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3 Simple Ways to Refresh an Older Home

Older houses have their charms, but Californians tend to like fresher, modern interiors even if they preserve the original exterior features of the houses they buy. If you’re gearing up to sell a home built before 1990, consider these simple and relatively affordable improvements as a fast way to get your home in shape to attract the ideal buyer.

Replace Outdated Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen appliances tend to show their wear and age in more ways than one. Aside from the nicks, scratches and stains that naturally arise on equipment that sees heavy use, appliances can also appear outdated in a way that makes the whole kitchen feel older and less appealing. Replacing outdated appliances with newer, shinier models can be a move that makes sense, but it’s important to be smart about how you go about it.

First, you’ll want to purchase appliances that make sense for the overall value of the home. Putting a $10,000 stove in a home worth $350,000 doesn’t really make sense, and it’s not going to really add more value than a $500 stove. Additionally, kitchen upgrades aren’t a surefire way to increase the value of the home. They’re really best for cosmetic improvements that affect the way the buyer sees the home. If your appliances are relatively new and work well, they probably don’t need to be replaced. You can ask your real estate agent his or her opinion on this before going through with it.

Get Rid of Popcorn Ceiling

Textured popcorn ceiling is a holdover from an old-school interior design and building approach, and while some modern homes do have it, it’s usually not a high-end feature buyers prefer. If you have popcorn ceiling that’s looking dusty, dirty, stained and generally less-than-fantastic, you can scrape it off yourself to give your ceilings a new finish. The process does involve some physical labor, but supplies are inexpensive, making the project worthwhile even if you only do it in one or two rooms in the house.

Add More Light

The modern trend toward light and bright can pose a challenge for those who own older homes. If possible, you can make your space feel more airy by adding more windows or even adding skylights or solar tubes to let additional natural light into the home. However, this approach isn’t always guaranteed to add value to the house, so if you’re working with a limited budget and your home is otherwise fairly appealing for prospective buyers, you don’t need to worry about such as dramatic approach.

Instead, you can add more light fixtures to make the space feel fresher without actually making big changes. This could mean replacing old single-bulb overhead fixtures with updated multi-bulb fixtures or installing some sconces in dark hallways or bathrooms. Even just using brighter bulbs can work. Replacing your incandescent bulbs with high-end CFL or LED bulbs can be a great way of making rooms brighter and more appealing in short order.