Tag Archives: Frisco

Hottest Housing Markets for 2016

Zillow.com names Denver as one of the hottest housing markets in 2016. Find out why the Front Range, and Summit County are continuing to grow.


Hottest Housing Markets for 2016

 

BY
Housing experts predict U.S. home value growth around 3.5 percent this year. But which markets are leading the charge?

To determine the hottest real estate markets for 2016, we looked at the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) Forecast, recent income growth and current unemployment rates. These variables were scaled and combined equally to form a “hotness score.”

Here’s a look at the top 10 metros:

No. 1: Denver

The ZHVI is expected to increase 5 percent year-over-year in the Denver metro, where the unemployment rate is a low 3.1 percent. Neighborhoods in Aurora, CO — Delmar Parkway, Highline Villages and Centretech — are the hottest. Denver’s Ruby Hill is also among the metro’s hottest ‘hoods.

No. 2: Seattle

In Seattle, the ZHVI is expected to rise 5.4 percent year-over-year. Northwest Bellevue is the area’s hottest neighborhood with the median home value predicted to increase 9.2 percent to $1.15 million year-over-year. Seattle’s University District, Holly Park and Olympic Manor are also hot spots.

No. 3: Dallas-Fort Worth

The Dallas-Fort Worth market is holding strong with a 4 percent unemployment rate and solid income growth. The median home value is also expected to go up by 5.6 percent year-over-year, according to the ZHVI Forecast. Holford, Oak Lawn and M Streets are the hottest neighborhoods.

No. 4: Richmond

No. 5: Boise

With a 4.7 percent increase in the median home value expected this year, Boise, ID has earned its spot among the hottest real estate markets. At the neighborhood level, Central Bench, North End and Maple Grove-Franklin top the list with a ZHVI Forecast over 5 percent.

No. 6: Ogden

Ogden, UT is another hot market with strong income growth, low unemployment and a ZHVI expected to increase 4.9 percent year-over-year. The metro’s hottest ZIP codes include 84025 in Farmington, 84037 in Kaysville and 84401 in Ogden proper.

No. 7: Salt Lake City

Another Utah metro, Salt Lake City, made the list with a ZHVI Forecast of 4.4 percent. The hottest cities for home value growth are expected to be Grantsville, Erda and Stansbury Park. The 84074 ZIP code in Tooele is also a hot spot.

No. 8: Omaha

In Omaha, unemployment is very low at 2.9 percent, incomes are on the rise and home values are trending up. The ZHVI is expected to increase 3.2 percent year-over-year. The 68136 and 68131 ZIP codes in Omaha are hottest, followed by 68066 in Wahoo.

No. 9: Sacramento

Sacramento’s median home value is predicted to rise 5.1 percent year-over-year. The Southeast Village, Folsom Road and Hagginwood neighborhoods should lead the way with a ZHVI Forecast over 8 percent.

No. 10: Portland

Portland, OR is the 10th hottest market for 2016 with the median home value expected to rise 5 percent. Woodlawn is predicted to have the most home value growth (7.2 percent year-over-year), followed by Parkrose (7.1 percent) and Sumner (7 percent).

 

 

7 Unwritten Etiquette Rules Every Home Buyer Should Know

It is important to remember that while you are trying to buy a home, you can be evaluated by the seller. Following these simple 7 unwritten rules that Liz Alterman at Realtor.com puts together can help you navigate the process successfully.


 

7 Unwritten Etiquette Rules Every Home Buyer Should Know

By
Liz Alterman

You like being under a microscope? Whatever your answer to that question may be, you’d better get used to being scrutinized when you’re trying to buy a home. Your behavior can sway sellers to bestow their precious home on you—or pass you up for someone nicer or way less annoying.

Naturally, realtor.com® is here to help! Just be sure to follow these heretofore unwritten rules of house-buying etiquette to stay in the good graces of all involved.

Get pre-approved for a home loan

Getting pre-approved and knowing exactly how much house you can afford before shopping for a home is key to winning over sellers, real estate agents agree.

“It is simply misleading to look at a home you don’t know you qualify for,” says Cara Ameer, a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker. Yes, this is an etiquette issue. “Remember that the seller and agent(s) took time to prepare for the showing. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if someone was looking at your home and they had no idea if they qualified for a mortgage, let alone the price range of your home?”

If you haven’t yet been pre-approved, let the agent and seller know upfront.

