Seven projects you should consider to improve your quality of life and your home’s (eventual) resale value

Dated: February 17 2024

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Here are seven projects you should consider to improve your quality of life and your home’s (eventual) resale value.


1. Apply fresh interior paint


Refreshing your home’s interior paint is a great affordable upgrade.(Getty Images)

Giving everything inside your home a fresh coat of paint isn’t just a staging trick—it’s something you can do while still living in your house to refresh the entire look and feel of the place.


“This year, we saw interior painting as the second most popular project in our annual State of Home Spending report after regular maintenance, and it’s a great affordable upgrade,” says Angie Hicks of Angi (formerly Angie’s List).


Hicks advises choosing colors according to how you’d like a room to feel rather than simply hopping on the latest color trends.


“A coat of paint can go a long way in making your home feel more like you—especially if you pick colors that inspire you,” says Hicks.


2. Invest in new appliances

Updating appliances was the third most popular project in 2023.(

Another home upgrade that will benefit you and make your home more valuable to its subsequent owners? Investing in new appliances.


“Getting new appliances was the third most popular project in 2023—a big change from 2022, when this project wasn’t even in the top 10,” says Hicks. “Getting an updated appliance that allows you specific features and a look you want—it’s  a great upgrade that won’t need to break the bank.”


Another upshot of getting your new appliances now instead of in years past? The supply chain has gotten a lot better.


“In 2023, we also saw fewer delays from appliance suppliers than in recent years, which made it even easier for new homeowners to make this upgrade,” says Hicks.


3. Do a minor kitchen or bathroom remodel

Kitchen, post remodel, with plumbing left in place

An affordable upgrade is refinishing the cabinets in your kitchen.(HGTV)

When it comes to living in a starter home, two spaces tend to feel the most dated: kitchens and bathrooms. This is why smaller remodel projects in these rooms make No. 3 on our list.


“A super affordable upgrade that falls into this category is refinishing the cabinets,” says Abigail Baker of the home services group BELFOR Franchise. “Refinishing cabinets not only gets rid of the previous homeowner’s grease, grime, scratches, and dings but also allows you to refinish them to a color that better represents your style.”


Other ideas for your minor upgrades in these rooms? Consider redoing the tile, adding a new bathtub, or finally splurging on that farmhouse-style sink you’ve been eyeing.


4. Expand your deck

If you spend a lot of time outside your home, upgrading the deck can go a long way in how “forever” it feels.


“Adding a nice outdoor space where the family can hang out, where you can entertain guests, or dine al fresco can really be like adding additional square footage to your house,” says Baker.


The best part? Adding a deck doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, especially if you opt for wood instead of composite material.


A smaller deck between eight and 10 square feet starts at just $1,200, according to Fixr.


5. Install hardwood flooring


Installing new hardwood floors can increase the resale value of your home.

Speaking of wood-based upgrades, one of our favorite ways to make a starter home feel a bit more permanent is by upgrading its materials—like ripping out that old carpet and upgrading your floors.


“If you have old or outdated carpet in your home, installing some new hardwood floors can make it feel like a new home,” says Hicks. “It can bring increased resale value along with matching your aesthetic.”


6. Finish the basement

Is a Basement Included in the Square Footage of a Home?

While a basement remodel is a large project, it also has a nice return on investment if you decide to sell in the future.(Getty Images)

If you’ve got a basement that’s just gathering dust bunnies, now might be the time to invest in transforming it into a more livable space, like an in-law suite or entertainment den.


“While refinishing your basement is a large project, it comes with some great benefits—like a lot of extra space that can be used for an expanding family or guests,” says Hicks. “It also has a nice return on investment for a potential sale in the future.”


When planning your basement remodel, make it as livable as possible. This can be achieved by increasing the natural light with windows or a glass door, opening up the floor plan, and investing in high-quality flooring that will withstand moisture and colder temps.


7. Improve the curb appeal

Front porch curb appeal advice

Painting the front door, styling the porch, or improving the landscaping can positively increase your home’s curb appeal.

Ultimately, how you feel about your home has a lot to do with what it looks like on the outside.


So go ahead and paint the door your favorite color, upgrade the porch with a few fun knickknacks, and even consider spending some of your hard-earned cash on leveling up your landscaping.



“Improving the landscaping around your home can have a dramatic impact on curb appeal and make you happier every time you pull into your driveway,” says Hicks. “Consider planting new garden beds, building raised beds, planting trees, or even upgrading your outdoor lighting.”

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