Spring is a time of renewal: the dreariness of winter fades, the cheerful colors of nature return, and everything seems new again. Well, everything except the home we’ve been cooped up in all season. Sometimes, even a thorough Spring cleaning isn’t enough – and we wish we could bring that feeling of new life indoors.
Our homes are where we spend most of our time, and when our spaces seem tired and uninspiring, it can affect our moods in the same way. Home remodeling and renovating can be exciting and give us a chance to be creative – but it also can be prohibitively expensive, especially for retirees on a fixed income.
Here’s the good news.
There are plenty of things you can do to refresh your space and make you feel better about your home – without spending a lot of money or being a skilled do-it-yourselfer. You’d be surprised at how “a little different” can go a long way to changing your outlook on your indoor space.
We’ve assembled the following list of helpful tips from a number of expert sources, such as Forbes, This Old House, and Better Homes and Gardens:
1. Paint is the word. It’s really remarkable what a fresh coat of paint can do. Maybe that’s why it’s the most popular DIY project: it’s relatively affordable, and most of us can do it without any special training. And it’s not limited to walls. Painting a whole room or an accent wall with a fresh new color can transform your space – but so can repainting furniture, cabinets, or your front entry or garage door.
2. Freshen up your floors. If you can’t afford new or resurfaced flooring, you can paint over dingy old flooring with durable floor paint to bring new life to any room. Plus, there are peel-and-stick flooring options thin enough so that you don’t have to remove your existing flooring – saving you time, effort, and money.
3. Decorate with fruit and flowers. A bowl of apples, oranges, pears, or lemons on a table or counter adds a cheery pop of color (and who knows, may even inspire you to do more healthy snacking). Plants and flowers are cheaper and easier to find when they’re in-season, helping you freshen the indoor air and raise your spirits.
4. Replace your hardware. Can’t afford new furniture, doors, or cabinets? Simply replacing the knobs or handles on doors, drawers, and cabinets – or even putting in a new faucet – doesn’t take long and can give your rooms a whole new look. When you’re shopping for replacements, make sure that new knobs and pulls match the size and placement of your existing screw holes to make it easier.
5. Revitalize your kitchen cabinets. This tip combines two already mentioned, but they bear repeating – because replacing kitchen cabinets can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. All it takes is a strong cleaning solution, sandpaper, new paint, and a little effort to transform their look. Repainting dark cabinets with a fresh color can make the whole room seem brighter, and replacing the knobs and pulls can make the doors and drawers look brand new.
6. Don’t forget the fabrics. Swapping some of them out is an easy and cost-effective way to change the colors and textures in your home and give it a totally new look. Find a fresh look you love, then get tablecloths, kitchen towels, rugs, pillows, and throws that match or complement it. Look for rugs that have skid-resistant backing to help ensure safety and lessen the risk of trips and falls.
7. Accessorize your bathroom for style and safety. Many companies now make toilet-paper holders, towel racks and bars, and other accessories that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – because they can safely be used as grab bars to make your bathroom safer, as well as more stylish.
8. Install a simple stair runner. Another way to make your house look better – and be safer – is to cover bare, slippery wooden stairs with an affordable woven runner. Buy one with a style you like off-the-shelf – just make sure it’s long enough to cover the length of your staircase. You may want to put some thin flooring padding underneath on each step. Lay the runner over the staircase, smooth it out and affix with staples and upholstery tacks.
Are you one of the many older Americans who plan to stay in your current home as long as possible and age in place? Check out our blog on how to take an inventory of your entire home to determine how you can renovate it safely and affordably.
We hope these pro tips have inspired you, and can help you save money while sprucing up your home for the Spring season. But what about your other financial challenges?
If you’re age 62 or older, help may be available. And it’s right inside your home.
A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), also known as a Reverse Mortgage, lets you tap into some of the home equity you’ve worked so hard to build – giving you cash to help you fund the retirement you imagined, and live more comfortably with less worry.
- It’s called a reverse mortgage because unlike your current forward mortgage, the loan doesn’t come due until you leave the home – meaning that no monthly mortgage payments are required.1 In fact, the proceeds from a HECM are first used to pay off your existing mortgage, freeing up that money for you to use on something else. The remaining funds are yours to use2; take them as a lump sum, monthly payments, a line of credit, or any combination. Your choice.
The bottom line? Between eliminating monthly mortgage payments* and getting proceeds from the new reverse mortgage, a reverse mortgage can give you more cash to update, repair, or modify your home – or any other purpose. More information on how you can use a reverse mortgage is available here.
To learn more about a reverse mortgage, fill out the form on this page to get a free info kit, or call Longbridge at 855-523-4326. There’s no cost and no obligation.
1 Property taxes, homeowners insurance, and home maintenance required.
2 The loan balance increases over time as interest on the loan and fees accumulate