If you own a home, you probably always have a list of improvements you’re considering. Maybe you desperately want to replace those dated kitchen appliances that scream year 2000, or you want to focus on ways to lower your energy bills, whether that means some strategic air sealing or adding solar panels.
Chances are, you also want any upgrades you pay for to increase the value of your home. You want to know that if and when it comes time to sell your place, you’ll recoup a good percentage of what you invested.
So, whether you have the cash saved up for home investment or you are looking to borrow for your next home project, consider these wise investments.
1. Improve Your Attic Insulation
We get it: You’re not going to invite friends over to see your new attic insulation.But it’s one of the best ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency.
You’ll not only profit when it’s time to sell, but you’ll also see immediate savings from the ongoing energy efficiency this upgrade provides. A properly insulated attic, combined with sealing air leaks throughout your home, cuts an average of 15% off your heating and cooling costs, allowing you to pocket the savings month after month. And who doesn’t want a lower energy bill?
Cost: $600 to $1,200 for blown-in insulation for a 1,000-square-foot attic. You may also need to rent the machine that blows in the fiberglass if you’re a DIY type. If you hire a pro, labor will run about $40 to $70 an hour.
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2. Treat Yourself to New Windows
New windows can do double duty. Not only do they update a room’s tired appearance, they can also have energy-efficiency benefits. Depending on how many windows you replace, this can be a very big-ticket item. The average cost for a vinyl window replacement is $850, and a whole-home job can ring in at $20,091, according to Remodeling magazine. (Wood windows are pricier still.)
But here’s some good news: Replacing those windows adds value to your home. Typically, to the tune of 69% of the cost of the window-replacement project.
Cost: Anywhere from $850 per vinyl window to $20,000+ for the whole house. Again, if you go for wood vs. vinyl windows or need custom size ones (or several French doors), the price can ratchet up significantly. In that case, you might want to look at home improvement loan options.
3. Build a Deck
You and likely anyone who might buy your home in the future will love what a deck can do, lifestyle-wise. Weather permitting, you can have your AM coffee there, type away on your laptop during the day, and host friends, read, or just listen to the birdsong during off-hours. Here’s another nice thing about adding a deck: Your ROI is typically around 68% of the money you pay.
Cost: A new wood deck will cost on average $16,766. A composite one can cost more; on average, these are $22,426.
4. Refresh Your Bathroom
Who doesn’t love a beautiful new bathroom, whether your style is sleek and all white or if you prefer a warmer country cottage vibe? A bath remodel will cost, on average, between $6,627 and $17,494, according to Angi, the home renovation site. While an updated bath can definitely add to your home’s value, keep in mind that the sky’s the limit with the price tag. If you move the fixtures around and add one of those egg-shaped soaking tubs or a spa shower that has half-a-dozen mist settings, you may go well beyond the average range of costs.
Also, keep in mind that if you do something really singular (say, you pick tile in a super-bright shade), it may be harder to get your money out if and when you sell your property.
Cost: The average cost is $11,944, with cabinets and shelving accounting for 25% of the total, the shower and tub eating up 22% of costs, and your contractor’s fees usually being about 13% of your total expense. Of course, you can do a small bathroom remodel, perhaps repainting, adding some new artwork and a fresh shower curtain.
💡 Quick Tip: Home improvement loans typically offer lower interest rates than credit cards. Consider a loan to fund your next renovation.
5. Cook up a Cooler Kitchen
If you’re stuck with outdated appliances or hideous cabinets, a kitchen remodel is likely high on your list of improvements. It’s a great way to refresh your kitchen’s style and function.
But increasing home value with a new kitchen can fry your bank account: A remodel typically runs $14,612 and $41,392 according to Angi, but can cost much more if you move appliances’ position, opt for marble countertops, or fall in love with custom cabinetry. On average, you’ll recoup about 60% in ROI.
To update for less and wow your kitchen in a weekend, make some wallet-friendly upgrades: fresh paint, a new faucet, updated lighting (pendant lights are a good choice), and new cabinet pulls.
Cost: While you could just swap out cabinet pulls, which start at about $2 each, and repaint (plan on around $200), a larger kitchen remodel averages $26,849. Again, however, it’s worth noting you could spend multiples of that, depending on how large a project, how luxe the details, and where you live (cost of living can impact the price of goods and services in your area).
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The Easy Way to Finance HGTV-Worthy Upgrades
Even budget-friendly home improvements can set you back quite a bit. If you haven’t set aside the budget to bring more value to your home, you don’t necessarily have to dip into your retirement account or pay less on your student loans each month. You might want to consider a personal loan.
Think twice before turning to high-interest credit cards. Consider a SoFi personal loan instead. SoFi offers competitive fixed rates and same-day funding. Checking your rate takes just a minute.
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