Refinancing For Home Improvement

By: J Suffie

One of the reasons people decide to refinance their house is in order to make improvements to their home or property. Whether you're planning on selling in the next few years, or you are just considering making improvements for your own long-term use, here are some tips to help you decide whether refinancing for this purpose is the right choice for you:

Choose Projects That Add Value - In order to use the money to its best advantage, be sure to choose your home improvement projects carefully. There are a couple of different levels of home improvements that can prove to be an investment by increasing the value of your home.

The first level is to use the money to make needed repairs, upgrades or improvements by choosing projects such as repairing or replacing the roof, upgrading the windows or having the house repainted. This level also includes repairing or replacing things that are damaged or are in such bad shape that they really do need to be replaced.

The second level is aesthetic improvements and upgrades. This includes things such as remodeling or upgrading the kitchen and bathrooms, upgrading flooring and making improvements to the yard such as adding a pool or improving the landscaping. This level of improvement increases the value of your home by increasing its appeal with things that stay with your home if you decide to sell it.

Avoid Improvements That Don't Add Value: When you refinance, it's totally up to you what you do with the money. However, if you want to use the money in the absolute best way possible, there are some things you should not do.

Don't use the money to purchase anything that you will take with you when you sell the house. This includes things such as home electronics, furniture and other décor, both inside and outside your home. Remember that you are essentially adding the cost of these things into your mortgage. These items won't add any value to your home if you're selling it. Even if you're not planning on selling at all, do you really want to be paying for that big screen TV or new living room set for 30 years?

Avoid improvements that stay with the house that may not be appealing to potential buyers. Every real estate agent has at least a dozen stories about how difficult a house was to sell simply because of an unappealing improvement. Things such as bright blue wall to wall carpet because you always wanted that, decreasing the size of the kitchen because you don't cook, or cementing over your backyard so you don't have to mow the grass aren't very good ideas if you want to ever be able to sell your home. There are options around these types of personal preferences that don't involve doing something that is essentially permanent. You can use large blue rugs rather than installing blue carpeting, use those unused kitchen cabinets as storage for other things, or have a landscape designer come in and help you design a backyard that will need minimal upkeep, but will still be appealing.

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