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Simple, cheap DIY fixes that will increase the value of your home for sale

A new coat of paint and some other simple, inexpensive fixes can spruce up your home for the spring or help you get better offers for your home or rental said licensed real estate agent and property investor Rob Karp.

House for sale

Simple, do-it-yourself fixes that will increase the value of your home for sale or property for rent.

“Just cleaning it up (your home) and throwing a coat of paint on everything; it can really mean the difference between how many offers you are going to get on your home and how much more you can sell your house for, especially depending on the neighborhood,” said Karp.  “This is all stuff you can do within a reasonable budget.”

Karp, who has been selling and investing in real estate around  Buffalo, N.Y., for nine years, gave some tips on how to inexpensively improve a home for sale or an apartment for rent during the “Spring Cleaning Show How” event by Communify  Buffalo.


Most home buyers want a nice kitchen and you can easily re-do a kitchen by adding a new countertop, painting your current kitchen cabinets and adding new modern hardware, such as brushed nickel, to cabinets and doors.


Easy fixes for updating a bathroom include adding a new vanity (either by yourself or hiring a handyman to do it for you) and refinishing the tub with a refinishing spray kit. You can also add new sink and shower fixtures to update the look of a bathroom.

General Interior of a house

Paint goes a long way in improving the look of your home says Karp. It’s something you can do yourself or with the help of a few friends.

“Wood paneling actually doesn’t look bad if you use a nice flat paint on it,” said Karp. “You might have to prime it first.”

Check to see if there are hardwood floors under your carpet. Chances are the floors have been protected from wear and tear by ugly carpeting which can be ripped up. Wood floors can be easily revived with a little Murphy’s Oil Soap. Refinishing hard wood floors is another possibility although more work. Plenty of how-to videos exist on YouTube.com and they can teach you how to do this yourself.

“It’s something that I know plenty of people that have never touched a tool before have done themselves,” he said.

Change out light fixtures with simple dome lights or inexpensive sconces. Replace outlet covers and switch plates and match them with your lighting fixtures to give a room a nice modern uniform look.

Exterior of a house

Use top soil and seed to liven up your yard or, just throw down some black mulch to improve the look of your yard said Karp. Colored gravel is also another option that will give more of a “presentation” to an area.

Use Habitat for Humanity ReStores for inexpensive materials for remodeling your home or rental

ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, appliances and building materials to the public at prices below retail. Proceeds from sales go to support Habitat for Humanity programs, including new home builds locally and around the world. Find a restore in your area at http://www.habitat.org/restores

In Buffalo, Buffalo ReUse Stores sells donated and salvaged building materials and architectural items to the public.  Their stores carry unique, one-of-a-kind architectural pieces such as cabinets, vanities, doors, radiators, sinks and more. The philosophy behind ReUse is “repurpose, reuse and recycle.” View photos of items purchased from the store and re-purposed for new use on their website.

Stop throwing out your vegetables!

I have a pet peeve of letting food go to waste.  Unfortunately it happens a lot, especially with fruits and vegetables that I buy.  My boyfriend does not like fruits or vegetables, so it is always just me that eats them.  When I go shopping, I keep this in mind and only buy what I know I will be able to eat within a week or two.  But it seemed that I could never eat the food fast enough and I would always end up with wilted lettuce, and rotting fruits and vegetables.  I tried to store them in different kind of containers, and freezer bags.  This seemed to help, but only saved them for a day or two more.

I could not take it anymore, I thought to myself- “I work for an appliance parts company, there has to be something out there that helps food last longer.”  I went to work the next day and asked around. As it turns out I was right, there is something out there that helps preserve produce!  Whirlpool makes another great product called Fresh Flow Produce Preserver.  They have a great starter kit, and then also sell refills for it.  We sell this product at work for only $12.99! I thought that was a great deal, because if it does work I will be saving more than $12.99 and I will no longer be wasting food or money. To me that is the greatest deal of all.


I looked up how and why this preserver works before I made my purchase.  While I was researching, I learned that fruits and vegetables give off a natural ethylene gas as they begin to ripen.  But as they naturally give off this gas, it makes the produce ripen more quickly, especially when in a small space (like the crisper drawer in the fridge).  It turns out that some fruits and vegetables produce more of this gas, and some other fruits and vegetables are very sensitive to this gas and it will cause them to ripen much faster when exposed to high levels. That is why it is also important to separate these fruits into the two separate crisper drawers.  The produce preserver promises to absorb the ethylene gas and lets your produce last up to four days longer.


After doing my research on the product, I was almost convinced that this would work, and I was ready to give it a try.  I purchased the starter kit that day at work.  When I arrived home I took a look at my crisper drawer; I just went grocery shopping so all of the produce was still fresh. This was perfect because now I could truly see how well this preserver worked!  It was very easy to install and put together.  The starter kit comes with two preserver packets, one preserver holder, and one status indicator.  All you need to do is open the holder and place the packet inside, next take the indicator and slide it into the allotted slot on top of the holder.  The preserver holder just sticks right onto the side of the drawer, and begins to work.  The strip is right on top and turns red as it absorbs the gas to let you know when to change the packets.  The only complaint that I had about it was how much space it took up in the drawer- but it isn’t even that much- so I got over it really fast. Ha-Ha-Ha.

I was truly happy and amazed how well this preserver worked!! My produce did last so much longer and my fruits and vegetables tasted great even five days later.  I got to finish all the produce I bought without having to throw any of it out! This made me ecstatic, because I wasn’t left feeling guilty, throwing any of it out and wasting money!!!  So for $12.99 for the starter kit and then just $9.99 for 2 refills I am going to keep using it and save money and food.  Overall I would and have suggested it to my family and friends. I suggest my readers should pick one up! Especially if you are tired of wasting food, and money!

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