Be punctual

You’re mom used to tell you this one, right? If you have an appointment with your Realtor, respect his or her time. If you’re running late, call, but don’t make a habit of last-minute schedule changes. Agents have plenty of other clients they could be working with. Also, if they’ve asked a seller to leave the house for your showing, your tardiness makes both you and your agent look bad. Enough said.

Remove your shoes

Whatever “shoe rules” you have in your home are null and void elsewhere—so when in doubt, ask if you should remove your shoes upon entering anyone’s home.

“You may be asked to remove your shoes or even wear surgical booties,” says Brenda Hayward, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker. Don’t be self-conscious! “Just give it up; no one looks good in surgical booties.”

Don’t bring an entourage

“This may be OK in Hollywood, but try to minimize the group field trip effect,” says Ameer. “You may want to save that for once you’ve narrowed down your choices to your top two to three properties. Sometimes, too many opinions can be confusing and overwhelming, and add unnecessary time to the property tour.”

Ditto when it comes to little ones. “Ideally, you don’t bring your children with you when going to view a house,” says Nicholas Kensington of Scottsdale Real Estate. “If that isn’t possible, though, don’t let them wander anywhere they want. There are always potential safety issues. And it’s just rude.”

Ask permission before taking photos

Want to take a few pictures or shoot some video to help you remember all those small details? Ask first, Kensington advises. “There might be concerns about privacy that you’re not aware of.”

Don’t linger too long

Just how long is long enough to truly take in a home? While there’s no formal rule, Ameer says anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes is typical for a first showing.

“Taking a bit longer may be OK, but remember: You can always go back for a second showing and will likely need to.” But beyond two visits, when exactly are you at risk of being considered a stalker? See our next point…

Avoid excessive multiple visits

“One, two, or even three visits is typically acceptable prior to making an offer,” Ameer says. “If you must return more than that, make sure this is a home you are seriously considering.”

All those visits are not only an inconvenience, but they could also make a seller extremely anxious, especially if a buyer comes to the house five times and is never heard from again. Remember, you will have inspections and access to the home again, so don’t waste a seller’s time with too many visits.

Before you come away thinking you’re the only person in the home-buying process who should adhere to a code of conduct, tune in next week to learn all the unwritten etiquette rules home sellers should follow, too!

For original Realtor.com article

Mountain Events: January 15th-18th

Friday, January 15th

Snowmobiling Tours: 8a, 10a, 12:30p All levels, Dillon.

Family Gym Time: 10a Breckenridge Recreation Center, Breckenridge.

Paint Your Own Pottery: 10a Lionshead Welcome Center, Vail.

Ullr Ice Plunge: 2p-4p Maggie Pond, Breckenridge. **New Event

Comedy Night: 7:00p Doors Open, Show at 8:00p Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge.

ULLR BIKE, presented by Borealis Bikes: 5p Race Gold Run Nordic Center, Breckenridge.

Vail Triumph Winterfest Ice Theatre: 5p Vail Village, vail.

Takács Quartet: 6:30p Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek.

6th Alley Supper Club- Italian Night: 6:30p 6th Alley Bar & Grill, Arapahoe Basin.

Breckenridge Bucks Hockey Game: 7:50p (Pre Party at the Rio in Frisco) Stephen C. West Ice Arena, Breckenridge.

Atomga: 9p Barkley Ballroom, Frisco.

25th Anniversary Gallery Exhibition – Oh, The Places You’ll Go!: All Day, Exclusive Collections Gallery, Breckenridge.

Saturday, January 16th

Snowmobiling Tours: 8a, 10a, 12:30p All levels, Dillon.

Copper Mountain Safety Fest: 9a Center Village, Copper Mountain.

NSAA Skier Safety Village: All day “Do you know the code?” Arapahoe Basin.

Women’s Demo Day Lionshead: 9a Eagle Bahn Gondola, Vail.

NEW Classic Film Series: 10a South Branch-Summit County Library, Breckenridge.

Met Opera Live In HD: Les Pecheurs De Perles, Bizet: 10:55a Colorado Mountain College, Breckenridge Campus.

Ullr Ice Skating Party: 1p-3p Stephen C. West Ice Arena, Breckenridge.

Ullympics: 3p-5p Carter Park, Breckenridge. **Community Favorite 

Wild & Scenic Film Festival: Doors 6p, Films start at 7p Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge.

Breckenridge Bucks Hockey Game: 7:50p (Pre Party at the Rio in Frisco) Stephen C. West Ice Arena, Breckenridge.

