All homeowners are in different and unique situation. Some are looking to upgrade and move, but many are content in staying put – even if they are in an upside down mortgage (they owe more than the house is worth). This can absolutely be the right decision. And here’s the best news – just because you’re staying in your house, doesn’t mean you have to put up with a home that isn’t meeting your needs. A few sensible fixes to your home can result in many benefits. It will make your life much more comfortable over the long-term, increase the home’s value, and begin saving you money.

A few cosmetic fixes can go a long way. These fixes can both help you hit an appraisal mark for refinancing or lure a buyer in for short sale. You can make it a DIY project, or hire someone. Consider painting the shutters, eaves, doors and trims, adding new hardware like a mailbox or house numbers, and simple landscaping like planting flowers and trimming the shrubs.

If you are seeking more space, and it’s in your budget, an economical expansion may be the right fit. Look into converting your garage or basement into a livable space – this can be used for visitors, or rented out as a form of extra income. You could also add square footage by adding a prefab unit to a large backyard. If it fits your needs, you may also consider combining rooms to create a larger kitchen, bedroom, or living space. Plus, you get to take out some homeowner aggression and knock down walls!

Another great upgrade to consider is going green! Green fixes like solar panels, dual-paned windows and installing efficient heating and cooling appliances may qualify you for tax credits, and will save you money on your electric bill almost immediately. Of course before you invest in your upside down home do your homework. Have a plan and ultimate goal ironed out and you can make some great regret-free changes to your property.