When Beckie and Aaron first saw their 1930s Cape Cod, they knew they wanted to buy it before they walked in the door. They've already tackled updating the kitchen and the rest of the main floor, as well as the landscaping. The master bedroom is currently dragging down the value of the house so Beckie and Aaron are budgeting $6000 to revamp the dated space. With a good plan and plenty of sweat equity, they might double their investment-and their pleasure.
Kim Bryson has $7000 to spend and a large backyard with lots of untapped potential. Although she'd love to spend time in her yard, it's an ugly embarrassment. As long as she doesn't go overboard, she should see a boost in equity as well as enhancing the marketability of her property.
Todd & Mica Franks have lived in their three-bedroom 1960s rambler for 5 years. Now that their kids are 16, 11 and 5 years old, the house is busting at the seams. An exercise room and fourth bedroom in the basement would provide much needed space as well as add to the home's value and desirability.
Deb and Jerry Jovanovich are game for any improvements and our experts suggest starting on the outside - with an exterior facelift. Not only will Deb and Jerry appreciate the new look, the "first impression" for future buyers is a must. They have a $20,000 budget and are hoping to double their return on investment.
Kelli and Steve Friese have owned their home for 14 years and over time have customized it into their dream home. Only one thing is missing - their newly finished basement lacks a bathroom. Already priced at the top of the housing market in their neighborhood, Kelli and Steve are concerned about overspending and not getting a return on their investment when it comes time to sell.
Smart choices to get the biggest bang for your buck.
When Mike Stone's Grandma moved into an assisted living apartment she left behind a fully furnished 1990-built town home with a sea of pink carpet and floral wallpaper borders. Mike was ready to invest his money in a home so he jumped at the chance to own it. Mike wants to make the right updating decisions so he sets it apart from the others-but keeps the expenditures in check so he can get his money back when it comes time to sell.
Christine & Sean moved into their suburban split-level two years ago. They were expecting a baby and the home offered a lot more space. It also offered a lot of 1980s style - which they have worked hard to remove with cosmetic changes. However, cosmetic fixes just aren't enough for the main bathroom, which doubles as the master bathroom, so they are budgeting $8000 to update it.
Justin and Kristin Schaack love the house they purchased a year ago, but when they entertain more than four people, it starts to feel cramped. They've planned to expand their living space into the basement since day #1 and have lots of ideas. However, what they want, what they can afford, and what their neighborhood supports are three different things.
Jeff and Emily Piper bought their fixer-upper 1960's rambler a year ago to accommodate their growing family. They've already completed lots of fixes but are ready to move on to the next eyesore- the kitchen. As avid DIYers, Emily and Jeff are hoping to use a good plan, sweat and their $15,000 budget to substantially increase the value, style and function of their home.
Dan and LeAnn Dow moved into their ranch style house four weeks ago and have been working on it ever since. Most of the work was cosmetic-painting every room, replacing a few appliances and installing new granite countertops. They are now ready to move on to a bigger project - turning the hideous family room into a game room. Dan and LeAnn are avid sports memorabilia collectors and want a great area to display their treasures. They'd like to create a seating area for TV watching, have space for game tables like ping pong and add a wet bar. With $10,000 to complete this project and the ink still wet on the purchase agreement, they better hope they're not over doing it.
Andrea and John Krueger purchased their Cape Cod home in a sought after part of the city just last year. It had great bones, but everything needed updating, so it didn't appeal to the majority of buyers. They took the plunge and so far, they've tackled most of the to-do list. Renovating the upstairs bathroom remains on the must list and they'd also like to open up the enclosed stairway that leads to the second floor. The trick is to do it all for $10,000 - but John and Andrea are confident that they'll stay on budget and increase the bottom line.