Freshen your landscaping to enhance the style of your home and make the exterior more attractive. Cut back overgrown bushes and fill in bare spots, says Stacey Moncrieff, editor in chief of Realtor magazine. "A neat, well-maintained landscape instantly increases your home's curb appeal and suggests that your interiors are equally well-maintained."
Replace siding. The most affordable option is vinyl. Once a bland material that paled in comparison to real wood, it's now available in a wide variety of colors and styles, including scalloped and square-cut shingles. If your vinyl siding is in good condition but looks worn or faded, consider sprucing it up with a product that cleans and restores its original color and sheen.
Create a pantry. A shallow pantry can be squeezed into just about any kitchen. It is cheaper to frame in a pantry and use interior doors than it is to buy pantry cabinets. You can also adapt this idea for a bathroom that has no linen closet. Put in the largest storage units you have room for. A walk-in pantry will pay off even more.
Replace appliances, if they are more than 10 years old, with new energy efficient ones. Energy Star appliances (including furnaces & water heaters) are good for the environment & your wallet. They may cost a little more up front, but the money you save on energy bills in the long run more than makes up for the initial price difference & will continue to save you money for years to come.
Polish up the laundry room to create an attractive, functional room on the main level, upper level, or basement. Replace old appliances with new units offering the latest energy-and fabric-saving features. Add counter space for folding clean clothes, tuck-away bins for sorting dirty laundry, & cabinets or shelving to keep detergents stowed. And don't forget a built-in ironing board.
Install a bay window to make a room feel larger, giving it a focal point, & letting in more light than a regular window says Linda Lenore, design expert. To call attention to the new window & add function to the room, add a built-in window seat with a bench that opens for storage. This will be a cozy reading spot for you & an architectural point of interest for buyers.