Resale return: 40% on average
You can give your walls a fresh look with a single coat of paint; this may cost about $25. You can brighten up the trim by using high-gloss white paint and by caulking some open seams between the wall and baseboard, and between the ceiling and molding.
Hire an expert to install high-quality hardwood flooring. If you don’t, you could ruin the floor while sanding it. Hardwood floors may cost $3 to $8 a square foot. The total price may vary depending on the size of the area, and if you hire a professional to install it.
Get your carpet cleaned up if it’s dirty, or consider replacing it if it’s too damaged. Cleaning it may cost from $100 to $150, and a replacement can cost from $10 to $30 a square foot.
Before starting, remember to test the popcorn ceilings for asbestos. You can find a testing lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
You can also buy a new mantel made from stone or wood for about $500.