Real estate pros say you can dramatically improve your home with any of these easy upgrades under $35

Big improvements with little effort.

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Upgrades to your home don’t have to be hard or even cost a lot of money. In fact, simple design enhancements like under-cabinet lighting or a set of vintage prints can make your space feel instantly refreshed — without breaking the bank. But, if you’re not sure where to start the process, have no fear. I’ve reached out to a few real estate pros to share their best hacks, tricks, and tips that are so easy and clever.

Whether you live in a studio apartment or a bigger home, these items can dramatically improve your living area or outdoor space. Best of all, they cost just $35 or less. So keep scrolling down for some top-notch upgrades that will exceed your expectations, but not your budget.


A set of under-cabinet lighting for instant sparkle

You can brighten up your kitchen, laundry area, or any room of your choice with under-cabinet lights, Farrell suggests. Adding, “The sparkle provided is a game changer both practically and aesthetically.” And since these lights are wireless and battery-operated, you can install them anywhere for a more expensive look. Mounting tape and screws are included for easy installation and the remote can control the brightness, timer, and on-and-off capabilities. Just note, each light requires three AA batteries, which aren’t included.

  • Available styles: 6


These outdoor solar lights for improving curb appeal

For a small investment that can make a huge difference in your home’s curb appeal, Bramlett recommends outdoor solar lights. This two-pack features lights on flexible wires, so they sway with the wind and look just like fireflies in the dark. And since they’re solar-powered, all you need to do is plant them anywhere and turn on the switch, no cables or wires needed.

  • Available sizes: 2-pack, 4-pack, 6-pack


These floating shelves that can organize your kitchen or bathroom

According to Branson, “The kitchen and bathroom are two of the most important rooms when it comes to upgrading your home.” So adding shelves and organizers, like these two floating shelves, can help create more space in those rooms, for not a lot of money. They’re made of rustproof stainless steel and include heavy-duty adhesive for easy installation. They also include movable hooks for storing extra items.

  • Available colors: 4


These hanging baskets that add a chic touch

These woven baskets are as stylish as they are functional. They have a leather handle, so they can hang anywhere, and measuring 7 by 7.87 inches, they’re deep enough to hold more items than you think (according to reviewers). Just note, the baskets arrive folded, but quickly take shape and an iron can be used to smooth any creases.

  • Available colors: 4


A black matte door handle that elevates any decor

If you’re looking for a simple, affordable improvement that can elevate the look of your home, Ashley J. Farrell, a licensed associate real estate agent at Corcoran, recommends a matte black door handle. This sleek handle can easily be installed with a standard Phillips head screwdriver and fits all doors measuring 1.38 to 1.75 inches thick. It’s reversible, so it works for both right and left-handed doors, and some styles in the listing come with a lock for added privacy.

  • Available colors: 3
  • Available styles: 5


These botanical prints with a cool, vintage feel

To go with the frames above, Stone recommends some fabulous botanical prints (like this set of six). Each print measures 8 by 10 inches and features vintage images of wildflowers and seeds. Reviewers report that the images are printed on thick, glossy paper that’s easy to frame and feels very high quality.


These drawer pulls that can transform your cabinets

As Farrell mentioned, black matte handles can elevate the look of a room. And this 30-pack of stainless steel drawer pulls can transform any kitchen or bathroom cabinet. They have a modern style that measures 5 inches across with the holes centered 3 inches apart, and each pack includes two sets of screws for installation.

  • Available colors: 3
  • Available quantities: 1 — 60


A box to manage & declutter all your cords & cables

As you start using more electronic devices, the number of cords and cables needed also increases, Branson notes. That’s why he’s a fan of a cable management box to keep your home looking less cluttered and messy. This box measures 12 by 4 inches and is big enough to hold a four-outlet power strip (other sizes are also available). There are ventilation holes for heat distribution and slots on either end to accommodate all your devices.

  • Available sizes: 3
  • Available colors: 2


These battery-operated lights with motion detection

For another way to cast a warm, soothing glow anywhere, consider these battery-operated lights. They feature a motion sensor that can detect activity up to 10 feet away, which is perfect for hallways, stairs, or closets, and come with mounting tape and screws for easy installation. Each light requires three AA batteries, which aren’t included, but you can snag some here.

  • Available sizes: 3-pack and 6-pack


This security camera & spotlight combo that’s weather-resistant

An outdoor spotlight and camera combo not only adds more light to your yard, but keeps you informed about what’s happening when you’re away, reports Farrell. This camera delivers vivid images, even at night, and if motion or sound is detected, you’ll get a notification on your phone. Plus, it’s weather-resistant for indoor or outdoor use, connects to Alexa, and features two-way talk so you can hear and speak to visitors.


A set of solar lights that even work when it’s cloudy, according to reviewers

These ultra-bright LED solar lights cover an 800-square-foot area with an adjustable four-headed design, no batteries or wires needed. Place them in your yard, garden, deck, or anywhere you need some illumination, and since they’re waterproof they can withstand any kind of weather. Screws and brackets are included for easy installation.


