Dollars & Sense: How A Few Bucks Can Yield Thousands

Tammy Thrift, Liz Moore, Real Estate Investing, Saving Money, 1031, tax strategies, home staging, renovating and selling homes for profit

Restor-a-finish: Before, note dull floor below steps.  After, see top step & 1/2 of stair tread below it. Nice!

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things… 

In addition to home staging and taking advantage of  tax deferred 1031 exchanges, there are some low-cost strategies that make this Realtor and real estate investor’s heart sing!

From personal experience, I’ve maximized the return on my investment when applying these five wonderfully inexpensive products.  Give it a try for yourself, and you’ll soon reap the rewards!

1) Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.  Found in most grocery stores for under $5, they’ll work cleaning miracles!  Apply water and some elbow grease to yield significant dollar savings and sparkling clean surfaces.  Great for refreshing the look of tubs, walls, doors, floors, cabinets, appliances —  the list goes on and on and on!  Squeaky clean and fresh, that’s what buyers crave in today’s competitive marketplace!

2) Murphy’s Oil Soap.  Just down the aisle from Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and equally inexpensive, this is a fantastic no-rinse product for cleaning cabinets, hardwoods and more.  Fresh, clean smell that deodorizes, too.  Great for cleaning latex paint off of brushes!


Buyers crave light, bright & neutral

3) Restor-a-finish.  Take a trip to your favorite home improvement store to find this gem.  I first used this $10 product to revive the finish on antiques.  When faced with the expensive and time-consuming task of stripping and refinishing hardwood floors, I decided to give Restor-a-finish a try first.  Wow, what a difference!  Great for revitalizing tired finishes on cabinets, wainscoting and vanities.  Note: be sure test in a small area, before launching headlong in finish restoration projects.  Check carefully for color match and always follow manufacturer’s instructions.

4) Paint.  Nothing beats a fresh coat of paint when rehabbing a property for sale or lease, but you don’t have to spend a fortune.  (Have even painted over hideous wallpaper, when removing it wasn’t a viable option!)  Save money by color matching my ‘go-to’ colors (SW 6120 Believable Buff  and SW 7036 Accessible Beige) in contractor grade paint from your local home improvement store!

Take the dollar-generating approach of pairing crisp, bright white semi-gloss trim, with restful shades of ‘greige’ that are highly desired by today’s home purchasers.  Neutral wall colors appeal to the broadest number of people, whether their own particular style is traditional or contemporary.  Take it to the next level by adding your furniture and accessories, borrowing ideas and free design cues from Pottery Barn Design Studio or catalogs.

mulch around sundial

A little mulch makes a big difference!

5) Mulch.  Yep, good old ordinary mulch.  After trimming back overgrown bushes, weeding, and raking the leaves… a fresh layer of mulch adds the much needed ‘pop’ to a tired yard!  To keep the costs at low, perhaps you could purchase mulch from your local municipality.  (For example, my town offers cash-and-carry mulch and compost by the cubic yard, sold at a fraction of the cost of a lawn service!)  Final tip?  Learn to mulch properly and pay careful attention to how the mulch is built up around trees and your home’s foundation, to ensure proper drainage.

Here’s to getting the wow factor, for less!


Tammy Thrift, Realtor

Serving Your Real Estate Needs, From Colonial Williamsburg To The Chesapeake Bay!

Actively licensed with Long & Foster in the Commonwealth of Virginia (USA)

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