Summer Home Improvement Projects (and How to Pay for Them)
Summer's here and the time is right for taking on some projects around the house.
Whether you're doing the DIY thing or calling in the contractors, these home improvements can be costly. But with a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you can take an early return on your investment to transform outdoor spaces this year.
From the backyard to the front porch, there are plenty of ways to upgrade and embrace the season.
You can take some simpler steps if increasing the value of your home is the goal. For example, you can easily increase curb appeal with a home equity line of credit that can fund everything from a few new coats of paint to a completely new landscape.
Renovate the front porch with new outdoor furniture, upgrade the walkway, add some lighting, or put a fresh coat of paint on the facade. Maybe it's time to re-sod the lawn or replace the dull driveway with something more decorative.
However you decide to make your home shine, do it with the flexibility of a HELOC. Unlike a home equity loan, you only pay on as much or little as you borrow.
Consider summer an ideal time to upgrade windows, doors and appliances to energy-efficient models. Not only will it add value to your home, but it will also save you a bundle on your energy bills.
Like anything else you'd fund with a home equity line of credit, you can go as big or as small as you'd like. On the slimmer side of the scale, you might add some insulation or replace older appliances with energy-efficient models. To make a big difference in your energy usage and bill, though, solar energy has become more affordable than ever before.
Options ranges from panels to the newer concept of community solar. In that model, you still own a panel and enjoy low-cost, sustainable energy, only your panel isn't physically on your property. Instead, it's designed and constructed according to your needs, then housed off-site in a suitable, shared location.
Decks and Patios
Boring yards can become cool places to hang out and entertain with the simple addition of a deck or patio. With a little wood, composite material, stone, or concrete, you can design a designated space for gatherings or relaxation.
This is an easy way to add value to your home and expand living space, especially if you go with an outdoor kitchen concept. You can even save on energy costs by eliminating all the heat of cooking inside that makes the AC work harder when you move the cooking outdoors.
Imagine having all the kitchen comforts at hand in the open air. You'll find plenty of outdoor options, for everything from grills and lighting to appliances and countertops. But, why stop with the kitchen? An outdoor hearth can add warmth to an outdoor living room. A home equity line of credit puts it all within reach.
If you've got kids or just enjoy spending time with family and friends, installing an in- or above-ground pool provides a great centerpiece for recreation, relaxation, or even a staycation.
With the average in-ground pool costing around $30,000, this improvement isn't cheap. But, it can be achieved with the help of a HELOC.
This is mostly an investment in lifestyle, but if you live in a higher-end neighborhood, you have plenty of backyard property and you maintain it, a pool can boost your home's value by up to 7 percent.
Imagine all the things your home can do for you. With a HELOC, you get up to 100 percent of your home's equity.
How does it work? Simply take the appraised value and subtract what you owe on your current mortgage. Your line of credit will typically be 80 to 100 percent of that amount depending on a number of factors, including your credit score.
Whatever your needs in any season, it pays in more ways than one to look into your equity options.