5 Top Things to Do When Remodeling a House with a Home Equity Loan or HELOC Line of Credit

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So the value of your home has been soaring for the past several years. You see all of that equity sitting in your property, and you ALSO see that old dingy kitchen and bathroom and think, maybe it’s time for a remodel!

Millions of Americans are thinking the same thing. The economy is accelerating and home values are increases. Home equity interest rates are very low to boot. So 2017 is a very good time to pull the trigger and to remodel that house with equity from your home equity loan or HELOC line of credit.

home remodel loan

Homeowners should consider the significant opportunities available with the help of a home remodel loan fulfilled by a trusted home equity lenders.

But what are the best ways to remodel your home? What provides you the best return on investment? Experts have weighed in, and this is what they report:

#1 Add New Attic Insulation

When it comes to home remodels and upgrades with a HELOC or home remodel loan, this may not be on the top of everyone’s list. Putting in new insulation is not the sexiest upgrade you can make.

However, when it comes to bang for your hard earned buck, you can rarely beat adding insulation. The average cost of this little project is $1,300 and you will recoup $1400 when you resell. So, you actually made money on this upgrade – congratulations!

There is more, too: You will save significantly on your heating and cooling bills as the months go by. When you consider how inexpensive this upgrade is, adding attic insulation is one of the absolute best choices.

#2 Replace the Front Door

If you have an older home with a cheap steel door, one of the best returns on investment in a remodel is to replace the front door. Unless you go crazy on a $10,000 door (a bad idea unless you have a $1 million home), you can bet your will see almost all of your spent money back when you sell.

A typical new front door can cost approximately $1400; if you were to spend that on your new door, you would see an average resale value of nearly $1300 and a total recouped amount of 90%.

#3 Minor to Moderate Kitchen Remodel

When people are thinking about buying a home and walk in the door, many will go straight to the kitchen to see how updated it is. People like to see an updated kitchen because they spend so much of their time there to cook, eat and socialize with family.

For that reason, a kitchen remodel is often tops on the list for people wanting to use a HELOC or home equity loan to renovate their home. But experts advise caution on the degree of the remodel.

A classic mistake that some home owners make is to spend too much on the remodel. If you have a $150,000 home and spend $100,000 on upgrading the kitchen, you will certainly enjoy that fantastic kitchen! Just don’t expect to recoup anywhere near what you spent when you sell the home. Experts recommend to spend no more than roughly 20-25% of the value of the home on a kitchen remodel.

But you can do a good deal less than that and still have a very nice kitchen that will pay you back at the closing table.

If you have a 200 square foot kitchen and you reface cabinets, install new counters and put in new appliances, you will spend roughly $20,000 and gain approximately $17,000 on the resale, for a total recouped amount of 80%.

#4 Remodel the Basement

A finished basement can easily add 800 or 1,000 square feet of usable space to the home. For many people, an unfinished basement is a lot of unused space. But the good news is that it is easier and less expensive to finish this existing unused space than it is to build an addition on the home.

If you decide to finish a 20×30 foot entertainment room in your basement with a bar, fridge and a small, full bath, experts say that you could spend in the neighborhood of $71,000 and see an average return on resale of $49,700. This would mean a total recouped cost of 70%.

Some people also like to put another bedroom in the basement along with the bathroom; it can serve as a nice place to put your parents or in laws when they drop in for a visit.

#5 Addition to the Family Room

If you have enough equity in your home, many experts say that adding square footage to key areas of the home can be a good investment. Adding an addition on the back of the house that expands the family room can make a lot of sense. The family room, of course, is where many people spend a lot of time, along with the kitchen and bedroom.

How much it will cost varies of course by how big and how fancy. But if you were to add a 16×25 family room addition with hardwood floors, recessed ceiling lights, a skylight and windows, you could expect to spend in the ballpark of $90,000.

On average you would get $62,000 back when you sell, for a recouped cost of 69%.

There are good and terrible ways to remodel and upgrade your house when you take out a HELOC or a home equity loan, in terms of return on investment. Again, home equity interest rates continue to be advertised near record lows on home remodel loans. We strongly recommend that you choose some of the above options to get the most out of your money when tapping your equity.

About Bryan Dornan

With over 20 years in the mortgage industry, Bryan Dornan has started several companies, such as the Lead Planet, Mortgage Lenders Plus and the Refi Guide. Mr. Dornan has written hundreds of finance related articles in an effort to promote home-ownership to consumers across the United States.