Your home equity is the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and what your home is currently worth. Therefore, as you increase the value of your home, you are also increasing the equity. One of the most rewarding ways to do this is to undergo a value-adding home improvement project.

While some can have a relatively high price, many are worth the price as they are more likely to increase the value of your home in comparison to what you pay to get them done. In other words, you get back a portion of what you paid by adding to the overall value of your home. These projects reported with the highest return on investment (ROI) in the New England region are referred to as value-adding home improvement projects.

#1 Garage Door Replacement
Replacing your garage door doesn’t just add extra curb appeal to your home, but can also add value by ensuring energy efficiency, increasing home security, and preventing flooding. A damaged or non-functional garage door can fall short in these areas and possibly drag down a home value. More specific to the New England region, an updated and functional garage is highly desirable due to the potential for extreme weather, which homeowners can avoid by using their garage. 

#2 Exterior Stone Veneer
Swapping sections of vinyl siding with stone veneer on the front of your home can be cost-effective and increase the curb appeal of a home. It does this by mimicking the look of heavier, pricier, and more natural options at a fraction of the price. This project can also come with structural benefits by placing less stress on the frame and foundation of your home when compared to the heavier alternatives. Finally, the attractiveness of modern stone veneer provides an accent that is most common to entryways and the street-facing façade of your home that is durable and maintenance-free.  

#3 Siding Replacement
Wood siding is a standard for most homes but can come with extra maintenance costs due to rotting and water damage that can overall damage a home value. If this is a problem you are dealing with, it may be time to consider replacing the siding altogether with a higher value material such as fiber cement or vinyl. By choosing vinyl siding, you will incur a lesser upfront cost that includes a fresh appearance, low maintenance, and thermal protection, contributing to energy efficiency. If you are willing to pay a higher price, fiber-cement siding is sturdier and protects against moisture, termites, rot, and even fire. Both projects have a proven regional (ROI) and differ mainly in price and also have a leg up on traditional wood siding. 

#4 Window Replacement
Replacing old and outdated windows can have a high value-add that both appraisers and homebuyers take into account, as they also increase energy efficiency and provide a unified look. Some other things to consider when taking on this project are the size of the project you are looking to take on and the chosen material. Leaving a small project that still needs work can drag down your home value but is avoidable by replacing all windows at once by home or just by room. Both wooden and vinyl windows have a similar (ROI), but both have certain things to consider when choosing between them to access personal needs. Wooden windows are more expensive than those made of vinyl ones but are just as durable when properly maintained, paintable for a customizable look, and are better against the elements. Vinyl windows are known for being affordable, low maintenance, and good insulators (energy efficient) but lack the strength and charm of other materials on the market. 

#5 Kitchen Remodel
There are several ways to remodel a kitchen without undergoing major renovations that have a higher price tag. Some of these include updating cabinets, adding new appliances, and updating other décor items. The cabinet update method is the main differentiator between a minor and major kitchen remodel where instead of a replacement, swapping out the fronts of the cabinets with an updated style and keeping the original boxes is more cost-effective. As far as appliances, the energy efficiency of your home is becoming increasingly important; therefore, the addition of new energy-efficient appliances will decrease energy costs and add to the updated style.

#6 Deck Addition
Adding a deck to your home will also increase the usable living space taken into account when your home is valued. A deck that is both well-planned and in good condition is a solid investment made by creating mock-ups, choosing the material, and adding additional cosmetic features. Creating a roped-off mock-up of the deck area in its desired position is an effective way to assess the overall size relative to your home, what you can fit onto the deck and the effects of daylight throughout the day. The materials chosen can alter the overall (ROI) as the cost of a composite deck may be more reliable in the long-term with higher up-front cost, and a wooden deck will be cheaper, but boards may have to get replaced due to long-term wear and tear. Small cosmetic features can enhance your deck by giving it an upscale feel by creating a courtyard entry, adding proper lighting, and camouflaging AC units with wooden trellises.  

If you are thinking about or are ready to fund some value-adding home improvement projects, be sure to contact Mechanics Cooperative Bank for your Home Equity Lending needs or apply online today!