5 Reasons to Invest in Home Improvement Now

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Home Improvements: Why You Should Make Them Now

Home Improvements: Why You Should Make Them Now

By: David Bakke

With the end of the recession nowhere in sight, you may have pushed those home improvements and renovations you’ve been wanting to make to the bottom of your priority list.

However, now might actually be the best time to invest money in your home. With cheaper loan rates, contractors, and building materials, there are plenty of ways to save money on your home improvement projects by taking advantage of the current market.

Here are five reasons why you should start tackling your home improvements today, way before you even think about selling.

1. Low Home Equity Loan Rates

You’ve probably heard this phrase a lot lately: “Rates are historically low right now.” But it really is true, especially when it comes to home equity loans. Contact your lender to find out the rate you’re eligible for and ask if you qualify for a “relationship discount” (i.e. for loyal customers who have account balances totaling a certain amount).

2. Reduced Energy Expenses

When you spend money on making your home more energy efficient – like adding insulation, double-paned windows, programmable thermostats, and Energy Star appliances – you’ll earn the money back, and then some, in your energy bill savings over the years. You may also be eligible for green energy tax credits, further bringing down the costs involved.

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When planning these improvements, make sure to ask for any available discounts. I recently had a sliding door replaced in my home and I worked out an agreement where the cost of the project was interest-free, spread out over three years. So, rather than having to pay $1,400 out-of-pocket up front, I now have a $55 monthly payment for the next 36 months.

3. Cheaper Contractors

Even though the housing market has recovered to an extent, many contractors are still desperate for work. This means that you can get reduced pricing and enjoy some big savings, especially if you let several contractors compete for your job. Shop your job to many different contractors and check reviews on sites like Angie’s List to get the best quality at the lowest price.

4. Enjoy the Improvements

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Most home improvements are done when homeowners are preparing to sell their house. Unfortunately, this means that they spend money and then allow someone else to reap the benefits. Why not fix your house up now, so you can enjoy the upgrades while you still live there and then profit from the resale value when you’re ready to sell?

In the past, I always had a list of projects to complete “before I sell my home.” Where is the sense in that? Replace that carpet and remodel your bathroom now. That way, you can enjoy the new look while it’s available to you.

5. Prepare for Future Potential Buyers

Before I bought the home I currently live in, I had a home inspection done. It was probably the best investment I ever made. After the initial walk through with my home inspector, we found at least $2,000 in repairs that needed to be done before I would agree to buy it.

Looking forward, I wonder why anyone would want to put themselves in this situation. When you go to sell your home, there are going to be many things that you need to take care of. Why complicate the process by adding an extensive list of repairs and upgrades that you need to perform before your potential buyer will agree to the sale? Work these things into your budget now, and you’ll save yourself a few headaches once you do get ready to sell.

Final Thoughts

When money is tight, it may seem like the worst time to consider home improvements. However, taking on these projects now can actually save you money in the long run. In fact, there might not be a better time to get great mortgage rates, and the cost of the improvement itself can be relatively inexpensive as well. If you can find the money and the time, invest in your home now.

[Mortgage Help: Get your free credit report and see if your credit score is mortgage qualified]

Have you recently invested in any home improvement projects? What was the overall experience like and how much did it all cost you?

David Bakke is a personal finance writer who shares his best tips and insights on saving money, real estate, and home improvement as part of the Money Crashers team. Money Crashers is a personal finance blog that covers a variety of different financial topics – from online bank reviews to bathroom design and remodeling ideas.

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