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April 15, 2017

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Home Without Blowing Your Budget

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(TNS)—Everyone wants to turn their house into their dream home, but that’s often easier said than done. Whether you’re upgrading your space or gearing up to sell, renovating your home is a big financial decision. After all, it’s not only the place you live—it’s most likely your largest investment.

“So how much does a home remodel cost?” you ask. If you have a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, you have a higher degree of flexibility. That’s because when you choose a HELOC to finance your upgrades, you’re embracing the financial fluidity of borrowing against your home’s available equity.

“With a home equity line, you have the access to the money you need to finance a remodel, plus the flexibility to re-utilize the line for other needs as they arise,” says Jon Giles, senior vice president in the home equity division at a major bank.

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Clearly, it’s a popular option. According to a recent survey by the bank, 64 percent of people said they have or would use a HELOC for home renovations or improvements. You can borrow multiple times if you need to, or borrow any amount you want on a secured credit line with interest that’s typically tax deductible.

Here’s a tour of potential home improvements.

Liven Up the Landscape

Landscaping is among the three most effective home improvements you can do to generate the biggest return on your money. It creates curb appeal in spades, and also helps prevent expensive potential damage, like fallen tree limbs and mold. Think of it as a safety net mixed with some green marketing that can increase your house’s value by up to 5 percent.

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Average Cost: You can put in some attractive curbing for a little over $1,000, or invest in the whole front-lawn package for about $3,400.

Revive the Driveway

Assessing your driveway nets you a double benefit. One, it’s a utilitarian feature that just about everyone needs to protect that other big investment: the car. Two, a cracked driveway tanks your curb appeal, and can even make way for unsightly weeds.

Average Cost: To repair a driveway, you’re looking at about $1,500, or a little over $3,800 for a new one.

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Freshen Up Your Exterior Paint

If you’re like the 41 percent of survey respondents whose property value has stagnated over the last year, giving the exterior of your home a fresh look could make a world of difference.

You just can’t beat the cost effectiveness of exterior paint. Plus, it has a leg up on the limited color and texture options of siding—if you can imagine a paint color, it exists.

Average Cost: Heartier exterior paints exceed the cost of interior options, but not by much—the national average cost to paint a house is a little over $2,500, though you should account for about $1,500 more if you have a two-story.

Revitalize Your Roof

Whether you’re playing catch out front or just cruising by, it’s pretty hard to miss a roof. That could be why the National Association of REALTORS® named replacing a home’s roof as the home renovation with the single greatest cost recovery in 2015—this project usually recoups about 105 percent of its price tag.

Average Cost: About $7,600

Gear Up the Garage

The garage door probably isn’t the go-to improvement when you think about upping your curb appeal, but it does take up a whole lot of exterior visual space, and for that reason alone, it’s totally worth a slice of that HELOC. Replacing the often-neglected garage door can net you a nearly 93 percent return on investment, on average.

Average Cost: This upgrade usually only runs about $730 to $1,400.

©2017 GOBankingRates.com, a ConsumerTrack web property

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