Home equity: Small ways to improve the value of your home
Your home is a major investment. By making targeted improvements, you can increase its value with relatively little upfront cost.
Your home equity is likely one of the biggest financial assets you have. Did you know there are small steps you can take right now to increase the value of your home?
What is home equity?
What is home equity? It’s easy to calculate. The equity you have in your home is the amount the home is worth, minus the amount you owe on your mortgage.
For example, if your home was recently appraised for $200,000 and you still owe the bank $150,000 on your mortgage, you would have $50,000 in equity.
As you make your monthly payments to the bank, the amount you owe slowly goes down and so your equity gradually increases. But, there’s a catch. If anything causes your home to increase in value, your equity grows.
How to increase the value of your home
Home improvement: While not all projects will add value to your home, those projects that increase the size or living space available to potential purchasers will likely raise the value of your home. Some ideas to consider:
Landscaping: Particularly if you’re thinking of selling soon, curb appeal is crucial. A positive first impression can affect how much a buyer is willing to pay for your home. Make sure these are done well:
It’s easy to get excited about a home improvement project, but remember that not every project will increase your home’s value. If you have an eye on equity, steer clear of these issues:
Remember basic maintenance
Putting on a new roof, updating appliances as needed and making sure the plumbing is in good working order won’t increase the value of your home. Those parts of the house are expected to work, and work well — your home needs to be livable year-round.
However, just because maintenance isn’t directly increasing the value of your home, if neglected, it can certainly cause problems. A home with a leaky roof or a perpetually broken plumbing line is worth far less. So, stay on top of the basics, even as you make your targeted improvements.
There’s lots more to learn about what home equity is and how you can leverage it, so continue reading for more information about home equity loans and lines.