BOSTON (CBS) – Your home may be the largest asset you own! Add value to your home and enhance your lifestyle at the same time by investing your refund in your home.

The fastest and cheapest way to update a house is paint. Now for $3,000 you are not going to get your whole house painted, but you can buy the paint and do it yourself. We have a friend that paints a side of his house every year for four years. Takes off 5 years and starts the process again. It was never an overwhelming project.

Paint protects your investment so don’t skimp here. Buy the best paint, take your time, and do it right. Scrape, sand and prime before the first gallon of paint is opened.

Think interior next. Bright colors lift your spirits. Paint walls, woodwork, doors and even cabinets for a fresh new look. If you are talented paint murals in the kids’ rooms.

A new front door and porch lights can make a dramatic difference!

While we’re looking at the outside how about some landscaping. Another do it yourself project here. Dig out all of the overgrown shrubs. Plant some flowering shrubs, a couple of fast growing trees, like river birch, add bark mulch to make it maintenance free and you have a new look for the front yard.

If you have old carpeting consider replacing it. Do you have wood floors under there? They may only need a coat of urethane to look new!

You can update a bathroom for $3,000. You can get a new sink and toilet and have them installed. Install a new vanity or get a new counter top. Learn to tile and you can have a new floor as well. Home Depot and Lowes both have classes to learn about installing floors. Put up a shower door or take down an old one.

Consider a closet makeover. First empty out the closet and decide what to keep. This immediately frees up space. Then look to the various closet organizers for ideas. You can get lots of help online and spend most of your refund.

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You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.

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