Egypt Sherrod Shares 5 Renovation Tips to Boost Your Home’s Value
Planning to redo your bedroom, bathroom, or outdoor space for 2020? You are not alone. According to a recent LightStream survey conducted by The Harris Poll, 73% of Americans plan to tackle some kind of home renovation this year. But where to start? While it might be tempting to grab a hammer and punch through the nearest wall consider the tips below from HGTV host and real estate expert Egypt Sherrod to get the best return on investment from your next home project.
1. Plan for the unexpected (mentally and financially!) No matter how well you plan, every homeowner will run into unexpected expenses during their home improvement project. Sherrod recommends setting aside 10% of your overall budget for any hiccups along the way. If you don’t end up needing it, you’ll have a small pool of money you can use to fund future renovations.
2. Good bones add the most value Don’t just go for glam. There’s fun in functionality! Projects like these often lead to a higher ROI compared to aesthetic-focused ones. And while they improve your quality of life, they also have the potential to save you a lot of time and money down the road.
- Roof and gutters: Have your roof soft-washed once a year if you live in a shady area surrounded by trees, and bi-annually otherwise. You should also have your roof evaluated every year to ensure the weather hasn’t worn down the flashings or loosened any shingles. It’s a small price to pay to prolong your roof life, which can carry a huge price tag if you have to replace it early. Don’t forget to clean your gutters every season, too.
- HVAC and hot water heater: Be sure to have your HVAC system serviced annually to prolong its life. Perhaps opt for a tankless water heater as it’s more energy efficient. You may also want to invest in a dehumidifier, which can combat the moisture and mold, and restore the humidity in your home to appropriate levels.
- Exterior painting: It’s recommended to paint the exterior of your home every seven years.
- Landscape: If you notice an unhealthy-looking tree on your property, consult an arborist to determine if it needs to be removed. It’s better to be proactive than to later find a disease or infestation has spread to other trees or caused additional problems.
- Irrigation: It’s also wise to check your plumbing and irrigation systems annually. Often, lawnmowers and weather conditions can wear on them, causing expensive water leaks.
3. Choose “timeless” over “trendy”
It’s easy to be tempted into the latest trends during home renovations, like shiplap walls and waterfall countertops. They may be hot right now but could become dated very quickly. Remember how cool wood paneling and shag carpets used to be? Choose timeless, classic styles and easily updatable accessories that won’t cost a fortune to replace down the road.
4. Be smart about your upgrades
When it comes to renovation, not all systems, appliances, windows and floors are created equal. Make smart home selections that will be energy efficient and help keep some cash in your pocket.
- Energy audits: Many companies offer free energy audits to check your home and identify where your energy dollars are going. These inspections can be a good place to start when you’re deciding what to prioritize as you upgrade.
- Windows: ENERGY STAR ® qualified windows can lower your energy bills by 10%-30% and are much more efficient than many single- or even double-paned glass windows.
- Heated floors: Radiant heating warms a room from the floor up. As a result, most people will feel more comfortable with their thermostat set at a lower temperature, potentially saving money in the long run. The U.S. Department of Energy found that heated floors can be more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air systems because no energy is lost through ducts. This is also a great option for people with allergies, as irritating particles are not blown around the room.
- Fight allergens: And speaking about air quality, fight home allergens by replacing carpet with hardwood, installing appliances with filtration systems, and making sure your house is equipped with good air filtration systems. Everyone will breathe easier.
5. Invest in your nest…without depleting your nest egg.
Approach renovations as you would any other investment, with strategies in place to Prepare, Price and Pay.
- Prepare in advance: Go into your project with a clear vision and your major decisions finalized. That way you won’t be tempted by options that aren’t within your set budget. It also helps keep things more efficient when scheduling contractors and inspectors. Keep in mind that it’s more expensive to make changes midway through your project.
- Price it right: Stick to the Rule of Three when getting quotes—one that covers your “ideal” end result with all your bells and whistles; one that is the bare minimum; and one that lands somewhere in the middle. Having three quotes in your back pocket will give you multiple perspectives and a better foundation to negotiate with your contractors.
- Plan the way to pay: A lot of people think the best thing to do when embarking on a home improvement project is to dip into their cash stash or get a home equity line of credit. But using your rainy day savings may leave you short in an emergency. A home equity loan can be the least expensive way to fund renovations, but many people in today’s real estate market haven’t accrued enough home value to tap into. Using credit cards can be an option, but they’re costly as you carry your debt forward at high-interest rates. Another option? A home improvement loan. LightStream offers home improvement loans and can be a smart financial tool, giving people with good credit access to the funds they need to turn dreams into reality at low-interest rates and with no fees.