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5 Ways to Update Your Home on a Budget

Updated: Dec 21, 2021


We sat down with Leisa Erickson, Managing Broker and Owner of Engel & Völkers Downtown St. Pete and St. Pete Beach, and Matthew Erickson Co-owner of Engel & Völkers Downtown St. Pete and St. Pete Beach, to get the inside scoop on home renovation on a budget. They were able to let us in on their top five tips when completing a renovation on your property.


Tip #1: Landscaping & curb appeal


Landscaping and curb appeal is so important when you are going to renovate your property. It's the thing that you bribe up to every single day of your life. Don't wait to do it. Make it pretty, make it beautiful.


Some things to spruce up your curb appeal can be:

  • Planters

  • Flowers- change them out seasonally

  • Mulch- mulch goes a long way, it's like paint, it's a miracle worker.

  • Concrete staining


Investing in your landscaping can go a long way in a renovation. Anything to freshen up and give that “wow” factor when you drive up to your home is fair gain!


Tip #2: Invest in your kitchen


If you're going to invest, invest heavily in kitchens and baths. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it needs to be interesting and different.


In today’s market, there are too many flips going on that are cookie cutter- white is still popular, gray is popular, so pick something you love and make sure you do extra little details that are interesting and different to set your home apart.


A great example Leisa mentioned is her personal preference of incorporating unique textures in her flips. So an easy change out to make her renovation different would be doing Butcher Block counters. An easy fix that will bring a lot of depth, character and warmth to a property.

Leisa and Matt use Butcher Blocks quite frequently in their flips as they're super inexpensive to buy (about $180 a plank) and most kitchens probably take about two to three planks. So it's not too much of an investment and you as an owner can actually install them yourself.


Other interesting details you can include in kitchen flips are replacing old faucets or cabinet knobs with newer/unique ones adding color and versatility to the kitchen.

These details are inexpensive, easy to change and go a long way.


Tip #3: Keep the original character of your home


If your home was built in the 1910s-1970s there's usually some cool architectural character to those homes that are no longer made. For example, Leisa and Matt’s current flip project still has a lot of the original architectural fixtures such as the front door, six-light windows, floors, crystal door knobs, fireplace, and built-in storage, and more. All of these pieces would cost thousands of dollars to get custom made or replaced. They are still here and working one hundred years later- refinish and refresh it, keep it working and save hundreds of dollars!


Leisa also believes keeping these original characteristics is a testament to the time of true craftsmanship in a property. Every property can have something special and unique that was originally built with it so take that positive, accentuate it and leverage it to something very cool and unique.


Tip #4: Invest in your bathrooms


We talk about the importance of investing in your kitchens, but bathrooms come very close on a list of things to place emphasis on during a renovation. The important thing in a bathroom is just giving it an update.


When renovating an older home like the one Leisa and Matt are working with, you can do very simple and inexpensive things to your house to revamp it. You may have a very old cast iron tub or some type of fixturing or tile that just doesn’t work anymore in terms of style or functionality, so what you can do is you can reglaze that fixturing and you can reglaze the tile and it completely gives it a fresh look. Leisa and Matt do a lot of all white reglazing in our flips. They are very simple to do, very stinky, but very simple and leave the bathroom with a very clean look. Replacing flooring in the bathroom and installing small storage cabinets can also help.


At the end of the day it’s going to look amazing, completely refreshed and ready for new owners.


Tip #5: Open your enclosed porch


If you purchase a home with an enclosed porch it can be difficult figuring out what the heck to do with it! Some people like to make them into an office, however Leisa enjoys taking the enclosed porch back to its original form. Removing any windows or screens enclosing the space that may appear unattractive and opening it up. You can finish this space with nice detail that we mentioned in tip #1 to make it pretty and add some bonus curb appeal! You'll probably really enjoy sitting on your new open porch in the fresh air like it was originally intended for.


Call us today to discuss the potential in renovating and listing your home. We have a platform of trusted vendors working through Yör Dör eager to give your home a makeover!





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