Tips for Investing in Your Home

home-investmentIf you are thinking about making changes to your home, it pays to stop and think about how those changes will affect its value. Complete remodeling projects as well as small improvements can add value to a house, but its important to know what areas of your home will benefit most from your investment. This article features five tips that will help you strategically plan your home improvements, as well as a top eight list of the best projects recommended by real estate agents to help increase the value of your home.

How to Plan a Home Improvement Project
Before you even get started, it pays to take a little time to do some research. It is more important now than ever before to strategically plan the way you invest in your home in order to maximize the return on your investment. Make a list of the areas in your house that you would like to improve and compare them to the top eight list featured below to see how they measure up. Taking time to research your home improvement project before investing any money will help you make smart decisions.

The next step is to think about how you will pay for your home improvement project. A home equity loan is a great way to use the equity in your home as a means of boosting the overall value of your property. Speak with a representative at your credit union in New Bedford to find out about smart ways to borrow money without pushing yourself into too much debt. A well-planned strategic credit union home loan can help you achieve your goals.

Once you know what you want to do and how you will pay for it, its time to shop around for prices. Check out websites, home improvement magazines, retailers and social media sites like Pinterest for budget-friendly ideas that will inspire your remodeling project. If you plan on hiring a contractor to do any part of your project for you, make sure to check references and get a solid quote on what you need done so you know what to expect when you are ready to get to work.

One step that many homeowners overlook is to document every step of the project. Create a folder that you will use to keep track of everything as it gets done. Save quotes, contracts, business cards, receipts, contact information and anything else relating to the job. Take photos, including a “before” shot, on your digital camera. Take pictures during the project as well in case anything goes wrong. Keep a copy of your home equity loan as well as any information you might need for your credit union in New Bedford along the way.

The final phase of project management for any home improvement project is to step back and enjoy your hard work. Whether you did it all yourself or hired a contractor, a home remodeling project can be stressful. It doesn’t matter if your goal was to add value to a house or to just make changes that you and your family will appreciate, the end result should always be to enjoy what you have accomplished.

Best Projects to Add Value to a House
From slapping on a fresh coat of paint to planting a new flower garden in front of your home, there are certain projects that will add more value to your property than others. Some are surprisingly low in cost, while others may require a lot of time and money to be invested, but the goal here is to choose the type of projects that will increase the equity in your home. Whether you get a credit union home loan or use a home equity loan to complete your project, make sure you get a solid return on your investment that will boost the value of your home.

Project #1 – Landscaping
Modern landscaping can make your home stand out from the other homes in your neighborhood, demonstrates to others that you take pride in the way your home looks and is one of the easiest ways to add instant value to a property without having to invest a lot of time and money. Simple changes, such as adding color to a front door, planters or garden area, as well as larger projects, like planting a tree, adding shrubbery or building a walkway, will add value to a house quickly without requiring a home equity loan.

Project #2 – Insulation
Adding or improving upon your home’s insulation is a great way to add value to a house. Consult with an insulation installer to find out how you can improve your home’s insulation, reduce energy consumption and make your home cozier during the winter months. Other methods of insulation include caulking around doors and windows to ensure air isn’t getting in through the cracks. Whole home insulation installation can be expensive, but the return on this investment can be huge.

Project #3 – Lighting
One of the best ways to improve the appearance of your home is to add can or recessed lighting to bathrooms and kitchens to brighten the look and feel of these rooms. Extra touches, such as dimmer switches and unique lighting options can also be advantageous, just be careful not to choose fixtures that are specific to your taste only. If your goal is to sell your home, you’ll want prospective buyers to love your lighting too.

Project #4 – Plumbing
One of the fastest ways to add value to a house, particularly an older home, is to upgrade the plumbing. Re-piping a home doesn’t require all the walls and flooring to be completely removed as it did just a few years ago. Plastic tubing can be run through the walls, reducing the amount of labor and materials required to get the job done. Got a lot of old plumbing that needs to be replaced? Speak with a representative at your credit union in New Bedford about a credit union home loan or home equity loan so you can do a complete overhaul.

Project #5 – Wood Flooring
Who doesn’t love wood flooring? Avoid using cheap laminate for your project and consider investing in real or engineered wood flooring for your home. While real wood is better, many of the engineered wood flooring products available today offer great aesthetic value at an affordable price. Shop around. Depending on the size of the area you want to upgrade and the products you want to use, you might not need to use your home equity loan money for this particular project, allowing you to choose two projects from this list.

Project #6 – Update
There are other things in your home that help to show its age. No matter how new the appliances or how fresh the coat of paint, old-fashioned paneling, popcorn ceilings and other “dated” techniques should be removed and replaced with more modern products. Remove old wood paneling and replace it with drywall or a more modern wood technique. Popcorn or even false ceilings that don’t need to be there should be removed and replaced as soon as possible to help update your look.

Project #7 – Bathroom
In addition to updating the plumbing within the walls, floors and ceilings of your home, it also pays to give a little attention to the bathroom itself. Many bathroom projects can be done a bit at a time to help save on money and installation costs. Replacing an old sink with a ready-to-go cabinet, sink and fixture combo from your local home improvement store can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your bathroom. Simple jobs, such as upgrading mirrors, light fixtures and window treatments can also add value to a house.

Project #8 – Kitchen
The number one area that most real estate agents and prospective home buyers consider when looking at a home is the kitchen. Remodeling or updating your kitchen is the best way to add value to a house. In most cases, a substantial amount of time and money will need to be invested to modernize and update an older kitchen, requiring a home equity loan or some other type of financing from your credit union in New Bedford. Take your time and follow the steps provided in this article to ensure that you do your research, get the best pricing and contractors to do the job, while making changes that will benefit you the most.

Where to Get a Credit Union Home Loan
If you are considering any of these projects to add value to a house or improve the property for your personal use, speak with a representative at your credit union in New Bedford to find out the best options available for financing. While some home improvement projects won’t require a lot of financial investment, it is important to know what your options are based on the equity in your home after what you owe on your primary credit union home loan. With better interest rates and more options available to local customers, your credit union in New Bedford is the best way to finance your next home improvement project and increase the value of your investment.