Budget Makeover: What You Get for $15,000

Smart strategies to help you get more for your $15,000 budget. You can even sell your house in a few years and recoup this investment.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionDress up old appliances with replacement panels.
If your existing appliances work well, forgo new, costly replacements. "Consider putting a new panel over your current refrigerator door," suggests Janice Anne. Only don't squander the potential to increase the kitchen's functionality for the sake of cost, she adds. If a new triple-rack dishwasher like this one from Maytag or a convection oven will make your life easier, take the plunge and invest in that new appliance.

$15K TIP: Creating a focal point in the kitchen goes a long way. Renew your kitchen sink by replacing your chrome-finish faucet with an antique bronze farmhouse style, for example, or personalize that shelf over your window by adding a collection of Depression-era glass vases.

Erinn Bucklan is a New York City writer who is about to renovate her own kitchen.

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