Smart Moves for Home Improvements & Remodeling and How to Finance Them

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Home improvements are on a lot of minds in 2018. The housing market is hot, and home values are up by 7% overall from last year. To take advantage of new home improvement financing, rising home equity and property values, many home owners want to do home remodeling or repairs.

With the Housing Markets Surging, the Advertisements for Home Improvement Loans Have Become Evident All Over the Place.

But which ones are the best in terms of bang for your buck and how to finance them? Below is more information to help you through the home renovation process.

Best Renovations for your Dollar


Most experts say that when it comes to doing home renovations that will attract the best prices and the most offers, the kitchen is king. They say that when real estate agents show a home, most buyers will look at the kitchen first.

It is usually wise to put money into upgrading the kitchen with items such as stainless-steel appliances, tile on the floor, tile back-splash, granite counter-tops and a new undermount sink.

Also, think about the layout and works-pace of the kitchen and how to improve it. This is known as the triangle; it is the space where the cooking area, dishwasher and sink are. Are they all relatively close together? If you can, try to make all of the ‘new toys’ in your kitchen flow and be relatively close together so cooking and cleaning is easy. Spend money on the flow just as much or more than appliances.

Take Out Paneling and Popcorn Ceiling

Most experts agree that wood paneling is old and is never going to come back. It should be removed, and walls repainted. If removing the paneling is difficult, at the very least, it should be painted a bright color to make the room lighter. Also, a popcorn ceiling says your home was built in the 80s or 90s. It will help a lot to have a flat ceiling with new, bright paint.


The next best item to improve in your home to make the most money is the bathroom. The good news about this is you do not have to bust the bank to make it work for a good resale. You can just install new fixtures, re-grout all tile, add crown molding and give it a nice paint job, if you like. If you have an old toilet in there, it can be replaced with a new low flush model for a few hundred collars.

Update the Plumbing

If your house has old iron pipes, you may want to think about putting in new plumbing. One thing that people do not realize is the appraiser will take a close look at your plumbing when he is assigning value. In the old days, it was an expensive endeavor to update plumbing. But these days, repining can be done with plastic and it often can be run through the walls like an extension cord. This means there will be fewer holes and a lot less mess and expense. New owners do not want to worry about heavy metals in their water, so this is a good improvement.

Add Attic Insulation

If you do not have new attic insulation, up to 30% of your heating or AC bill is going out the window. Laying down new insulation is easy to do and it really does not cost a lot.

HVAC or Furnace Replacement

This is not always at the top of mind for a home renovation. But with all of the energy savings and rebates you can get, replacing the AC or furnace or both can be a good move. When a potential buyer knows there is a new AC or furnace, this is a relief because it is a major expense they do not have to worry about.

Also, with people more conscious of the environment and electrical costs, having new HVAC systems can be a major selling point. A new AC replacing one from 20 years ago can easily save the homeowner 1/3 of the previous electric bill. That is a major incentive to the potential buyer.

Makeover of the Front Yard

Whether you spend money on a new sidewalk to the front door or add some flowers to your planters, adding some new features to the front lawn is inexpensive and makes the home more attractive. This is an upgrade that is very easy to do yourself.

home-improvemnt loan

Find Out If You Meet the Lending Requirements for a Home Improvement Loan.

How to Finance Your Home Improvements

If you want to increase the value of your home and/or make it more attractive for potential buyers, you can do home improvements. But what if you do not have $10,000 or $20,000 cash to pay for it? Home equity is rising quickly in America in 2018, so you can pay for it with a second mortgage:

  • Home equity loan: This is a second mortgage that taps some of your home equity in one lump sum. It has a fixed interest rate and a fixed payback period. It is a good choice for someone who wants to use their equity but wants the assurance of a fixed rate and term.
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC): A second mortgage that has a variable interest rate and an interest only payment period of up to 10 years. Lower payments at first that will likely increase later if rates go up. Payments nearly always rise eventually because you will have to pay back principal and interest when draw period ends.

About Dusty Brazil

CA BRE #01780273- Dusty Brazil is a top ranked Realtor with Pacific Sotheby's International Realty. Mr. Brazil has been selling real estate in San Diego for over 10 years and lived in this coastal community his entire life. Dusty is an accomplished surfer who enjoys writing home buying articles when he is not catching waves.