Birch Street: 9:30p Snake River Saloon, Keystone.

Sunday, January 17th

Snowmobiling Tours: 8a, 10a, 12:30p All levels, Dillon.

Woodward Winter Camp: 9a Woodward Copper Barn, Copper Mountain. 

NSAA Skier Safety Village: All day “Do you know the code?” Arapahoe Basin.

Beyond V1 Nordic Skate Clinic: 10a Gold Run Nordic Center, Breckenridge.

Meet the Artist: 11a Emily Galvin @ Art Gallery at Keystone Lake, Keystone.

Vail Triumph Winterfest Ice Theater: 5p Vail Village, Vail.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go! 25th Anniversary Gallery Exhibition: All Day Exclusive Collections Gallery, Breckenridge.

Want to Buy? Here’s When In Summit

Want to Buy? Here’s When in Summit County

Many people ask me when is the best time to buy a home in Summit County. That’s a complicated questions but generally we have the highest number of properties for sale in the spring, summer and fall.  Frisco, Breckenridge, Dillon, Silverthorne and all of the other towns have a very prevalent and profitable rental market in the Winter months due to the plethora of ski resorts right on your door step.

Many people who are looking to sell their homes, will remove their homes from the market over the winter and then put them back on the market in the spring. We see a reduction of properties for sale by almost 50% if not more during the winter. However, properties start springing up left and right around March. If you have been considering buying your dream mountain, now is a great time to get your feet wet and see what is available. By spring time, you will be educated and savvy enough to be ready to move forward with your purchase. 

Anne Skinner
970.389.6987
Anne@comtnrealty.com

Contact me today to be set up on an MLS search so you can see what is available as soon as it hits the market!

ASkinner Full Logo New

When Should You Sell Your Home?

When should you sell your home? 

The basic answer is whenever you are ready. However, there are many factors that should also be considered:

  • Are there a lot of available properties?
  • How do the other properties stack up against your home?
  • Is your home in pristine condition and market ready?

In Summit County, many properties are taken off the market for the winter to be used as vacation rentals. Therefore, there is much less competition and a greater number of buyers vying for the available properties. In the last couple years, there has been a shortage of properties for sale throughout the year leading to higher prices and making it more of a seller’s market. If you have been considering selling your home, don’t wait!

Anne Skinner
970.389.6987
Anne@comtnrealty.com

Contact me for a free Comparable Market Analysis to learn more about the value of your home.

ASkinner Full Logo New

Mountain Events: January 8th-10th 2016

Friday, January 8th

Snowmobiling Tour: 8:00a, 10a, 12:30p, 2:30p First-time to advanced – Dillon.

Christmas Tree Recycling: All day – Summit County.

Friday, January 8th

Snowmobiling Tour: 8:00a, 10a, 12:30p, 2:30p First-time to advanced – Dillon.

Christmas Tree Recycling: All day – Summit County.

Paint Your Own Pottery: 10am Lionshead Welcome Center – Vail.

Historic Walking Tour of Breckenridge: 11am Breckenridge Welcome Center – Breckenridge.

TedX Vail: 6pm Vilar Performing Arts Center – Beaver Creek.

The Swing Crew: The Last Lift Bar – Keystone.

Vail Triumph Wintefest Ice Theater: 5pm Vail Village – Vail.

DJ Appearance – At Frost: 9pm The Sebastian Hotel – Vail.

Bill Smith: 9pm Barkey Ballroom – Frisco.

Cold River City: 9:30pm Snake River Saloon – Keystone.

Saturday, January 9th

Ballet Technique: 8:30am Old Masonic Hall – Breckenridge.

Woodward Park Rats: 9am Copper Mountain Resort – Copper Mountain.

Beyond V1 Nordic Skate Clinic: 10am Gold Run Nordic Center – Breckenridge.

Historic Dredge Boat Snowshoe: 10am Breckenridge Recreation Center – Breckenridge.

Frozen Theme Public Skate Session: 1:30pm Stephen C. West Ice Arena – Breckenridge.

16th Annual Big Beers, Belgians & Barlywine Festival: 2:30pm Vail Cascade Resort & Spa – Vail.

46th Annual Frisco Gold Rush: 9am Frisco Nordic Center – Frisco.

Spontaneous Combustion Bonfire: 6pm bonfire, 8pm fireworks – Frisco.

