How To Update Your California Fixer-Upper On A Budget

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

Are you the new owner of a property in California that needs a little TLC? Whether your purchase was to get a good deal or simply because you saw the potential, the realization of completing projects to improve your living space is intimidating. If you have a small budget (which is common after purchasing a home), you’re probably wondering if you’ve gotten in over your head. Although you’re feeling anxious, it’s important not to lose hope just yet. 

Don’t Doubt Yourself

You’ve worked hard to purchase your house. You followed healthy financial practices like saving money, budgeting, and improving your credit until you could secure a mortgage. You found the perfect real estate agent who showed you multiple Granada Hills homes for sale based on your preferences. Finally, you went through the tedious process of bidding and closing on the property. 

Surely you didn’t do all that work for nothing. Believe it or not, you can transform your fixer-upper into your dream home without breaking the bank. Continue reading for advice.

Tackle Your Home Inspection List

During a property inspection, buyers receive a list of recommended maintenance and repair tasks that should be completed. Anything emergent like electrical, plumbing, roofing, or heating problems must be addressed to ensure your home is healthy and safe.

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If you’re unfamiliar with these home systems, you should hire a licensed contractor to take care of these tasks. The good news is that local and federal government programs provide financial assistance to homeowners for costly repairs. You could receive a grant for several thousand dollars to get your residence up to code. 

Replace Old Flooring

Does the property have dirty, damaged, or outdated flooring? You can fix this issue without much money. Start by removing old carpets, wood panels, or tiles. If hardwood is underneath, you can remove the padding, nails, and glue, then buff and stain or paint the floors. Another option is to purchase quality yet affordable flooring. You’d be surprised how many modern products are available and easy to install without assistance. 

Tear Down Walls For An Open-Concept

If the residence feels small and cramped, tearing down walls can provide an open concept for more light and space. Have a professional inspect the walls to ensure they’re not load-bearing and don’t contain pipes or electrical wires. Once you get the green light, grab a sledgehammer, a construction hat, safety goggles, and complete demolition. You can leave beams in place and cover, paint, or stain them to add character to your living space. 

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Repurpose Cabinets

Outdated kitchens are common in older homes. However, a kitchen renovation can cost $15,000 or more. Instead of going broke, you can repurpose the cabinets to modernize your kitchen. Remove the kitchen cabinets and sand them down so you have a smooth, even surface. Decide on a stain or paint color for the cabinets, shelves, and counters. Lastly, purchase and install new handles and knobs.

Kitchen Island Alternatives

A kitchen island is a must-have for most homeowners, but it can be expensive. Fortunately, there are affordable alternatives to consider. You could get creative and transform an old desk, dresser, or bookshelf into an island. Start by sanding and painting the furniture, then purchase a large wooden or stone block to secure to the top. Other alternatives include rolling islands or bar, wooden, and pull-out tables. 

Paint Walls

If the walls in the property are dirty, outdated, or plain, you can spruce up your living space quickly with a fresh coat of paint. A nautical color scheme with white, blue, yellow, green, and tan hues would be ideal for a beachside California home. However, if you prefer something more modern and luxurious, you could opt for crisp white and gray. Don’t overlook the significance of an accent wall. You can add burlap panels, textured paint, or wallpaper to add character, color, and design to your living space. 

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Add Furniture And Decor

You’ve done the hard part. The final step to turning your fixer-upper into a dream home is to move in your furniture and add decor. Incorporate side tables, shelves, and wall units for storage. Then hang family photos, paintings, inspirational posters, mirrors, clocks, and other home decor accessories to make your place feel complete. 

As the average home prices in California are high, it’s not uncommon for buyers to purchase a fixer-upper to save money. The best part about owning a property that needs a little TLC is the satisfaction you’ll feel knowing you put your blood, sweat, and tears into making it a place you enjoy calling home. 

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