Upkeep isn’t something good homeowners do just to keep their houses in good running order, it’s about keeping their homes current in the competitive real estate market. While you may not have the budget to erect your dream addition, there are many ways you can increase the value of your home without breaking the bank or taking out a second mortgage.

Make a good first impression

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure the exterior of your home is in tip-top shape to create an inviting feel to your property. Don’t worry if a professional landscaper isn’t in your budget, there’s plenty you can do to spruce up your yard on your own; and if you’re short on time, you can likely hire a neighborhood kid to help you out.

When was the last time you planted your flower beds? Even if gardening isn’t your thing, you’ll be amazed by the transformative powers of a well-kept lawn and flower beds. In fact, tweaking the landscaping around your home can increase its value by 10-12 percent. No need to plant exotics, even inexpensive and hardy flowers like zinnias can add bright pops of color to your beds.

View of Office Building

If you’ve never mulched your flower beds, now’s the time to do so; you’ll be amazed by how mulch makes flower beds pop. Not only is mulch inexpensive to purchase, and easy to spread, but it helps protect your investment in flowers for your beds. In addition to keeping your time weeding at a minimum, mulch helps the ground retain moisture in the blazing sun, keeping your flowers bright and blooming.

Attention to detail

When you’re driving through your neighborhood, how does your home compare to those of your neighbors? Is your mailbox battered and dented, or in need of a fresh coat of paint? Is your house number easy and clear to see, or is it faded or blocked by overgrown shrubs? When you walk up to your home, is the paint peeling or in an outdated color? These are the types of details you want to take into consideration when looking to improve the overall look and feel of your home, none of which cost a lot to spruce up or fix.

Is your lawn shaggy and unruly? Use an edger to define the boundaries of your lawn and flower beds, giving an all-around clean and manicured look to your yard. Again, no need to purchase expensive equipment or hire landscapers, you can easily rent an edging tool from your local hardware store and take care of your front yard on a Saturday. By paying attention to detail, you can easily add value to your home, making it appealing to potential buyers.

house, lake, mountains

If you don’t trust yourself to examine your home with a discriminating eye, invite a trusted friend or family member over to give you feedback. It’s easy to overlook the little details when you see them every day. Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your home look like a million bucks, you just have to be willing to put in a bit of effort.