The Most Worth-It Home Upgrades
The Price Sheet:
Bought it for: $190,000
Sold it for: $384,400
Renovation costs: $110,000
The Master Bathroom: Before
TOTAL COST: $11,630
"You can't go too luxe in here when you're trying to wow people in this market," Liz says. "We like to put marble on the countertops and in the shower, even though it can get pricey, because it pays off every time. It screams high-end, which lets you cut costs on other things that people won't notice. In fact, in this master bath, we ditched a pretty big fixture--the tub! We couldn't figure out how to make it work in the space, so we went with the swanky shower instead. No one missed it.
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The Master Bathroom: After
SNEAKY SAVINGS: "We did a half-wall of marble on the sides of the shower to trim our bill without sacrificing style. We also got the lighting above the sinks from Home Depot. They have killer stuff at low prices.
THE QUICKEST TWEAK: "New knobs on the vanity drawers. You can change them by yourself and instantly freshen up the look of the room.
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The Kitchen: Before
TOTAL COST: $17,830 "We demo'ed the space to change up the layout, because the original floor plan was such an awkward shape," says Liz. "People want a kitchen that's more about socializing, not one solely focused on function, so we always try to make sure it opens onto the living room or breakfast room. If we can't make that work, we opt for an island where the family can eat."
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The Kitchen: After
THE BIGGEST EXPENSE: All-new cabinetry, $7,700. "Moving things around forced us to invest in new cabinets, because the original ones couldn't be saved when we pulled them off the wall. Unfinished cabinets cost us $6,200, plus another $1,500 to paint them white. It was definitely worth it."
THEIR FAVORITE UPGRADE:The tile, $500, 80 percent of which went to labor. "The herringbone pattern is, hands down, the most affordable change we made, and almost everyone commented on how much they liked it. People appreciate cool extras like that, and anyone can get porcelain or ceramic tiles and lay them out in an interesting way. You don't have to break the bank either--21-cent tiles at the hardware store will do the trick."
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