These convenient smart bulbs with hands-free voice control

One of the simplest ways to make your place a smart home is with automated light bulbs, according to Michael Branson, CEO of All Reverse Mortgage. These bulbs work with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can control lights on and off, adjust the brightness, set timers, and more, with just the sound of your voice. You can also manage the lights from your smartphone by connecting to the app and Wi-Fi, no hubs or extra equipment required.

  • Available sizes: 5
  • Available colors: 2


These smart plugs that connect to Alexa or Google Assistant

Another way to create a smart home, as Branson suggests, is with these smart plugs. They connect to Alexa and Google Assistant so you can control anything plugged in with just your voice. You can also set timers or simply turn your devices on and off. Just plug in, connect to Wi-Fi, open the app, and you’re good to go.

  • Available styles: 3


An easy-to-use kit for covering your cables around the home

Another way to hide unsightly cords and cables is with this cord covering kit. It includes 15.7-inch white, plastic channels that can each hold two to three cables, and they connect together with a simple attach-and-snap design. Mounting tape and screws are included for easy installation, and the cord covers can even be painted to blend in with your decor.

  • Available sizes: Medium, large
  • Available colors: 5


A rustproof caddy for tidying up your sink area

If you’re looking to tidy up your sink area, this sink caddy is a great solution. You can attach it to your sink directly or the wall via waterproof adhesive, and it can hold your sponge, soap, brushes, drain stopper, and more. The holder is made of rust and waterproof stainless steel and comes in six different metallic colors.

  • Available colors: 6


An organizer that holds a surprising amount of stuff

Consider your vanity, desk, or bathroom decluttered with this handy organizer. It features one large drawer, two small drawers, and eight top compartments to categorize and separate your makeup, office supplies, and more. One reviewer raves, “It [holds] so much stuff and has a little section for everything so I can group like items together. [...] Overall it’s EXACTLY as described.”

  • Available colors: 3


This peel-and-stick wallpaper to spice up any room

You can spice up a small space like a foyer or a powder room or create a backsplash for your kitchen counter with a bold and chic print, according to Sarah Stone, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman. Case in point, this peel-and-stick wallpaper in a graphic black and white design. Each roll measures 17.7 by 118.1 inches, and grid lines on the back help to measure and cut the best fit. Best of all, the paper easily sticks and doesn’t leave a residue behind if you decide to take it down.

  • Available sizes: 6
  • Available colors: 3


These fake plants that are chic & easy to maintain

Stone endorses fake plants as an accent piece outside your front door or around your home because they always look chic and you never have to water them. These three plants each measure about 9.5 inches tall and come in paper pulp pots. The artificial eucalyptus leaves are easy to clean and dozens of reviewers rave that they “look real.”

  • Available colors: 3


A pack of frames to create a gallery wall

With this set of frames, you can make one of your walls a fabulous photo montage, Stone suggests. To get you started, the pack comes with ten 5 by 7-inch black frames that include a real glass front. They each have hooks on the back for vertical or horizontal placement and a stand so you can display the frame on a table.


A high pressure shower head that gives off spa vibes

To start your day with “a spa-like shower experience right in the comfort of your own bathroom,” Zackary Smigel, the founder of Real Estate License Wizard, suggests this handheld shower head. It features three adjustable settings (massage, jetting, and rainfall), and provides a high-pressure spray, even if you have low water pressure. Installation is easy with the included accessories and cleaning is simple, too.

  • Available colors: 4


A memory foam bath mat with 44,000+ 5-star reviews

To further create a spa-like experience in your bathroom, you’re going to want this memory foam bath mat. It’s super absorbent, 0.75 inches thick, measures 22 by 42 inches, and feels like you’re walking on a velvet cloud. Plus, the mat is machine washable, comes in 22 different colors, and features thousands of glowing reviews.

  • Available sizes: 8
  • Available colors: 22


An over-the-door rack to add valuable storage space

If your home is lacking storage space, Smigel recommends an over-the-door hanging organizer that’s easy to install. This rack can fit on doors that are under 1.96 inches thick and includes suction cups, glue, and screws to make sure you get a secure fit. There are four baskets and the bottom two are deeper than the top, so you’ll have plenty of room for a variety of containers.

  • Available sizes: 6
  • Available colors: 5


This shelving that declutters cabinets & countertop areas

Following Smigel’s advice on adding storage space, you can get your countertop and cabinets in order with these shelf organizers. They’re made of engineered wood and durable metal that go with any decor, and each shelf can hold up to 33 pounds. The set includes two different sizes, and you can set them up in a variety of ways to accommodate your space.

  • Available colors: 4


This nonslip pad that keeps your rug in place

Smigel knows that a rug that won’t stay put can be a real nuisance, so he endorses nonslip rug pads that are "a minor upgrade that can make a huge difference." This pad measures 5 by 3 feet but can easily be trimmed with scissors if you need a different fit. It’s designed with a grid construction for air circulation and is made of PVC foam that will keep rugs in place, without harming your floor.

