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Homebuyer Hints: 5 EASY FIXES FOR THAT ALMOST-PERFECT HOUSE

By Tyler Broughton

From price and location to the physical structure itself, the list of things to keep in mind when shopping for a house can seem endless. But some problems you encounter don’t need to affect your final decision. Although easy is a relative term, accomplishing the 5 fixes that follow is generally pretty straightforward. We also point out some big-ticket fixes to watch out for. Happy house hunting!

1. Repaint or reface existing cabinetry

If the interior structure of the cabinetry is still sound, refinishing, repainting or refacing (replacing the cabinet fronts) can be a more cost-effective way to refresh a dated kitchen than completely replacing the cabinetry. If the cabinet doors are in poor condition or you want to change the style, consider refacing.

2. Replace the appliances

Swapping out old appliances for shiny new models is one of the biggest-impact ways to makeover your kitchen without getting bogged down in a full renovation. And because the cost of appliances and installation is pretty straightforward, it’s easier to plan and budget for this upgrade than projects that might expand beyond your original scope.

NOT SO EASY-FIX: Replacing what’s already in your kitchen is one thing, but when you start to move the plumbing and electricals around, costs can rise quickly. If possible, go for a house with a kitchen that has a layout you’re happy with – you can always tweak the details.

3. Consider fresh carpet

Stained, worn-out carpeting is a real bummer, and it can be hard to see past it when viewing a potential home. But ripping out old carpeting and putting in something new – especially something as fresh and fun as the colourful carpet tiles shown here – can make a huge difference to how a space looks and feels.

4. Paint the walls

It’s amazing the effect colour can have on us – remind yourself of this fact the next time you tour an open house with some (ahem) unusual colour choices. You can easily (and cheaply) replace any wall colour with a beautiful hue.

5. Replace light fixtures

Swapping out dated light fixtures with new ones you love is a quick and easy fix an electrician or DIY-savvy homeowner can accomplish in relatively little time. From modern pendants to Edison-bulb chandeliers, there’s a light for every style and taste.

NOT SO EASY-FIX: Exchanging one light fixture for another in the same spot is simple; updating old or unsafe systems is another matter entirely. Electrical work should definitely be left to the pros, and electrical repairs in an older home can cost a pretty penny, so be sure to get a thorough inspection and review it in detail.

by Laura Gaskill in association with 

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