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4 upgrades to add value and help you love your current home

Sponsored by Solarity Credit Union
Published: May 9, 2023, 5:00am

The housing market has been volatile in recent years, with a hot market followed by rapid interest rate hikes. Limited availability has resulted in high housing prices values, causing a lot of people to stay put and love the walls they’re in. The good news is your home is likely worth much more than it used to be, and you can use your home’s equity to improve it with a home equity line of credit (HELOC), rather than draining your savings. A HELOC works like a credit card – you only borrow what you need, giving you access to funds when you need it. So, what upgrades add the most value and joy?

Kitchen backsplash

The kitchen is often the heart of the home, where everyone tends to congregate. While a full remodel could set you back tens of thousands, consider just a minor upgrade of the kitchen backsplash for a few hundred or a few thousand – depending on what you choose for materials. The updated backsplash could give your kitchen just the character it needs, and if you couple it with updated kitchen cabinets, you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood.

Add or enhance outdoor living space

A well-designed and thought-out outdoor living space will add value to your home. More importantly, things like decks, patios, gardens and fire pits provide additional space for you and your family to relax, enjoy time together and entertain guests. Not to mention, spending time outside in nature taking in fresh air and sunlight can boost your mental health. And don’t forget a key thing: outdoor lighting. Adding it will not only create wonderful ambiance and extend the time you can use the space, but you are also enhancing the safety and security of your property.

Create bonus space in the basement

Finishing a basement can be a costly upgrade, yet the extra room and value it will add to your home can very well be a big payoff. Whether you add some extra bedrooms, an entertaining space such as a family game room or a home office (or all of these), you’ll love the additional living space, and it will add a great deal to your home’s value, should you ever decide to sell.

Bathroom revamp

Our bathrooms are high-use areas, and it can be quite frustrating and even embarrassing to have an outdated, cramped or inefficient space. By replacing old fixtures and appliances, you can transform this commonly used area into one of your favorite spots in the house. Some studies suggest a well-done bathroom renovation can result in a return on investment (ROI) of up to 70-80%. Consider painting it blue, as studies show that color can up the value of your home.

Use your home’s equity to update or renovate

When it comes to paying for these upgrades, your savings account or regular monthly cash flow may not be enough to cover the costs, especially for some of the larger projects. A HELOC (home equity line of credit) can offer a way for you to access your biggest investment (your home) and continue to add value to it. In some cases, the improvements you make could also be tax deductible – just be sure to consult your tax advisor to see what qualifies.

Curious how much equity you have in your home? You can use this handy HELOC calculator to see just how much you may be able to use – whether you plan to create a home theater, install gorgeous hardwood floors or go for a luxurious chef’s kitchen. Still unsure or need more information? The experts at Solarity Credit Union are happy to help you crunch the numbers to see if a HELOC is right for you.

About Solarity Credit Union

Solarity Credit Union is a not-for-profit, cooperative financial institution with nearly 200 employees serving more than 54,000 members. With more than $1.3 billion in assets under management, Solarity offers a wide range of financial products and services with a focus on home loans and providing extraordinary experiences to members. Solarity membership is open to everyone who lives, works, worships or attends school within a Washington State school district. More information can be found at solaritycu.org.

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