RenoFi. That figure can vary significantly however, depending on the specific type of project you take on.

Do home improvements always add value to the house?

The short answer is no, home improvements do not always add value. Even if they do, that’s not quite the same as you actually making a profit on the project, or even recouping your costs. There’s a big difference between adding value to your home and earning a return on your investment, says Fisher.

You can look at a project’s returns in two ways: First, how the project raises the total resale or market value of your home. This is a nice way to see how your home’s worth has changed, compared to the money you spent on the project. It can be useful to know if you’re thinking of putting your house up for sale, are contemplating borrowing against it or just want a sense of its overall value — and your equity stake in it — when totaling up your assets.

Alternatively, you can look at the project’s return on investment, or ROI. “This is a measure of how much the home’s value rises as a share of the project cost, typically expressed as a percentage of the total project cost,” Fisher explains. “For example, if a $4,000 garage door improvement adds $3,500 to the value of your home, you could say the project has an 88% ROI. This means you are able to recoup a large share of the project cost. This is different from the financial investment world, where an 88% ROI would mean you nearly doubled your initial investment.”

The point is, don’t confuse a project’s return on investment percentage with the amount of profit — or amount of increased home value. For example, Remodeling’s 2021 Cost vs Value Report says replacing a metal roof costs $46,031 and has an ROI of 56 percent. That means it bumps a house’s potential price tag up by $25,816 — it does not mean the entire value of your home increases by 56 percent. And you’ll notice that the $25K the new roof adds falls significantly short of the $46K spent on it.

Frankly, very few renovations and remodels fully recoup their costs, or even most of their costs.

What kind of home renovations are more likely to add value?

There are specific renovations that historically have been more valuable than others. Here are some that earn the biggest bang for your renovation buck, based on the latest intel from the Remodeling 2021 Cost vs Value Report report and Angi.

  • Garage door replacements: Garage doors are one of the few home renovations that actually come close to recouping their entire cost, offering a 94 percent ROI. Installing a new garage door can be a relatively inexpensive project, costing anywhere from $750 to $1,600. And it’s an investment that can seriously boost your home’s curb appeal.
  • New stone veneer: Putting a stone veneer on the facade of your house (instead of, say, vinyl siding) is not a cheap undertaking. Expect to spend $87,500 to $125,000 for a 2,500-square-foot home. But stone is a sturdy, aesthetically pleasing material that works wonders for curb appeal, says Fisher. It also provides a rock-solid return: 92 percent ROI.
  • Kitchen remodels: Kitchens are easily one of the most important rooms in a home, so it’s no surprise people value a smart, modernized space, says Fisher. On average, kitchen remodels lead to a 72 percent ROI. The average cost of a kitchen remodel is between $25,000 and $40,000.
  • Siding replacement: Siding is one of the first things prospective buyers notice about a home, so it needs to be attractive and sturdy, says Fisher. Replacing siding, which ranges in cost from about $5,400 to $15,500 depending on the materials selected, can lead to a 69 percent ROI.
  • Window replacement: Not only can windows step up the visual appeal of your home, but they can also help keep it as energy-efficient as possible, says Fisher. Though this won’t be an inexpensive project — windows can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,300 each — the 68 percent ROI is crystal clear.
  • Bathroom remodels: Aside from the kitchen, spiffy, up-to-date bathrooms are often the most important aspect of a home that appeals to potential buyers, says Fisher. On average, updating your bathroom leads to a 60 percent ROI. As for how much you can expect to spend on this type of project, the cost varies significantly from $6,200 to $15,200. The national average is about $10,800.

What determines if a renovation adds value?

Are there any rules of thumb for determining whether a renovation will be a value-enhancing proposition? David Steckel, a home expert for Thumbtack, suggests asking yourself this question: Will this increase the number of people who would potentially bid on my home if I were to sell it?

“If the project adds structural renovations or makes it easier for additional projects to take place, then yes, it will add value to your home,” says Steckel.

Renovations that increase the size of a home, or create additional outdoor space with multiple functions, or increase the functionality of spaces, can also be relied upon to add value, says Steckel.

What home renovations might decrease your home value?

Not all home improvements improve your home’s value. Some actually detract from it, because they turn buyers off.

“Potential homebuyers don’t want features that require ongoing maintenance, like in-ground pools and built-in electronics,” says Fisher. “Buyers also prefer homes with more bedrooms, so removing one bedroom to make another one bigger may end up decreasing your home’s value, rather than adding to it.”

