Spring is here, and among other things that means spring cleaning and home-selling season are officially underway. If you haven’t been paying attention to the Utah housing market, it’s apparently the hottest in the country. With historically low inventory and high demand, each new home listed for sale receives dozens of offers. In fact, according to Bankrate.com, Utah had the strongest housing economy in the entire country at the end of 2020.
So, what does all that mean for you, and what does it have to do with spring cleaning? If you’re a homeowner, your property values are likely increasing. Whether or not it’s the right time to sell is up to you, but there are several things you can do this spring to improve your home’s appearance and feel, while also increasing its value.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when it comes to home improvements, it generally falls into one of a few categories: decluttering, remodeling, and improving your landscaping/curb appeal. It takes work and an initial investment, but beautifying your home can increase its value by as much as 10%.
Sometimes beautifying your home is as simple as taking nearly everything out of a room and letting your space speak for itself, without all your stuff getting in the way. Look for the areas that appear overcrowded, and find unique, creative ways to solve your stuff problem. Instead of having cereal boxes taking up space on your countertops, try replacing them with glass jars. Go through your wardrobe and donate old clothes you haven’t worn for a while. The extra space will actually make your closets feel bigger. In fact, decluttering, in general, will make your home feel bigger, more spacious, and more attractive—all good things for your home’s value.
Decluttering can only do so much, and when a space feels dated or drab, it may be time for a remodel. The good news: the right remodels can be both functional for you and attractive for prospective buyers down the road. Minor kitchen remodels that might include updating countertops, cabinets, appliances, sinks, and/or flooring can recoup more than 80% of costs. Wood deck additions and siding replacements can recoup more than 75% of costs, window replacements recoup more than 73% of costs, and bathroom remodels can recoup 62% to 67% of costs. All these figures may be given even more of a boost in a housing market as hot as Utah’s. And, remodels that add square footage to your existing home plan can add even more value.
First impressions mean a lot, and the first thing you (and potential buyers) see is your outdoor spaces. Cleaning and maintaining your yard and a healthy lawn, and adding a few key (mostly inexpensive) landscaping elements, can add beauty and value to your home. Start by adding trees, flowers, bushes and other natural elements that enhance your home’s appeal. Trees, in particular, can add significant value—they offer privacy, shade, and make a house feel like home. If you don’t already have one, add an irrigation system, then lay down fresh mulch in your flower beds and add some outdoor lighting. If you’ve been meaning to add a dedicated outdoor space—an outdoor kitchen, deck, patio, fire pit, etc.—there’s good news: you can recoup a lot of your expenses in added value and overall home appeal.
Another added benefit of Utah’s increasing home values is that you can use the extra equity to pay for some of these home improvement projects. Right now, you can get a home equity line of credit (HELOC) through Utah First and lock in a great 1.99% rate on all funds advanced before June 30, 2021.* That gives you an affordable way to take advantage of your existing equity to add even more value to your home. And the 1.99% rate is locked in until April 1, 2022.
This year, view your spring-cleaning projects through the lens of adding value to your home. By decluttering, beautifying, and remodeling your indoor and outdoor spaces in the right ways, you can take advantage of historic home values to improve your spaces, while also recouping your costs.
*This offer is available for qualified new and existing HELOC members. All payments made will be applied to the 1.99% rate balance before the previously existing balance. Following the expiration date of the promotion, the rate on outstanding balances will revert to the rate in their previously existing home equity line of credit agreement.
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