The housing market has become a spectator sport. Average prices are up one day, and the next, they’re down. The same goes for official mortgage rates published by leading financial institutions.
The numbers are all over the map. What’s an owner to do? For now, the sensible strategy is to keep an eye on all the data and make informed decisions about selling and buying only after consulting an experienced real estate agent.
What’s to know? Renovating is always a wise move because it can increase the value of your most valuable asset.
Anyone with basic carpentry skills can tackle DIY projects that make a living space more comfortable and add value.
Additionally, owners can pay for some or all of a child’s college education by taking out a home equity line of credit.
Plus, getting intermittent appraisals and inspections can give owners peace of mind about the value and condition of their homes.
Here are some essential things that today’s homeowners should remember.
Table of Contents
Sensible Renovations Pay for Themselves
One of the best aspects of home ownership is that worthwhile improvements can eventually pay for themselves.
That goes for commonsense projects like a new roof, upgraded HVAC systems, rooftop solar arrays, major remodeling jobs, room additions, swimming pools, and dozens more.
To know which ones are most suitable for your home, follow home renovation tips, do some online research, and find out what your wish list items typically cost.
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Consider choosing one of the low-priced projects and investing the time and money to finish the job.
Be sure to hire competent, reliable contractors to do the work. Document everything, including what you spend, the project scope, how long it took, and the results.
You’ll need the financial data for tax filings, and the other information will come in handy if you choose to do additional renovations down the road.
Your Home Can Cover a Child’s College Expenses
When the time comes to send children to college, many parents forget that they can leverage the power of their built-up home equity to pay the educational bills.
Moms and dads can apply for a HELOC for college and avoid the need to apply for traditional student loans. A home equity line of credit gives owners the flexibility of a line of credit instead of borrowing a fixed amount of money.
HELOCs offer a simple, direct college financing method for busy families that don’t want kids to be burdened with monthly student loan payments as soon as they graduate.
Homeowners approach the college expense challenge in various ways. Some use HELOC funds to pay for a portion of a child’s education and use savings or college funds to cover the rest.
In other situations, parents lend the money to their kids at low or no interest. Then children can repay the debt over time once they begin working.
While using a HELOC to pay for your child’s college education may seem attractive, there are some drawbacks you should consider before deciding.
For one, taking out a HELOC can put your home at risk if you can’t repay the loan. Additionally, interest rates on these loans can fluctuate over time, making it difficult to budget for future expenses.
If a HELOC isn’t the right option for you, other alternatives should be considered. Scholarships, grants, and student loans are all viable options that may help you pay for your child’s education without tapping into your home’s equity.
DIY Improvements are Wise Investments
What are the most rewarding DIY (do-it-yourself) projects owners can consider?
The ones that don’t require the assistance of contractors include interior and exterior painting, room conversions, minor remodeling of baths or kitchens, and repurposing of basements, attics, and garages.
All can add significant value to a property as long as they remain in place when owners decide to sell.
Repurposing is one notch below a remodeling job because it only involves rearranging furniture, replacing carpets, and possibly painting the interior.
Remodeling requires replacing a sink, installing tile flooring, or adding extensive electrical components. Remember, there’s more to an improvement than making the space more comfortable and convenient.
A remodeled bathroom, kitchen, or new flooring can attract more prospective buyers and ultimately increase the selling price.
Vacation Rental Can Mean Income for Renters
If you have a spare bedroom sitting idle while your kids are at college or after moving out, placing it on a vacation rental platform can bring in monthly income.
Be sure to follow all your chosen platform’s space preparation guidelines. Be ready to take the listing down if you decide that being a renter is not for you.
Regular Inspections & Appraisals Make Sense
It’s easy to fall into a rut of needing to think about the long-term value of your home. That’s understandable. Hard-working adults need help finding and financing houses in a challenging market.
Then, making monthly mortgage payments is a formidable task for anyone, no matter their income level or living situation.
An appraisal can give you valuable information about how to time a home sale based on your neighborhood’s rising or falling real estate values.
A low-cost inspection can alert you to long-term problems before they become costly. However, regular inspections and occasional appraisals can be excellent ways to monitor your property’s value and potential selling price.
In conclusion, renovating your home is a wise move because it not only increases the value of your most valuable asset but also enhances your living experience.
With basic carpentry skills, you can easily tackle various DIY projects that add value and comfort to your home.
Furthermore, a home equity line of credit is an option to pay for your child’s college education while also improving your home’s value. And don’t forget, getting intermittent appraisals and inspections can give you peace of mind about your home’s current condition and value.
By implementing these essential tips, you can transform your home into a valuable asset that will provide long-term benefits for you and your family.
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Greg is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with 22+ years experience in Financial Services. He has held numerous FINRA Securities licenses (series 7, 63, 65, and 66), and is an expert on Investment Products and Financial Planning. Greg has 22+ years experience as a real estate investor and degrees in Psychology and Philosophy.
Greg has been quoted/interviewed in Yahoo Money, Yahoo Finance, USA Today, Authority Magazine, Realtor.com, Business Insider, and others.
Greg is an avid runner, and the father to identical twin girls and their awesome brother. His love of budgeting and his kids led him to join The Great Resignation in 2021.
Disclaimer: Any Financial Tips on ChaChingQueen are general and informational. Speak with a professional about your specific situation.