Some of us are wary of black cats and walking under ladders; others will pick up any penny they see. Channeling good fortune and warding off the bad is part of our nature—but would you let it drive your home purchase? Apparently 47 percent of people are willing to disregard their home-buying budget for a house that feels “lucky,” according to a new survey from LendingTree. In fact they’d spend on average $38,000 more in order to, for example, live in a house with a street number that’s the same as their favorite number. 

So what are you supposed to do if you aren’t blessed with such a sign? We’ve learned from seasoned renovators that making a home your own is really all about the good fortune that you make yourself. Here are a few ways to strike gold.

Search for Square Footage in Unexpected Places

In the midst of demolishing a wall in their bathroom, Katie and Brandon Conovitz discovered a cavity of hidden space in the spot that they thought housed the plumbing risers and electrical ductwork. Today? It’s the location of a dramatic Calacatta Viola marble tub—all it took was 3 feet. 

Look Up

Poke your head up into the ceiling or a small attic crawl space and you might notice that there are trusses and beams waiting to see the light of day. Designer Raili Clasen went the extra length to rip out drywall and reinforce the worn-down posts in her ’50s bungalow.

Peel Back the Layers 

At first Maggie and Ben Nelson thought the blemishes on the walls of their guest bedroom were an indication of foundational issues, but after stripping the surface with a natural blend of equal parts hot water and white vinegar, they found fragile floral wallpaper that had been there for at least 100 years. Lesson learned: Never be too firm with your plan. 

Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.