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There is much to be said about having a home to call your own. If you’ve worked to purchase your first home (mortgage-free or even just a down payment), good for you—your hard work has paid off!


Not only is it a wise investment, as real estate tends to appreciate over time, but it can also serve your family practically by giving you the space you need and the ability to customize your living spaces.


Unfortunately, dream homes don’t grow on trees. So, finding a house in your price range that can check most of your boxes is the first thing to do. Making that house into a home is a whole other beast. Renovations to your home, especially those done by professionals, can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the magnitude of the project(s).


In this article, we’ll look at a few budget-friendly upgrades you can make to your home that will change the feel and add value without costing you dearly.


Replacing Outlets, Switched and Wall Plates

Living in a house previously owned by someone else can be challenging at first, as it often still smells and feels like them.


A fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to brighten a room and immediately change things. Any time we’ve moved, the first thing we do is paint the bedrooms and main living space to a color(s) that makes it feel like ours. If you want to take it a step further and complete the look, I recommend replacing the almond-colored outlets and light switches with white ones.


Many homes built before the 2010s used the off-white, almost yellow-looking almond switches. Making the switch and changing these out to white-colored wall plates can brighten the space at minimal cost. Be sure you’re comfortable working with wires, or you find a trusty friend who has done so before. I’m not giving you electrical advice, nor am I qualified to do so, so be careful and consult a professional if you’re unsure how to do this safely and correctly. If you do this right, it’ll brighten your home for just a few dollars.

  • Replacement 15 Amp Wall Outlet: $0.77

  • Replacement Single Pole Light Switch: $.085

  • Replacement Cover Plates: $.46


New Light Fixtures

At the risk of this sounding like an article about electrical work, I share another recommendation involving wires. Replacing the dining room chandelier, bathroom vanity light fixture, and even a ceiling fan in an outdated bedroom will make your house feel like a home. Again, I would suggest talking to a professional if you have not done electrical work before. Still, a project like this typically involves minimal tools to get the job done. If you check your local home improvement store for deals, they usually have good options for new light fixtures and ceiling fans for under $100. Here are some deals I’ve recently seen online:

  • Replacement Fan: $50

  • Replacement Vanity Light: $19.99



With spring in full swing, it makes sense to address the outside of your home for a little bit of curb appeal. New plants, mulch, and professional landscaping services can be another significant expense. Buying some perennial flowers is one way to freshen up the look of your home’s exterior on a budget. That one-time investment will pay off yearly as those flowers return year after year. If you buy bulbs that are also perennials, you can get them for under a dollar a piece, depending on the flower.


It’s a cheap way to add a pop of color and make your house look like your home on the outside. Another tip is to edge your walkways, driveway, and flower beds with a line trimmer after mowing. This creates clean lines and adds a professional flair to your exterior. Battery-powered line trimmers can be found online for less than $100.

  • Flower Bulbs: $0.72/bulb

  • Line Trimmer: $ 49.99


These little changes will allow you to customize your space without spending top dollar on significant renovations. If you enjoy a weekend project or working with your hands, be careful because these little fixes will show you how capable you are of taking on even bigger projects. They could be the tip of the iceberg of future projects to come—I know from experience!


If you are trying to make a house a home with multiple things on the to-do list but don’t have enough in savings to accommodate them and need to work on a budget but don’t know where to start, reach out to our financial coach to help create a customized budget plan that can include these weekend projects just for you!

Making a House a Home: Simple Fixes on a Budget

June 17, 2024

Nick Allen

Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers is an SEC-registered investment adviser firm.  The information presented is for educational purposes only and intended for a broad audience.  The information does not intend to make an offer or solicitation to sell or purchase any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and are not guaranteed.  Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers reasonably believes that this marketing does not include any false or misleading statements or omissions of facts regarding services, investment, or client experience. Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers has a reasonable belief that the content will not cause an untrue or misleading implication regarding the adviser’s services, investments, or client experiences. Please refer to the firm’s ADV Part 2A for material risks disclosures.

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