Sunday, January 10th

Snowmobiling Tour: 8:00a, 10a, 12:30p, 2:30p First-time to advanced – Dillon.

Woodward Copper Winter Classes: 11am Copper Mountain Resort – Copper Mountain.

Breck Betties Winter Hockey League: 3:45pm Stephen C. West Arena – Breckenridge.

MARTyPARTy: 9pm Barkley Ballroom – Frisco.

 

 

 

The 5 Real Estate Trends That Will Shape 2016

Yes, you read that right. 2016 is right around the corner and Realtor.com is highlighting 5 of the trends that will shape next year. One of Jonathan Smoke ‘s points is that “Generational shuffle will make 2016 the best year to sell in the near future.” So get ready to sell or to buy in 2016 it should be a good year. 


The 5 Real Estate Trends That Will Shape 2016

House: RiverNorthPhotography/iStock; numbers: mishabokovan/iStock

By
Jonathan Smoke

It’s almost the new year. Get ready to break out the Cristal: We had a great 2015—the best year for housing since 2007. And our forecast here at realtor.com® projects an even better year in 2016.

How so? Well, with economic growth chugging along, employment will continue to increase, meaning that people will have more money coming in and they’ll be able to buy their first home or upgrade to a new one.

Here’s a closer look at the trends that will have the greatest impact on the housing market in 2016.

1. We’ll return to normal (Anyone remember normal?)

The year ahead will see healthy growth in home sales and prices, but at a slower pace than in 2015. This slowdown is not an indication of a problem—it’s just a return to normalcy. We’ve lived through 15 years of truly abnormal trends, and after working off the devastating effects of the housing bust, we’re finally seeing signs of more normal conditions. Distress sales will no longer be playing an outsized role, new construction is returning to more traditional levels, and prices rise at more normal rates consistent with a more balanced market.

2. Generational shuffle will make 2016 the best year to sell in the near future

Millennials emerged as a dominant force in 2015, representing almost 2 million sales, which is more than one-third of the total. This pattern will continue in 2016 as their large numbers combined with improving personal financial conditions will enable enough buyers between ages 25 and 34 to move the market—again. The majority of those buyers will be first-timers, but that will require other generations to also play larger roles.

Two other generations will also affect the market in 2016: financially recovering Gen Xers and older boomers thinking about or entering retirement. Since most of these people are already homeowners, they’ll play a double role, boosting the market as both sellers and buyers. Gen Xers are in their prime earning years and thus able to relocate to better neighborhoods for their families. Older boomers are approaching (or already in) retirement and seeking to downsize and lock in a lower cost of living. Together, these two generations will provide much of the suburban inventory that millennials desire to start their own families.

Assuming that most of these households will both sell and buy, it is important to recognize that 2016 is shaping up to be the best year in recent memory to sell. Supply remains very tight, so inventory is moving faster. Given the forecast that price appreciation will slow in 2016 to a more normal rate of growth, delaying will not produce substantially higher values, and will also see higher mortgage rates on any new purchase.

3. Builders will focus on more affordable price points

One aspect of housing that has not recovered yet has been single-family construction. Facing higher land costs, limited labor, and worries about depth of demand in the entry-level market, builders have shifted to producing more higher-priced housing units for a reliable pool of customers. That focus caused new-home prices to rise much faster than existing-home prices. Builders were able to be profitable and grow by following this move-up and luxury strategy, but their growth potential was limited by avoiding the entry level. That should begin to change in 2016.

We are already seeing a decline in new-home prices for new contracts signed this fall. In addition, credit access is improving enough to make the first-time buyer segment more attractive to builders. We’re looking for the strong growth in new-home sales and single-family construction as builders offer more affordable product in the year ahead. Consumers of all types should consider new homes, but availability will be highly dependent on location.

4. Higher mortgage rates will affect high-cost markets the most

We told you mortgage rates would go up in 2015, and they did—but they also went back down. We expect similar volatility in 2016, but the move by the Federal Reserve to guide interest rates higher should result in a more reliable upward trend in mortgage rates.

Thirty-year fixed rates will likely end 2016 about 60 basis points higher than they are today. That level of increase is manageable, as consumers will have multiple tactics to mitigate some of that increase. However, higher rates will drive monthly payments higher, and, along with that, debt-to-income ratios will also go higher. Markets with the highest prices will see that higher rates will result in fewer sales; however, across the U.S., the effect will be minimal as the move to higher rates will spur more existing homeowners to sell and buy before rates go even higher.