  • Available sizes: 3


A can of stylish chalk paint that instantly refreshes cabinets & furniture

One of Eric Bramlett’s, owner of Bramlett Residential, go-to tricks for making a home more appealing is the use of this chalk paint to “refresh furniture or cupboards that have lost their magic.” He reports that this simple upgrade can make your home look more stylish and well taken care of, and even increase the resale value. The paint contains a built-in primer and top coat that can be used on almost any surface, whether you’re indoors or outside. It dries within 30 minutes and produces a matte finish that’s nice and thick, according to reviewers.

  • Available sizes: 3
  • Available colors: 50


A strip of LED lights to create a cozy atmosphere

When it comes to affordable upgrades, Bramlett is a fan of adding LED light strips to cabinets, closets, or under counters. He adds, “I've seen these lights transform a dull kitchen into a warm and inviting one.” This 16.4 feet of tape light feature a white, daylight glow that can last up to 100,000 hours. Installation is easy with the included adhesive, just make sure you’re near a power supply to make it work. The strips are flexible, can be cut to fit your space, and even include a dimmer so you can adjust as needed.

  • Available styles: 3


These solar-powered house numbers that stay lit for up to 12 hours

Further add to your home’s curb appeal with these LED house numbers that can stay lit for up to 12 hours. They’re solar-powered with brightness sensors, so they turn on and off automatically, and feature a backup rechargeable battery. Four sets of numbers and one set of letters are included, plus two templates (for four and five-digit addresses).


A metallic gold spray paint that adds a pop of color

If you’re looking to transform the look of your kitchen affordably and with little effort, Eric Nerhood, a licensed real estate agent and owner of Premier Property Buyers, recommends changing the color of your kitchen cabinet handles. A brushed gold, like this metallic spray paint, is easy to apply and Nerhood loves how it can instantly change the space. This paint works on any surface, dries within 30 minutes, and covers up to 15 square feet per can with a durable finish. Check out the 63 available colors.

  • Available sizes: 7
  • Available colors: 63
  • Available styles: 9


This vent register with an eye-catching design

If you have forced air in your home, Nerhood’s pretty sure you might also have the original vent registers. He recommends changing them to blend in with the floor or choosing a more striking design to elevate high-traffic areas. This art deco-inspired vent register has a gunmetal finish and needs no tools for installation. You’ll need to get a filter and filter retainer separately, but you can get them here and here.

  • Available sizes: 4
  • Available colors: 3
  • Available styles: 1-pack, 8-pack


A bidet attachment that’s a luxurious bathroom upgrade

“Adding a bidet to your toilet is a life-changing experience,” Nerhood reports. Plus, it can make your bathroom feel more luxurious and your guests will thank you, he adds. This bidet attachment fits standard toilets and can install within minutes, no tools necessary. The spray nozzle can be adjusted according to your preference and dozens of reviewers have called it “a game changer.”


A 12-pack of solar lights to liven up your yard at night

Liven up your yard at nighttime with pathway lights, suggests Chase Michels, a licensed real estate broker at Compass. This 12-pack of lights is solar-powered and exudes a warm white glow when the sun goes down. They’re waterproof to withstand all kinds of weather and feature a pointed stake at the bottom for secure placement in the ground.

  • Available sizes: 6-pack, 8-pack, 12-pack


These solar string lights that are bendable & flexible

Another way to liven up your yard at night is with this two-pack of waterproof, solar-powered fairy lights. Each roll features 33 feet of light on flexible copper wire, so you can bend or wrap them any way you need. Plus, they feature eight lighting modes, including waves, fireflies, twinkle, fade, and more, so you get just the right effect.

  • Available sizes: 2-pack, 4-pack
  • Available colors: 12


A touch-up pen for keeping paint fresh

The cheapest way to add value to your home is with paint, Michels notes. Which is where these handy touch-up pens come in. Just fill the included pen or syringe with any latex paint and the detailed end can give you a precision point for repairs, touch-ups, or getting into hard-to-reach places. And the pens keep paint fresh for up to seven years.

  • Available sizes: 2-count, 5-count


A smart doorbell with motion detection & image capture

Enhance your home security with a smart doorbell, Michels suggests. This doorbell detects motion or the press of the bell and sends still images to your phone. You can store images for up to 24 hours in the cloud or pay for a plan ($1.99 per month), all of which can be accessed in the app. Strong adhesive and mount screws are included for easy installation, as well as AA batteries for simple setup.

  • Available styles: 2


A shower head that changes color with your water’s temperature

If you’d like to improve your shower experience, Michels recommends a shower head filter. This shower head not only double filters water, reducing impurities, metals, and chlorine, but it also has LED lights that change color according to the water’s temperature. It’s easy to clean and install (without a plumber), and features a nozzle that improves your water’s pressure. Win-win.