Compass Greater NY, LLC
Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES, Compass Greater NY, LLCPhone: (917) 623-0624
Email: [email protected]

DIY Upgrades That Won't Tank Your Budget

by Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES 08/15/2021

Remodeling your home can give it a fresh look, but figuring out what changes to make can be difficult when you have a strict budget to stick to. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money to upgrade your home. In fact, there are several easy and cost-effective ways to improve your home’s appearance. Consider taking on these projects when you want to make some quick upgrades while staying well within your budget.

Change Light Switch and Outlet Covers

Light switch and outlet covers are items that are easy to overlook when you’re thinking of ways to spruce up your home. However, these covers can become dirty over time, or they might have an outdated look in your home. Outlet and light switch covers are simple and inexpensive to replace. You can choose decorative ones to liven up a room, or get covers in a color that matches your walls. To be safe, shut off power to the outlet or switch before removing the cover and putting the new one in place.

Paint or Refinish Kitchen Cabinets and Cupboards

When you have kitchen cabinets that are looking a bit worn or plain, consider refinishing or painting them. Refinishing these cabinets can give them a sleek and shiny appearance that makes them look as good as new. Painting them can give them a whole new color that complements or contrasts with the rest of your kitchen. Refinishing or painting these cabinets is much more budget-friendly and easier to do than replacing them entirely.

Replace Bathroom Hardware

Cabinet handles, towel racks, towel hooks and other hardware in your bathroom are cost-effective items to consider replacing. This is a simple project that just involves removing your current handles and other hardware and replacing them with brand new items. Choose decorative towel racks and hooks to add some flair to your bathroom. For bathroom cabinet handles, you can choose colorful pull or knob handles, or go with chrome or a similar finish that provides an elegant look.

Install Crown Molding

Crown molding provides an easy and cost-effective way to enhance any room in your home. You just have to purchase pieces of crown molding, and cut them to the lengths you need before installing them. Crown molding adds a stylish, upscale touch to rooms, as well as a bit of character. Keep in mind that you can also add molding to cupboards and cabinets to spruce them up.

Add Carpet Treads

If you have bare wooden stairs, you might notice the center areas of each step looking worn from use. Adding carpet treads on each step can prevent this from getting worse while also giving your stairs an enhanced appearance. Carpet treads are easy to install and don’t require as much time and effort as having to refinish worn areas on each step. When you have these treads on your stairs, they also lower the risk of slipping and falling.

Change Door Knobs

Replacing the door knobs throughout your home can add visual appeal while also making doors easier to open and close, especially if you have older door knobs that are worn or have locking mechanisms that don’t work as well anymore. Remove old, faded or out-of-style door knobs with shiny new ones on interior and exterior doors. This is a quick project you can do on a weekend while spending a low amount of money overall. 

About the Author

Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES

Ann Marie Damashek has always been a natural at helping people prepare their homes for sale. She started out with a successful business selling goods for people on eBay. "Nine times out of ten they were hiring me because they were down-sizing,” Ann Marie says. "So I decided to get my license. I said, ‘Might as well sell their house too.’” The transition was a smooth one and for nine years she’s had a thriving full-time real estate business that allows her to marry her entrepreneurial spirit with her passion for helping others. With an office in Larchmont, New York, she serves all of Lower Westchester County, with her primary market in the Sound Shore region. The majority of her business is "sphere of influence” with former clients referring her to friends and family. A gifted communicator, Ann Marie quickly builds trust and rapport with her clients by being both thoughtful and responsive; she understands that during the purchase or sale of a home, a quick response time is crucial. "I am very accessible,” Ann Marie says. "I always make time for my clients. They can call me, text me, email me up until 10 o’clock at night and I will respond. I’m available on weekends. I get back to people very promptly. I’m very customer service-oriented.” Her clients appreciate her professionalism, passion and enthusiasm and as a result her repeat and referral rate continues to grow each year. While selling real estate is serious business, Ann Marie knows that at times humor and a moment of levity can be a relief to clients. While she has a laidback and easygoing personality, she can be assertive when needed on her clients’ behalf. She loves being of service to them, and the continually changing nature of the work keeps her engaged and fulfilled. "It’s never boring,” Ann Marie enthuses. "Every day is different. That’s probably what I like most about it. But I also enjoy helping people sell or buy and educating them about the process. I love helping them achieve their goals.” This ethic of service has resulted in well-deserved recognition. Ann Marie has received the Westchester Magazine Five Star Real Estate Agent Rating four years running, in 2015 and 2016 she was the #1 agent in her office, and she’s a Zillow 5-Star Premier Agent. To keep in touch with former clients, Ann Marie sends cards to mark special occasions or reaches out via email. To market her listings, Ann Marie uses Multiple Listing Services (MLS), as well as, a service that allows both agents and their clients access to MLS data. She also uses a Facebook business page and ads to boost new listings or promote upcoming open houses. "That drives a tremendous amount of traffic,” Ann Marie says. She also uses the most popular real estate websites such as Zillow and Trulia. A strong believer in giving back, Ann Marie sits on the Board of Trustees of her church and is involved in a variety of social justice projects. She’s affiliated with Furniture Sharehouse, a furniture bank for Westchester County, which collects and distributes gently used furniture free of charge to those in need. "I love it on so many levels because as a realtor, it’s helps my sellers downsize through charitable donations. I like the environmental aspect of it as well. And it helps people who truly need things.” She’s also involved in Impact 100, a women’s philanthropic giving organization. In her free time, Ann Marie enjoys gardening, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. For the future, Ann Marie wants to continue expanding her business and developing her brand, and she someday hopes to grow a strong team. But her main goal is to stay in the real estate business, helping her clients to achieve their dreams.