Spring has sprung, and with it comes the opportunity to recover from winter’s wrath. While you’re doing your spring cleaning, consider some simple home improvements to add overall value—and fun—to your home.
But not all home-improvement projects are created equal. Some may look good but fail to pay off when you’re ready to sell.
Exterior maintenance is vital to protect you from the elements. Older roofs may need repairs or total replacement. But a brand-new roof won’t prevent leaks if you don’t keep your gutters clean. Be sure to clear them of all leaves and debris every year, and consider adding gutter screens to prevent future buildup.
To save energy, consider installing storm doors, storm windows or thermal windows. New vinyl siding could add insulation and improve your home’s curb appeal.
To make the most of your air conditioning system, install ceiling fans that can be switched to reverse directions. They’ll help keep you cool during summer, but switch them to run clockwise in winter. This forces warmer air down to the living area to keep you nice and cozy. A programmable thermostat can also help you save energy by scheduling it to run at different temperatures during the day.
This is also an excellent time to beautify your home with a kitchen or bathroom remodel, new flooring or interior painting. These improvements will help you enjoy your home more now and will increase future resale value.
Warmer Climates, Bigger Projects
If you live in a warmer climate, you have more options for home improvements at this time of the year. In addition to indoor projects, you can give your home a coat of exterior paint, refurbish your deck or add some landscaping touches. If you’re ambitious, consider adding an extra bedroom, bathroom or family room.
No Bang for Your Buck
Surprisingly, not all home improvements pay off when it’s time to sell your house:
- High-end luxury upgrades tend to add value in only luxury homes. Be sure any planned improvements fit in with the surrounding neighborhood if you want to see returns on them later.
- Additions add value in general, but they could backfire if the new room doesn’t work with the existing floor plan of your home. A spacious sunroom, for example, may look out of place and bring down your home’s value.
- Garage conversions may create extra living space, but homebuyers generally find garages attractive. Losing your garage could really hurt you if you need to sell your home.
Financing Your Projects
When you need financing make your home improvement dreams a reality, check out how your financial institution can help. Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) use your home as collateral and put its equity to work for you.
With mortgage rates still holding at near-record lows, you may be able to borrow up to 100% of your home’s equity with no closing costs and up to 20 years to pay back your loan. Most home equity financing is tax deductible, so you should enjoy a benefit at tax time as well.
Personal loans are a good option for those who aren’t comfortable with secured financing or don’t have much equity in their homes. Although interest rates are higher than those you’d get with equity financing, you’ll still be able to find competitive rates and terms.