Using a Home Equity Loan to Raise Resale Value

Written by
David Mully
Read Time: 3 minutes

Using a home equity loan for improvements such as new kitchens, bathrooms and fireplaces can help get a higher selling price for a home. The remodeled areas, real estate agents say, should lead to a better price for a home that needed the repairs anyway.

To get the most return on investment, or ROI, the home should be sold within a year of the improvements being made. That results in an average of 64.4 percent of a project’s investment dollars getting recouped, according to a 2016 report by Remodeling Magazine of 30 popular remodeling projects.

That’s quite a quandry to be in as a homeowner looking to sell their home versus someone who wants to enjoy the new comforts they’ve created. Should they get a home equity loan,

Here are some of the best renovation projects for return on investment, all based on selling the home within one year:

Attic into a bedroom

Turning an attic into a bedroom resulted in an 83 percent ROI. On average, this transformation increased a home value by $39,908. The biggest cost here are adding a bathroom, and strengthening the floor, adding insulation and finish to the room.

Just adding attic insulation, a job with a national average cost of $1,268, had a 116 percent cost being recouped.

Kitchen remodel

85 percent ROI. Projects budgeted at 6-10 percent of the total home value see the strongest return. The most popular items replaced in a kitchen remodel were countertops (74 percent), wallpaper/paint (70 percent), cabinetry (67 pecent) and flooring (64 percent).

Kitchen remodels are the second most popular projects, at 69 percent, with the average kitchen remodel costing $56,768. A minor kitchen remodel, however has a better return, costing $20,142 on average and 83 percent is recouped.

Kitchens are often outdated in technology and accessories, design schemes and layout, says Reagan Toal, marketing manager for Federal Brace, which sells supports for countertops. Kitchens can almost be claustrophobic with poor movement patterns and more appliances.

“Expanding the kitchen, creating an open floor plan, or simply reevaluating the current structures to create a more expansive feel can not only increase the homeowners’ enjoyment of their kitchen, one of the areas of the home most people spend immense amounts of time in while sentient,” but it can also increase their home’s resale value, Toal says.

New doors

101 percent ROI for a new steel front door, according to Northshore Fireplace. It recommends that the door matches the style of the home and doesn’t go too grand, otherwise the ROI will increase.

That’s higher than the 91 percent ROI that Remodeling Magazine found for a $1,335 steel door in 2016, or the 82 percent ROI for a $3,126 fiberglass door.

Replacing a garage door also has a high ROI, 91 percent for a $1,652 new one, according to Remodeling Magazine.

Siding replacement

80 percent ROI for vinyl siding, according to Northshore Fireplace’s data. For fiber cement siding, ROI increases to 84 percent, and foam-backed vinyl has a 77 percent ROI, based on 2015 figures.

The estimates are for 1,250 square feet of siding, including factory trim at all openings and corners.

Remodeling Magazine had slightly lower returns in 2016: 78 percent for engineered siding replacement, and 73 percent for vinyl.

Bathroom remodel

65 percent ROI. The average bathroom remodel in the U.S. costs $17,908. It’s the most common remodeling job request.

A midrange bathroom addition costs $42,233 on average and returns 56 percent.

On average, a bathroom remodel isn’t a very high ROI, but it’s the most common remodeling job request in the country. It could almost be considered one of the worst home improvement projects.

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