buying bottled water. A water filtration system is an inexpensive improvement and the type of luxury touch that attracts home buyers. Plant a tree. Trees add curb appeal. A longer-term strategy to add value to your property if you are not soon planning to sell your house is to plant a shade tree. Mature trees make your home more desirable, while a fully grown, properly placed tree can save you as much as 40% in cooling costs. Mature landscaping also benefits the environment, providing a habitat for wildlife. Add low-maintenance landscaping. Shrubs, bushes, and colourful plants will add curb appeal to your home, so "think green." Purchase greenery that is native to your region or plants that can survive in drought-like conditions — which means they'll require less water and maintenance. Improve the air in your home. If you have older carpets in your home, they could be housing contaminants and allergens. To determine if carpeting needs replacing, hire a company to test your indoor air quality. If results show that your carpets should be replaced, use environmentally friendly and natural products like wood, tile, vinyl or laminate floors. Hard-surface floors are much easier to clean, don't hold odours, instantly update your home, and are generally more appealing to buyers. Remove textured or "popcorn" ceilings. Popcorn ceilings date a house as few structural elements do. Remove the dated look and add to the value of your home. Beware that ceilings might contain asbestos — have yours tested professionally. Unfortunately, the removal of asbestos can be costly. Do not remove it yourself if it does contains asbestos. If there is no asbestos present, you can use a solution to soften the texture and scrape the popcorn away. It is a messy job, but one worth completing. Removing a popcorn ceiling may not seem like a


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