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Painting A Home And The Return On Investment

23 June 2008 4 Comments

I closed on a house on Friday, and I painted the interior all day Saturday and Sunday.  I’m exhausted, but it was well worth it.  With the help of family and friends, we were able to put a great deal of paint on the walls and transformed a cold white wall interior to a warm, comfortable environment throughout the house.

If I were to pay someone to do the paint job, it would have cost over $2,000.  Instead, for under $500 in supplies, we were able to get the job done, and it looks great.

What is my return on this investment?  Well, according to various real estate publications, the return on an interior paint job is typically 72%.  Well, that’s fine with me.  More importantly, we have a great interior that we will enjoy living in for the next few years.  If we live in the house 5-8 years, the $500 we spent to paint the house is well worth it!

While it is great to think about what money we will get back on the re-sale of the house, don’t lose sight of the time you will be living in the house!  When thought of that way, the return goes way up!

We covered a ton of square footage this weekend, and we’re exhausted; but, at the same time, it felt great.  It felt great to work hard on your own home and to add value (even if just a little) to something you own.

I’ll keep you posted on my journey to find little, affordable projects that can increase the value of my home.  Yes, the days of making 50% ,60%, 70% and up on a home in a matter of years are over.  However, I’m still convinced there are ways to unlock value and earn a nice return on real estate.

What ways are you trying to unlock value in your home?  What projects have you found to have an impact on the re-sale of a house?  Join the discussion by adding your comments.


  • Dorian Wales @ The Personal Financier said:

    I stumbled across your blog. Great posts. I recently painted a wall in my house myself. Can’t say that was the smartest thing to do as supplies usually come in bulk and are only economically sound when used in mass amounts. Still I agree it’s a great feeling investing in yourself.

    Economic utility is not about money, it’s about… utility. We do things in life for our enjoynment. Good job!


  • kevin duffey said:


    Couldn’t agree more with your comment regarding economic utility. Thanks for the comment.


  • Deadhedge said:

    We sold our house in 1 day for 15% more than we paid 3 years ago. It did have recent fresh coats of paint and a great location but what did it was the fence and a garden.

    My wife and her mother complete re-landscaped the backyard including a vegetable garden. It was something that they liked to do and made the back yard a huge asset.

    The fence turned the backyard into a private yard. It was a simple wooden fence that we paid someone to do rather than do ourselves.

    Fence and garden really differentiated the house.

  • kevin duffey said:

    That’s great.. I’m looking to do a fence and some custom landscaping hopefully to create a nice private backyard as well. Hopefully, it’ll add some value as well.