Home improvement is the process of modifying or altering the interior or exterior of a building to improve its function, appearance or condition. This includes repair, renovation, remodeling, additions, alterations, decorations, landscaping and the construction of fences, porches and garages. It also involves the construction of swimming pools, hot tubs, decks, gazebos, sheds and awnings.
There are few things more certain in life than death and taxes, but one other certainty is that if you are a homeowner, there will be home improvement projects to deal with. These may be the result of a leaky roof, a flooded basement or simply the need to upgrade outdated equipment and fixtures.
Regardless of the reason, the good news is that homeowners seem to be spending more money on home improvement projects during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, 3 in 5 homeowners say they’ve taken on at least one home improvement project since March 1, according to an August NerdWallet survey.
That’s good news for the home improvement industry, which has benefited from the uptick in spending. But it’s important for home owners to remember that not all home improvement projects are created equal when it comes to resale value. Some projects actually reduce a home’s resale value and may even cost the homeowner more in the long run. Here are some tips for making wise home improvement decisions that will add both value and functionality to a property.
A smart way to approach a home improvement project is to start with those that will have the greatest impact on your day-to-day living. For example, replacing outdated kitchen countertops or adding a new bathroom vanity can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your home.
It’s also important to avoid going into debt for home improvements. Not only is it a bad financial decision for the long term, but it can also detract from the enjoyment you get out of your home while you live there. Instead, save up for the projects that are most important to you and use cash whenever possible.
Using your home equity to finance your home improvement projects is another common strategy. However, you should consider the interest rate and terms of the loan carefully before taking this route. You should also make sure to consult with a real estate professional to find out what projects will add the most value to your home and which ones you should skip. They’ll help you avoid making costly mistakes that could hurt your resale value or even prevent you from selling your home.