6 ways to upgrade your home and build equity

6 ways to upgrade your home and build equity

Most homeowners believe their home is their biggest asset—which means taking care of it and increasing its value is a top priority.

Keeping up with regular maintenance and making home improvements will help ensure that your home’s value increases over time, which is also called “building equity.” But not all home improvements are created equal. If you’re planning on doing any updates, focus on the items that are worth the cost and will help your home’s value appreciate. And, if you’re interested in a home equity loan, these updates can help increase the amount of money you’re able to borrow.

Increase efficiency

Utilities such as the HVAC, roof, and water heater, are the number one item to upgrade if you’re hoping to increase your home’s value. Though not as exciting as a shiny new kitchen, they’ll help your home run more efficiently and often recoup as much as 110 percent of their cost in equity.  

Replacing dated appliances and old, drafty windows will also ensure your home runs more efficiently and increases in value.

Make it bigger

Square footage is a huge factor when a home is appraised, so adding square footage when it makes sense can be a game-changer. Increase your square footage with an addition or renovate an unfinished basement.

If your budget or space doesn’t allow for adding official square footage, look outside! Turning an underused outdoor space into a cozy extra living area can make your home feel larger without busting your budget.

Focus on curb appeal

First impressions matter, and impressive curb appeal will set the tone for the rest of your home. Updating the landscape and painting the exterior of your home are two big updates that pack a major punch. But if you’re looking for a budget-friendly upgrade, try painting your front door and refreshing your porch décor.

Update your kitchen and bathroom

Kitchens and bathrooms are big-ticket items. These renovations come with a hefty price tag, but are guaranteed to build equity in your home (if done right). Taking on some of the work yourself and choosing high-quality, affordable finishes can help save on costs.

If you’re working with a tight budget, look for ways to update your space without breaking the bank. Painting cabinets, updating your backsplash, or installing updated fixtures are affordable changes that can make a big difference.

Freshen up

If you’re eager to take on a big project, consider refinishing or installing new hardwood floors. Fresh, new flooring will elevate your space and increase your home’s value.  

If your space is dark, worn, or dated, add a fresh coat of paint! Paint is one of the cheapest ways to make a space look refreshed. And if “budget-friendly” is your favorite phrase, look for other low-cost items that may be dating your home, such as cabinet hardware or light fixtures, and swap them out for more modern pieces.  

The cheapest and easiest update of all is simply decluttering your space. You’re constantly bringing new things into your home, which means it’s important to take things out, too. Decluttering your home will make it appear larger, cleaner, and more organized.

The bottom line

On average, home values rise more than 3.5% per year, but homes that receive little to no upgrades tend to depreciate. If you’re hoping to build equity for the future, choose projects that will benefit you and the increase value of your home.