Home improvement is the remodeling, altering, repairing, restoring, or modernizing of residential and noncommercial properties. This includes but is not limited to the construction, installation, replacement, or repair of driveways, sidewalks, and patios; fences; swimming pools; water heaters; and the conversion of commercial buildings to residential use.
When deciding which home improvement projects to tackle, homeowners should consider both the cost of the project and the potential return on investment. It is also a good idea to seek out professional advice and assistance when planning a large renovation, especially one that involves structural changes or the addition of electrical wiring.
According to a recent study from Houzz, spending on home improvements will continue to increase this year as more Americans stay put rather than trading up due to historically high mortgage rates. The top home improvement projects include kitchen and bathroom remodels and adding storage space to a living room or bedroom.
Homeowners can improve their homes in a number of ways, including painting, adding landscape features like trees or flowers, or installing new flooring. These projects can add curb appeal and boost a property’s overall value. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all improvements will be equally valuable when it comes time to sell a home. For example, a homeowner may spend thousands on a backyard hot tub or fountain that will likely become obsolete within a few years. Other projects, such as a new kitchen or bathrooms, may add long-term value to a home, but the aesthetics of these upgrades can quickly become out of date.
The best way to improve a home’s value is to make upgrades that will appeal to the largest number of buyers. For example, an updated kitchen or bathroom can significantly increase a home’s saleability. It’s also a good idea to avoid projects that may detract from the overall appearance of a home, such as overly lavish landscaping or exotic fixtures and finishes.
If you’re thinking of using debt to finance a home improvement project, it’s important to carefully research the best loan options for your financial situation. For instance, if you have a strong credit score and significant equity built up in your home, a cash-out refinance or HELOC might be a better option than a personal loan with variable interest rates.
Moreover, it’s always a good idea to pay off your debt before taking on another mortgage or loan payment. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for the benefits of your home improvements over and over again in the form of interest payments. To keep your finances in check, stick to simple projects that will maximize your return on investment and don’t go into debt for unnecessary home improvements.