A couple painting their home

The five best home upgrades to increase home value

Home upgrades can improve your home’s functionality, enhance storage and increase energy efficiency. There are advantages to having your home upgrades done by a professional or tackling DIY home projects. Either way, the best upgrades for a home can make living in your home more enjoyable and are also great for resale value.

What are the best upgrades for a home?

Whether you’re planning to stay or thinking of selling, these five home upgrades may be right for you.

1. Add an ADU

You may have heard of an accessory dwelling unit referred to as an ADU, granny flat, in-law suite, guest house, garage apartment or second unit. An ADU is an independent living facility built on your home’s property that usually includes a separate kitchen, bathroom, sleeping area and its own entrance.
ADUs are popular because they’re one of the best upgrades for a home to increase your property value and build equity. Not to mention they can also provide rental income and support multi-generational living. A recent study of America’s biggest cities found homes with ADUs priced 35 percent higher on average than homes without them.
A home renovation loan allows you to consolidate the cost of buying or refinancing with estimated ADU construction costs. Your area may also offer a program incentivizing the building of an ADU with financial aid or other support. Check your city’s website for more information.

2. Weatherproof or replace windows

Windows act as a barrier to wind, heat and cold. Unfortunately, they can also be a significant source of heat loss and gain. By improving your window insulation with weather stripping or caulk, you’ll reduce the energy lost, save on your energy bill and make your home more comfortable. However, if your windows are foggy, have structural problems or allow water leakage, it may be time to replace them.
Along with the savings on energy costs, according to a recent cost versus value report, window replacement has one of the highest returns on investment if you decide to sell your home.

3. Save with solar

On average, heating and air conditioning account for more than half of a typical home’s energy use. Installing solar panels can lower your utility bills by converting sunlight directly into electricity. They can also be an additional selling point since 66 percent of U.S. homebuyers would be more likely to buy a home with solar panels installed.
As a current homeowner or new homebuyer, you may be eligible to bundle the cost of green home upgrades into an energy-efficient mortgage, and you may qualify for a federal solar tax credit.

4. Put in a pool

Spending time together in a pool can be an enjoyable activity for your entire family and an excellent place for low-impact exercise. In some regions, a pool home upgrade is a perk that boosts your home value. Agents surveyed by HomeLight responded that a home with a pool could sell for an estimated $27,199 more on average than a home without one. Contact your local real estate agent to find out if putting in a pool will help or hurt your home value based on your local housing market.
Before you dive into buying a home with a pool, it’s a good idea to consider how much pool maintenance costs.

5. Design and build a deck

Whether large or small, a new deck can extend your home’s usable square footage without spending the premium that comes with adding indoor living space. The costs of installing a deck include lumber and other materials and hiring a professional deck contractor if needed.
With a new deck, you’ll enjoy a new place to entertain in the evenings or sit back with your morning coffee and watch the sunrise. And when it comes time to sell your home, you’ll find that a wood deck home upgrade can add an average of 65% 65 percent return on your investment.

Top five DIY home projects

Not all home improvements need to be costly. Depending on your skill level, there are some you can tackle yourself. Here are a few relatively easy do-it-yourself projects that will make your home more comfortable and efficient.

1. Replace your dishwasher to conserve water

If your dishwasher is over ten years old, it may be time to switch it out for a new dishwasher. Even though dishwashers use electricity, handwashing dishes is more wasteful than running the dishwasher. You’ll save energy and water when you run a full load through an ENERGY STAR-certified dishwasher. Even better, you don’t need special tools or skills to install one.

2. Save hundreds per year with a water filter

If you’re looking to ditch those plastic water bottles but are concerned about your water quality, an under-sink water filter can remove impurities and deliver cleaner water from your tap. The Home Depot suggests this job may be suited for you if you’re a DIYer with a moderate amount of plumbing experience.

3. Install ceiling fans for year-round savings

Ceiling fans create cool breezes in the summer and keep rooms warm by circulating heated air in the winter. Home improvement experts advise that this is a somewhat easy DIY home project that will take 2-4 hours to complete, although if you don’t already have wiring from overhead lighting, you may need a professional.

4. Give your interior walls a fresh look

Do your walls have scratches, dings and marks? If so, freshening them up with paint is a simple DIY home project. New paint prevents wear and tear and adds a layer of protection from moisture. If you’re looking to sell soon, choose neutral colors, so your home appeals to a wide variety of buyers.

5. Pressure-wash your home’s exterior

Before you break out the paint, try power washing your home’s exterior to brighten it up. Pressure washing can clean various surfaces, so you can get rid of built-up dirt and grime on your deck, driveway, patio and walkway. If you’re unsure what’s safe to wash, consult an expert though—pressure washers can cause damage to vinyl siding and anything wood or painted.

Did you know springtime is the best season to replace windows and autumn is best for in-ground pool installation? Check out our suggestions for the best time to renovate your home. And as you determine your home improvement project list and calendar, keep in mind that the ideal time for home upgrades is when you’re ready!

The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.

By |Published On: January 11th, 2023|Categories: Guild Blog, Mortgage 101|Tags: , , |

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About the Author: Guild Mortgage

Founded in 1960 when the modern U.S. mortgage industry was just forming, Guild Mortgage Company is a nationally recognized independent mortgage lender providing residential mortgage products and local in-house origination and servicing. Guild’s collaborative culture and commitment to diversity and inclusion enable it to deliver a personalized experience for each customer. With more than 4,000 employees and over 250 retail branches, Guild has relationships with credit unions, community banks, and other financial institutions and services loans in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Guild’s highly trained loan professionals are experienced in government-sponsored programs such as FHA, VA, USDA, down payment assistance programs and other specialized loan programs. Guild Mortgage Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guild Holdings Company, whose shares of Class A common stock trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GHLD.