Also: Buyers prize ingenuity — hey, look at how that closet fits in there! — but not too much originality. Hyper-personalized styles and details can take away from your home’s value, making it harder for prospective buyers to envision themselves in the space. It also creates an automatic to-do list of projects before the space can feel like home to a new owner.

“If you’re getting ready to sell your home, think about whether your updates will appeal to prospective buyers,” Fisher says. “This will be a particularly relevant question for projects with high visual impact, like overdecorating, installing wall-to-wall carpeting, adding bright, patterned wallpaper to every room or adding texture to your walls.”

If you’re planning on staying in the home for several years to come, it’s fine to indulge your tastes and make rooms feel like you. But you may need to undo some of the work when it comes time to stage your home to sell.

How can you avoid renovations decreasing your home value?

While some projects certainly do increase a home’s value, it’s important to do your research, ensuring that you don’t make changes that may be a turn-off to future buyers.

“Talk to local [contractor] pros before starting a new project to ensure you aren’t accidentally decreasing your home value, especially if you’re thinking about selling,” Fisher advises. You might also get advice from acquaintances in the residential real estate industry, who have firsthand experience with trends and preferences.

You can avoid decreasing your home value by carefully choosing projects, settling on those that have a track-record of reliably boosting curb appeal or that are likely to appeal to the broadest range of prospective buyers.

And remember, the more customized your renovations are, the less likely it is that prospective buyers will like the work you’ve done.

It’s also a good idea to make sure the improvements you make are consistent in character and even in color with the rest of your home. And if the renovations will be obvious on the exterior, make sure any changes you make are also consistent with the surrounding neighborhood as well.

“Homeowners must choose wisely when selecting everything from the layout, contractor, paint colors, finishes and more,” says Steckel. “In order to avoid decreasing the value of a home, keep in mind that the ultimate goal of making upgrades and renovations is to improve the overall functionality of the spaces within the home.”

Should you renovate your home based on your house value?

There are many factors to keep in mind when contemplating home renovations. In addition to being clear on your long term goals for the home and understanding the potential ROI of your investment, you should also consider the home’s value before spending too much money on any changes.

This is because what you get back on renovation investments is also linked to the value of the home. And the value of your home is impacted by such external factors as the value of other homes in your neighborhood. Beware of “overbuilding”: that is, renovations that make a home a lot pricier than its neighbors. Improvements that bring your home’s value up to the average price in the neighborhood, on the other hand, may provide a better return.

If you’re planning on taking on major home improvement projects, like kitchen or bathroom remodels, Angi recommends being safe and budgeting between 10 percent and 20 percent of your home’s value for the job. “The ROI on your home projects will be impacted by the value of your home,” says Fisher. “Spend too little and it will seem like you cut corners, but spend too much and you won’t earn back your money.”

And try to think long term: The housing market is constantly changing, and your home’s value may not be the same six months or a year from now.

The bottom line on home improvements and house value

Homeowners considering major home improvements should think about their own comfort and needs first, and the value of the home second. While carefully selected renovation projects can indeed be a great way to increase your home’s value, the amount of return you’ll earn on that investment is another matter, and will depend largely on the type of project selected.

Real estate history shows that homeowners should not expect to recover all of their money when undertaking remodeling projects. While making a profit is certainly not unheard of, you shouldn’t count on it. It is simply one of many considerations to keep in mind.

“I don’t recommend renovating a home solely based on the current value, as this can change overnight, depending on the market and economy,” says Steckel. “Homeowners should approach renovations by asking themselves, ‘What will appeal to a future buyer the most?’ And consult a [construction] pro to find the best way to achieve this goal within your budget.”

Tax Deductible Dwelling Improvements – 2022 Tax Guideline (Video clip)

The transforming boom soared in 2021 because of to a range of good reasons, which includes the ongoing pandemic and an increasing range of men and women doing work from household. Investing and transforming are predicted to continue to be solid in 2022, with symptoms that factors could slow down by the stop of the 12 months, according to Harvard's Leading Indicator of Remodeling Action (LIRA)

But, not all dwelling advancements are handled equally by the IRS.  

Suggested Studying: TurboTax Assistance on Tax-Deductible Property Advancements

"For most individuals when you might be undertaking household enhancements it truly is a own expense, and so it is not tax-deductible", says Jeffrey Levine, CPA and tax specialist for Buckingham Strategic Wealth'.  But, there are some exceptions.

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