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Many Americans own homes that need a little work. Whether you need to revamp a few fixtures or totally renovate, you want to make sure you're making the smartest decision for your style, and wallet. To help, HGTV host and real estate expert Egypt Sherrod offers the following home improvement insights, in partnership with LightStream.
Good bones add the most value. While personalization is important in creating your dream home, don't overlook the less glamorous—but essential—elements. You may not get as excited about upgrading your HVAC units as you do about making over a bathroom. However, tending to projects that improve the functionality and systems in your house often lead to a higher ROI compared to aesthetic-focused ones.
Choose "timeless" over "trendy". It's easy to be tempted into the latest trends during home renovations, like shiplap walls and waterfall countertops. They may be hot right now, but could become dated very quickly. Remember how cool wood paneling and shag carpets used to be? Choose timeless, classic styles and easily updatable accessories that won't cost a fortune to replace down the road.
Invest in your nest…without depleting your nest egg. Home improvements can be a smart investment that dramatically improve your quality of life. The key, however, is to stay within a budget that doesn't become a financial burden. Many homeowners mistakenly use their entire savings to pay for a renovation, which can leave them without a financial emergency safety net.
Consider your financing options. Homeowners may opt to use credit cards for their projects, which can become expensive quickly, as balances with high-interest rates carry over from month to month. While a home equity line of credit can be a solution for some, these often take time to arrange, and many homes haven't accrued equity to tap. But there is an option that can provide needed funds without sacrificing your financial well-being—a fixed rate, unsecured home improvement loan.
Source: SunTrust Banks, LightStream