5. Already unaffordable rents will go up more than home prices

The housing crisis that politicians are ignoring is that the cost of rental housing has become crushing in most of the country. More than 85% of U.S. markets have rents that exceed 30% of the income of renting households. Furthermore, rents are accelerating at a more rapid pace than home prices, which are moderating. We’ve been seeing asking rents on vacant units increase at a double-digit pace in the second half of this year.

Because of this, it is more affordable to buy in more than three-quarters of the U.S. However, for the majority of renting households, buying is not a near-term option due to poor household credit scores, limited savings, and lack of documentable stable income of the kind necessary to qualify for a mortgage today.

This trend does not bode well for the health of the housing market in the future. It will only improve if we see more construction of affordable rental housing as well as more of a pathway for renters to become homeowners.

Mountain Events: New Year’s Eve 2016

Mountain Events: New Year’s Eve 2016


Summit County has a ton to offer for everyone this New Year’s Eve. Bring in 2016 up in the High Country!

fireworks3

Thursday, December 31st: New Year’s Eve 

Copper Mountain: New Years Eve Moonlight in the Mountains – Mid Mountain Dinner and Party at Solitude Station. (Various times)

Breckenridge Resort: New Year’s Eve in Breckenridge – Including a Glow-Warm Parade, Torch Light Parade, Fireworks in Town.  (Various Times)

Keystone Resort: Keystone’s New Year’s Eve Celebration – Including Torch Light Parade, Fireworks. (Various Times)

Warren Station Concert with Trout Steak Revival & Gipsy Moon: Keystone, CO. (8:30pm – 12:30am)

Dillon Dam Brewery: Banned In Japan New Year’s Eve Bash (9:30pm, Dillon)
The Barkley Ballroom: Leadville Cherokee, 70’s DISCO SET AT MIDNIGHT (8:30pm, Frisco)
Goat Soup & Whiskey Tavern: All‑Star Funky New Year’s Eve  (10pm, Keystone)
Vail Holidaze New Year’s  Eve: Torch Light Parade (6:30pm, Vail)
*Arapahoe Basin’s Moonlight Dinner Series has Sold Out this year, but be sure to consider it for next!

Mountain Events: December 5th – 6th

Saturday, December 5th

Snowmobiling Tour: 8:00a, 10a, 12:30p, 2:30p First-time to advanced – Dillon.

Colorado Demo Days: 8:30a – 4:00p – Copper Mountain.

Gold Run Nordic Center: Opening Day* 9:00a – Breckenridge.

Wassil Days: 9:00a – Frisco.

Never Summer & Icelantic Demo: 9:00a to 4:00p – Arapahoe Basin.

Book & Bake Sale: 9:00a – Summit County Library, Frisco.

Santa Visits the Museum: 10:00a – Frisco Historic Park.

Arts as a Catalyst for Community Development: 10:00a – Lake Dillon Theatre, Dillon.

Rail Jam: 10:30a – Arapahoe Basin.

Fat Bike Open: 12:00p – Gold Run Nordic Center, Breckenridge.

Ski Ball: 6:00p – Keystone Conference Center.

Canvas Painting Party: 7:00p – Ready Paint Fire, Breckenridge.

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure: 7:30p – Lake Dillon Theatre Co., Dillon.

DJ Appearance: 9:00p – The Sebastian Hotel, Vail.

Vail Nordic Club Ski Swap: All Day – Homesteak Peak Middle School Gym, Avon.

Lighting of Breckenridge & The Race of Santas: All day activities – Breckenridge.

Sunday, December 6th

Colorado Demo Days: 8:30a – 4:00p – Copper Mountain.

Puppy Playtime: 10:00a, 6-12 months old – Petco, Dillon.

Arts Alive Gallery: 11:00a La Cima Mall – Breckenridge.

Gingerbread Houses Accepted: 12:00p – Summit County Library, Frisco.

Soup Cup Classic: 4:00p Frisco Adventure Park – Frisco.

Vail Valley Band: 7:00p – Route 6 Cafe, Vail.

 

 

6 Ways to Supersize Your Small Kitchen for the Holidays

There comes a time in your life when eventually you have to host your family or friends for the holidays. Realtor.com explains some useful ways to make your small kitchen seem a lot larger. 


