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Affordable home improvements that will add value to your house (Part 2)

- 4. Keep the driveway in good repair. If you are lucky enough to have a gravel driveway, just make sure the stones are not all over the street and in some order on the driveway. If you have asphalt, have it resurfaced or do it yourself. This is not too costly, but is a bit labor intensive. If you have a concrete driveway, fill in the cracks if there are any and have it professionally resurfaced or if you don't have the funds for that, you can paint over the driveway with driveway paint after the cracks have been sealed. Again, labor intensive, but worth the effort.

- 5. If you already have a walk way into your house, make sure it is in good repair. As with the driveway, fill in cracks and repaint if necessary. If you have flag stone paves or the like, make sure they are sturdy and embedded and the grass around them is not unkempt. Make it a pleasant walk to the front door.

- 6. Make sure the stairs into your house are sturdy and if painted, give them a fresh coat. If the front door is in good repair give it a fresh coat of paint as well. If the door is old, replace it. This is your preference. Doors range anywhere from $200 to thousands of dollars. This you can do yourself. It is easy to remove an old door and replace it with a new one. Go to a seminar at Lowe's or Home Depot or buy a How to book, but never let the door be the deterrent from having someone want to walk into your house. Replace the hardware as well if yours is pitted and old. New shiny hardware shows that you take care of things around your home and have pride in ownership.

- 7. Once inside the home make sure the carpets are clean (do it yourself by renting equipment or buying a carpet cleaner) or have it professionally done. Clean carpeting makes even the dingiest old carpet look livable.

- 8. Clean hardwood flooring. If you don't have the money to refinish it, clean and polish it with Murphy's Oil Soap or another product of the same quality to keep it looking fresh.

- 9. Rearrange furniture to give the home a good flow. Take out large pieces and put them in storage to make the room look larger and more inviting.

- 10. Paint. What can I say? Paint is a personal preference. Most people want neutral colors but if you have painted with vibrant colors and don't have the fortitude to redo the painting, make sure the paint is clean and free from dirt, scuff marks, and the like.

- 11. Smell. Remove animal smells from the house by either removing the animals and their cages until the house has sold or by fumigating and then placing air fresheners strategically around the house, especially bathrooms. I find the Air wick solids work well and are out of site, not too strong, but just a hint of fragrance.
Part II.