Home Improvements: How Should I Use My Stimulus?

Real Estate

Whether you've already received your stimulus check or are still waiting for it to hit your account, you've probably considered how you might use the extra cash. Investing back into your home is a great way to use the money in a way that both benefits the economy and could potentially improve your future resale value! While your stimulus payment may not cover the entirety of the improvements you choose, it will help cover some of your out-of-pocket expenses and you'll be glad you utilized it in a positive way.

Here are the top 3 items I recommend focusing on if you want to see some kind of return on your investment:

1. Energy Efficiency
Many buyers nowadays are focused on energy efficiency within their homes. After all, nobody likes opening that scary winter gas bill around the holidays! Some of the best places you can improve energy efficiency without spending a fortune are in new windows and doors, insulation, and programmable thermostats. All of these items are great features to include in a listing, and also will attract buyers looking to save money down the road on utilities! There are also tax credits available for investing in energy efficient features in your home.

2. Finish the Basement
Adding extra square footage with minimal cost is one of the best ways to increase your home's value! Be sure to check your local codes on what has to be included to increase the square footage, and choose flooring that makes sense for your basement's moisture level. If your basement is prone to moisture, polished concrete may be your best bet, and carpet is best for basements with no chance of moisture. If you plan on adding a bedroom to the basement, you should make sure there is an additional fire exit (such as an egress window). If possible for your home and budget, adding another bathroom in the basement also has a great return on investment!

3. Kitchen Remodel
If you're remodeling the kitchen for the purpose of resale, make sure to choose details like countertops and backsplashes that appeal to the general public. Buyers need to be able to see themselves in the home, and although that eclectic imported backsplash you found may be beautiful, it may not be everyone's style. Try to find ways to improve storage space wherever possible (cabinets, pantries, or islands). You can also include energy-efficient appliances in your remodel!

Other things to keep in mind when choosing where in your home to invest:

Large remodeling projects often do not have a great return on investment.

While a new roof, HVAC system, septic tank, electricity, and plumbing are all items that need to be repaired or replaced at some point, they do not actually add extra value to your home (your home's value assumes that all of the basics are in working order).

Landscaping improves curb appeal when listing a home and will show buyers that your home is well maintained and may urge them to submit an offer, but it generally does not add extra value.

Minor, basic improvements like keeping your paint fresh, floors clean, and home organized and decluttered will ensure that your home is ready to list when the time comes and will help you to get it sold quickly and without hassle!

If you'd like to learn your home's current value and discuss ways to improve it, I'm happy to set up a consultation with you! Virtual consultations are available as well!