 

6 Ways to Supersize Your Small Kitchen for the Holidays

By: Deborah Kearns

With Thanksgiving around the corner, odds are you’ll soon be spending plenty of time in your kitchen. (Maybe even way more then you want!) Adding to the holiday stress levels: if your culinary workspace is tight, turning out meals for a crowd may be a real challenge, especially with more helpers (aka family members) around. Don’t panic! You still have time for some kitchen-organizing hacks that can bring some order to the chaos. Plus, you can get inspiration for how to maximize your small space for next year.

1. Plan where everything will go

Before you head to Williams-Sonoma and start swooning over gravy boats shaped like roasted turkeys, take stock of what you already own and plan out how you’ll organize everything, says Susie Kurkowski, owner of Items of Interest, a home decor boutique in Brooklyn, NY.

You may have to do a holiday-specific reorg—as usual, the items you’ll use most (such as dishes, cups, and mixing bowls) should be within arm’s reach, but you’ll also need to get out your heirloom casserole dishes and other items for serving. After the big meal, those special-occasion dishes can go back into storage where they’ll be safe but won’t get in the way of your daily routine.

You’ll also want to limit the number of small appliances (just stick them in a closet, if there’s nowhere else) on your countertops, to free up prep space. And again, when the festivities are over, you may want to rethink what you put back out. The Keurig you use daily? Yes, that can remain. The dusty waffle maker you got as a wedding present and haven’t used since 2009? Say adios!

2. Pimp out your cabinets with custom inserts

Whether you inherited an antique kitchen with equally outdated shelving or you’re starting from scratch, it’s smart to buy custom inserts to organize each nook and cranny, Kurkowski says. You’ll be able to put away more things—without putting them out of reach. She recommends Rev-A-Shelf’s products, which include pullout inserts, Lazy Susan spinners, tray dividers, and door storage.

“Sometimes store-bought cabinets come with weak shelving and inserts that don’t last, so it’s best to buy those items separately,” Kurkowski recommends. “Position like items such as dishes, bowls, and cups close together to make them easy to access, and use the inserts to store all of your small appliances, spices, and other necessities to keep them out of sight and off your counters.”

3. Invest in new appliances

Switching out appliances is one of the easiest ways to bring style, increased efficiency, and a higher resale value to your petite kitchen, Kurkowski says. Although stainless steel has been the preferred choice for the past decade, white appliances are coming into vogue. Certain sizes are considered the standard, but you can opt for smaller appliances to gain more storage inches in your cabinets. Just pay attention to the height, width, and depth. Most modern appliances are deeper than what you probably have now, and you don’t want new appliances to stick out past your countertops.

4. Go easy on color

If you want to add a touch of style, just know that small kitchens are not the place to let loose with dramatic hues. Choose a more subtle color, says Allison Petty, an interior designer with Homepolish. Just like with other small spaces, keep darker colors at the bottom of your kitchen and use lighter shades higher up. More and more homeowners are opting to paint lower cabinets a darker shade, like gray, and the uppers with a creamy white for contrast, Kurkowski says. The effect is dramatic: It brings the eye up and makes your kitchen appear more spacious.

That said, be careful with the backsplash, which is already in shadow. A white subway or hexagon tile goes flawlessly with most kitchen designs instead of dark granite or mosaic tile, Kurkowski says. Adding a backsplash is an inexpensive and dramatic way to add some visual pop, as long as you keep colors neutral.

5. Open up your space with light

Your kitchen is no place to skimp on lighting. Use bright lights over workspaces, Kurkowski says. If you’re blessed enough to have an island, invest in a showstopper light fixture. Hudson Valley Lighting has plenty of beautiful options. Recessed lighting for the rest of the kitchen works fine, but Kurkowski thinks track lighting is even better.

“If you put a track in a suspended rectangle junction box in your kitchen, you can have up to 12 lights on one track and point them at different areas in the kitchen,” Kurkowski notes. “It is less expensive than installing several fixtures that each require their own junction box.”

6. Give old cabinets and countertops new life

Don’t have the funds for a complete gut and reno? No worries: You can transform your outdated cabinets with paint, Petty says. A popular option with avid DIYers is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Another low-cost, eye-popping transformation is to change out or add new knobs and pulls, which can update the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank.

There’s no beating around the bush: Countertops are expensive to replace—even in small spaces. You’ll spend at least $4,000 for engineered quartz (a hot option right now). If you don’t have the money for a complete upgrade, consider painting laminate surfaces with Giani Countertop Paint (available at your local home improvement store for under $100).