Home improvement: Best ROI

Summer is in full swing, and you might be considering a home equity loan to tackle a home improvement project while the weather is warm.

When taking out a home equity loan, you want to make sure that the money is being spent in the best way possible - optimizing resale value, comfort and maintenance. So, what are the home projects with the best return on investment?


#1 Best Exterior Updates

The best home exterior improvements a homeowner can make for their own pocketbook, as well as resale value, is siding, a new roof or windows. An updated roof and windows can cut heating and cooling costs in addition to the clean look they provide.

Landscaping and deck updates are the next best exterior updates. Even simple updates, like a row of young trees along the property line blocking the view of a neighboring house, can add privacy as well as curb appeal.

The least expensive exterior update with impact? A new coat of paint for the front door, a new welcome mat and updated house numbers are the least expensive updates to add instant curb appeal.

#2 Best Interior Updates

Kitchen and bath remodels are always a good choice for both current use and resale value, as long as the style is relatively universal. Even if the homeowner doesn’t do a total remodel, updated appliances, new countertops and an undated backsplash is often enough to give the look of a complete makeover in a kitchen or bathroom.

Another cost-effective update is fresh interior paint. A neutral, cohesive wall color, or complimentary palette of colors throughout the home, provides a good flow to the living space.

This doesn’t mean the entire home needs to feature boring beige walls! A search of “neutral home palette” on Google shows a wide array of complimentary colors that can be adapted to the owner’s personal style. Let throw pillows and wall art bring the brighter splashes of color to the room while keeping paint neutral.

#3 Updates to Skip

Some home improvements are just not worth it. For instance, many homeowners think big jet Jacuzzi-style tubs are a must-have for a primary suite, but the big tub takes up valuable square footage, plus the water costs to fill the tub several times a month are high. Instead, the best resale value is a nicely tiled walk-in shower.

The same goes for updating countertops. A neutral granite is a great choice for countertops in the kitchen and baths, but some homeowners think they need to splurge on concrete countertops, zinc countertops, soapstone countertops, or whatever was featured on HGTV that week. While these alternate countertops can be stylish, most of them are made for heavy-use kitchens and are not necessary for the average home.

In conclusion...

While these are good guidelines to consider, ultimately, it’s YOUR home, so feel free to choose the updates that work best for you. 

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Which Home Improvements Pay Off? by Kathy McCleary