Get the Most Value Out of Your Home
The housing market is at an all-time high for sellers. With prices of homes increasing due to labor and building costs, now is the time to get involved if you’re planning on moving locations. Did you know that there are some landscaping updates you can do to get home improvement costs to work for you?
Read on to find out how you can make some simple landscaping updates to increase your home’s value and enjoy the benefits yourself in the meantime.
1. Maintain or Trim Up Your Yard
Unlike with a book, prospective buyers will judge your home based on how your exterior looks. Have some weeds and overgrown hedges that need attention? Trim them up. Old stumps sticking up around your yard? Have them removed.
Planting trees is a wonderful way to improve how your yard looks. More vibrantly colored trees, such as maples or dogwoods, can especially impact the aesthetic of your property. Just be aware of how big your trees will get and how much attention they will require to grow.
2. Add a Small Pond or Other Water Feature
A useful landscaping update to make your yard more attractive is to build a small pond or waterfall. Ponds add uniqueness to your yard and can be customized to your preference. Koi and goldfish are popular additions to ponds but aren’t a necessity. You can simply add statues or other decorations.
Other wildlife will be attracted to your small pond and offer a glimpse of additional natural beauty. The best part is that there are landscaping professionals who can advise you and even build ponds for you.
3. Build a Manageable Garden
Gardens are another of the landscaping updates with a value that outweighs their initial cost. You can plant beautiful seasonal flowers like marigolds or even vegetables like tomatoes and beans. Starting a garden is the hardest part of creating one. Once the soil is prepared and the plants begin to grow, though, maintaining it isn’t as complicated as one might think, and harvest time is rewarding.
Choose plants that don’t require high maintenance, and don’t plant so many different types you can’t properly water and fertilize all of them. You may also want to avoid plants that can attract pests such as aphids.
4. Construct a Walkway
A walkway through your yard can be useful as well as stand out aesthetically. Nothing says “welcome” to guests or prospective buyers like a beautiful path from the sidewalk or driveway to your front door. Pick up some pavers at your local home store or hire a contractor to do the work for you.
Do you already have a pathway? Take a look at it. Are the bricks or other materials worn or decaying? If so, it’s time to upgrade. Replace the old materials with new. Is the walkway overgrown with moss or covered in dirt? A power wash could make a world of difference.
5. Consider an Outdoor Kitchen
A lot of homes have a grill or outdoor patio. But you can take it to the next level with an outdoor kitchen. You can store a smoker, grill, and other outdoor cookware while enjoying the fresh air. Outdoor kitchens are innovative and will draw the interest of anyone who loves to cook outside. It also adds living space to your home.
It’s highly recommended that you consult a contractor to maximize your space and make sure your outdoor kitchen is safe and fully usable.
Ways to Afford Home Improvement Costs
Ready to take on one or more of these landscape updates? Great! But now you may be asking yourself how you can afford to make these upgrades. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
HELOC stands for home equity line of credit and operates similarly to a credit card. You can withdraw the equity available in your home as needed to cover your home improvement costs. Like other loans, they have an APR (annual percentage rate) associated with them. However, HELOC loans tend to have lower interest rates and monthly payments than standard personal loans.
You can find different rates depending on your credit and other factors and even from different companies. Shop around and find the best HELOC rates to fit your budget.
Once you’ve owned your home for a number of years and diligently made your monthly payments, a cash-out refinance might be a great option for covering renovation costs. With this loan option, you replace your current mortgage with a larger mortgage, the balance of which is paid directly to you.
One major benefit of refinancing is that you have the opportunity to improve the terms of your home loan. If interest rates have dropped since you purchased or you’d like to make higher or lower monthly payments, this is your chance.
You can apply for a refinance with your current lender or look for a new one that better meets your needs. Lenders like Solarity Credit Union offer Express Refinance with zero closing costs. It’s not a bad idea to start your home improvement project with a great deal.
And last, there are standard personal loans you can apply for to have money for home improvement costs. Most banks and credit unions will have lending options tailored to your needs.
Watch Your Finances
Whenever loans are involved, a credit check is a standard practice banks and credit unions use to determine your APR and interest rates. Keep in mind that your credit score is impacted by how much you spend and how much you have available. You can improve your score by making regular, on-time payments, paying off smaller credit cards, or putting a little more money toward a monthly payment for bigger credit card bills.
Ready to Improve Your Home?
You want the exterior of our home to look just as good as the interior. It’s the first thing you and your guests see when you pull up to your home, and it should be an inviting sight. Landscaping updates can have a huge impact on the beauty of your home, whether you’re planning to live there for a few more decades or getting ready to sell. And when you do it right, you’ll add value to your home.
If you’re in Washington State and ready to get started on some home improvements, consider Solartiy. Solarity Credit Union offers a wide range of home loan, refinancing, and HELOC options with affordable rates and monthly payments. You can even work with a Home Loan Guide, who can personalize your process and services. This credit union works with people, not account numbers.