Home improvement, also known as home renovation or remodeling, is the process of improving or modifying the interior or exterior of a house. Home improvements can be made to a single room or the entire house and may involve changing or replacing the floor, walls, windows, doors, electrical and plumbing systems, or appliances. It can also include landscaping and building additions such as decks, patios, sheds, gazebos, or garages. Other types of home improvements are energy-saving upgrades and safety installations.
Some home improvement projects add little or no resale value, while others can boost your property’s marketability. Before making expensive upgrades, consult a real estate professional or review local market trends. And be sure to factor in labor and materials costs as well as the time you’ll spend working on the project.
It’s a good idea to keep in mind the average price of comparable homes in your neighborhood when choosing home improvement projects. That way, you’ll avoid spending money on upgrades that will detract from your resale value or might make your home stand out in a bad way, such as a backyard waterfall when most of the neighbors have modest landscaping.
A qualified home equity loan or line of credit can help you complete your dream project while adding value to your home. However, be aware that you will have to pay income tax on the amount you borrow, and the interest expense can offset some of your savings.
The best home improvement projects are those that will add the most resale value and increase your enjoyment of your home while you’re living there. To find the right projects for your needs and budget, consider what other people have done in your neighborhood and look at home improvement magazines and catalogs.
In general, home improvement projects that improve energy efficiency, such as replacing old windows and installing new insulation, will provide the most return on investment. In addition, you can receive tax credits when you complete these kinds of upgrades.
If you’re not sure what kind of home improvement project would add the most value, invite a few experienced designers over for an hour-long consultation for free or for a nominal fee. They’ll give you ideas for upgrades that will appeal to the widest number of buyers.
The Bergen County Home Improvement Program (HIP) provides financial assistance to homeowners for repairs and renovations that are necessary to improve their health, safety, and quality of life. Eligible homeowners can receive up to $10,000 per household for approved projects.