Homeownership Tips
Home Resolutions for the New Year


New Year’s Eve marks the time-honored tradition of making resolutions for a better year ahead. So, while we all try to keep our personal resolutions for at least two months, why not make some resolutions to make your home more attractive to buyers? Home improvement resolutions might be easier to stick to than giving up caffeine.



Let’s start outside, shall we. After all, it is the first impression potential buyers will have of your home.

You don’t need a green thumb to maintain eye-catching landscaping. Once you know your plant hardiness zone, you can plan accordingly. There are many plants and shrubs that require little maintenance that even those of us who struggle keeping a succulent alive can manage to care for.

Speaking of succulents, let’s start with a plant that requires virtually zero maintenance. Hen and chicks. You plant it, then leave it. It’s that simple. It can be planted in containers or rock gardens and holds up to both summer droughts and sub-zero winters. Hen and chicks are great for new gardeners who might not have the time to stick to a strict watering schedule.

If you want to stick with flowers that you only have to plant once, give perennials a try. Perennials grow and bloom for multiple years which means that they won’t have to be replanted each season. To add greenery to your landscaping, try hostas. These shade-loving plants can attract hummingbirds to your garden when their lavender or white flowers bloom. (Photo option:

Feel like bringing some color to your landscaping? Peonies thrive in full sun to partially shaded areas and bloom in a variety of shades ranging from white to red. Another colorful plant that likes to bask in the sun is the daylily. This beaut has 70 varieties to choose from, with some that rebloom after the first flower meaning you can enjoy them longer.

Ready to dip your toes into yearly gardening? Low-maintenance annuals, like zinnias, offer pops of color and are easy enough to care for that most gardeners don’t mind replanting them each year. They are also a great staple for any pollinator garden as they attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects.

If you aren’t ready to sell your home this year, plan your landscaping for the future. In addition to being good for the environment, trees provide necessary shade to your lawn that can also help reduce your energy bills. The Quaking Aspen thrives in most of North America, however, there are several fast-growing shade trees that will look great in any yard.



Once you get potential buyers through the door, it’s really time to wow them. There are simple, cost-effective “micro-renovations” you can make to improve the value of your home. When planning your budget, see if you qualify for cash-out refinancing.

A good place to start with interior renovations is to get rid of features that may date your home. The most notorious décor style that can scream “dated” is the popcorn ceiling. While popcorn goes great with a Netflix marathon, people don’t much care for it on their ceilings.

According to Angi, the cost of professional popcorn removal can range from $900 to more than $2,800 depending to the size of your home and height of your ceilings. Of course, this range may vary based on where you live. If you want to feel like you’re starring in your own home renovation show, you can always take the DIY route and save some money in the process. Angi estimates that taking the project on yourself will run about $215 to $245. Just don’t forget to get all the supplies you will need like protective gear, scrapers, etc.

Embrace the power of paint. A fresh coat of paint can transform any room in your home. You can pick up a gallon of paint for $15 to $30 and one gallon covers about 350 to 400 square feet. The Lowe’s® Paint Calculator can help you plan for how much paint you will need for your project. If you have some areas that look like they might be hard to cover (discoloration, marker, etc.) try a coat of primer before you put your final color on the wall.

You can also use paint to update the cabinets in your home. From the kitchen to the bathroom, painting your cabinets in a neutral tone will help modernize the rooms. Neutrals will also make it easier for the next homeowner to incorporate their own style.

While you’re at it, update the hardware on cabinet doors and drawers. Finishes like stainless steel and brushed nickel are timeless and will look great in any room. Matte black pulls can add more a more contemporary finish to your cabinetry. A bit of friendly advice, when changing your cabinet hardware, try to match the finish to your faucet for a more cohesive look.


Want to refresh your home but “micro-renos” aren’t in your budget? No worries. Often when people sell their homes they will be entering into a new mortgage of their own. We’ve come up with wallet-friendly home improvements to give your home a free-fresh.

Rearrange your furniture. The way you arrange your furniture can change the entire flow of a room. Start by showcasing a focal point. This can be an existing focal point, like a fireplace, or you can create one with a gallery wall or television. Creating symmetry is another way to spruce up a room. Our eyes are drawn to symmetry, so if you have doubles of anything (lamps, vases, etc.) use them to balance your room.

To make life easier, draw out how you want your room to look before actually moving your furniture. Your back, and friends, will thank you later. You can also plan your rooms with tools like PlanYourRoom.com and the Magicplan app.

Can you hear that? It’s the echo of our parents telling us to clean our rooms. Don’t tell them, but they were right; rooms do look better when they are organized. This one might take a little extra elbow grease, but it’s worth it in the long run, and can even come in handy when you’re getting ready to move.

Start with one room at a time and take everything off of shelves and out of drawers so that you can have a fresh look at everything. Also, by taking everything out of it’s place, you can decide if it each item is a keeper or something that you can part with. Part of getting organized means letting go of some clutter. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to organize so take breaks and remember, things always look messier before they look cleaner.

When you plan your home improvement resolutions this year, keep in mind, you may qualify for a renovation loan. PrimeLending offers several forms of renovation loans, from cosmetic improvements to pool escrow and lending options in between. Talk with your local PrimeLending loan expert to get started.

Written By Becky Bruning