Make Your Home LOOK Expensive

We each want our home to look like it could be featured in a design magazine. However, accomplishing that look can be daunting, until now. There are 6 inexpensive steps you can take to make your home look expensive.


This is something that I tell my clients when they are putting their home on the market. You may love your collections and knicknacks and completely understand your pile filing system. But that clutter communicates chaos to others. Edit your collections, and use organization systems like those from Ikea above to find a way to display or store in an organized way.

Eliminate grunge

Once or twice a year deep clean to keep your home looking luxurious. A little elbow grease focused on baseboards, ceiling fans, windows, floors will upgrade the overall look of your home.

Add or rearrange lighting

Lighting is a great way to make a home look expensive, but it doesn’t really cost that much. Use light to define spaces, separate rooms, make a small space look grand or a large space cozy. Consider using warm-colored light bulbs to make a home look luxe.

Upgrade your hardware

This can change the look of a room in a day and cost very little. If you have a larger budget, consider updating your faucets or maybe even your countertops.


There’s no easier way to make an old home look expensive than by painting. You don’t have to stop at your walls either. Add color to your front door, window trims or even your ceiling and floors.

Decor details

Consider creating vignettes – combining decor items like vases, frames and objects to add visual interest to an otherwise bland area. Don’t do this everywhere. Pick one or two locations that need some sprucing up.

Inexpensive Upgrades That Will Make Your House Feel New

As the weather warms up, we all start our spring cleaning, organizing and sprucing up. Here are 6 inexpensive upgrades you can make to make your home feel like new.

New hardware

Swapping out cabinet hardware, drawer pulls or handles, is a quick way to give a room a facelift and a little bit of personality.

Small paint jobs

You don’t have to repaint throughout your home to make a difference. Look at changing the color of your front door, kitchen cabinets, trim, built ins or even consider adding an accent wall. Most of these wouldn’t require a full gallon of paint (between $15 and $30) or more than a day to complete.

Upgrade a light fixturePhoto Apr 17, 5 16 27 PM

Light fixtures can be expensive, but if you are only replacing one, the expense can be manageable. We recently did this in our kitchen. We were never happy with the ceiling light that was selected by the builder. So we added a 3-pendant light to give a little drama to the area. Total cost was about $75, but the area looks much better and we use it much more now.

Organize a problem areaPhoto Apr 17, 5 23 34 PM

This is another change that can make a huge difference in both the function and the look of an area. We recently reorganized our pantry, which was a dark area with items just shoved on a shelf. It was hard to find anything, so we didn’t work to keep it organized. We added 2 shelves and some light, and the area is so much more functional now. Total investment was about $75.

Keyless entry pad

This is relatively easy to do now, and costs about $100. Not only does it keep you every being locked out (as long as you remember the code), but guests will be able to let themselves in. That’s much safer than hiding a key.

Fresh mulch

Yes you can landscape, and paint trim and build a patio – but for the money simply adding mulch to your flower beds gives you the most bang for your bucks. At $6 a bag, your biggest investment is the time it take to put out the mulch.

If you have questions about the impact your home improvement projects have on your home value, contact My NWA Realtor. I’d be happy evaluate your home based on comps in your neighborhood.

7 Fall Maintenance Moves That Will Save You Money

Fall is the perfect time for home maintenance. A few weekends of work before the weather really turns cold will help you get ready for winter and avoid any nasty surprises—and big repair bills—that the cold might bring. Here’s your must-do checklist for fall maintenance.

1. Gutter Maintenance

Clogged gutters can allow overflowing water to damage walls, spark a rodent infestation and erode your landscaping and cause expensive water damage. To prevent a problem before it starts, clean and repair your gutters early in the fall. Once cleaned and repaired, consider adding a layer of waterproof mesh over your gutters to keep leaves out.

2. Protect Screen Doors

Winter’s harsh weather can rip holes in screen doors or cause the metal to rust. Replacing a damaged screen door in the spring will cost you from $150 for a lightweight model to $225 for a heavy-duty model. To keep your screen doors intact, remove the door, clean the screen and store it in a dry place until spring.

3. Shingles

Climbing your roof to check for loose or broken shingles may not be fun, but if left unattended, small problems in your roofing can lead to major leaks during the winter as rain, hail, sleet and snow pound your home.

Professional repairs on a 10-by-10-foot roof cost an average of $630. Save yourself money and make the small repairs now.

4. Winterize Your Pipes

Burst pipes are a costly problem. A non-urgent call to a plumber can cost up to $250, while an emergency pipe repair can cost up to $600. Repairing the damage from the resulting flood could costs thousands more.

In cold climates, you need to winterize your pipes to protect your home. Outdoors, shut the water off to any spigots and drain any remaining water by briefly turning on the spigot. Indoors, locate any exposed pipes that may get cold in the winter. Wrap the pipes in foam or vinyl insulation to prevent freezing.

5. Mind the Gap

Gaps in your window or door frames let in cold air, causing your heater to work overtime all winter long, but these have an easy fix.

Start by running your hand over windows and doors. If you feel a draft, apply weather stripping around the frame to create a tighter feel. Sealing up those leaks can reduce your utilities bills by up to 10%.

6. Call the Chimney Sweep

Your fireplace should be inspected and cleaned once a year, even if you don’t use it much. While a professional may charge up to $350, it is worth the cost.

The most minor potential problem is that the lining of the chimney could crack, costing $2,000 to $4,500 to repair. At worst, the chimney could force carbon monoxide into your home or cause a fire.

7. Test Your Heater

Before the cold sets in, fire up your heater.

After your home starts to warm up, walk from room to room. If you notice cold spots, loud screeching sounds or strange smells, you may have a heating problem.

If the furnace stops working, repairs could cost $325 to $475. And if you wait until the busy season, technicians may raise their prices.