Adding Value to Your Home With Home Improvement

Home improvement is a popular pastime, and there’s no shortage of ideas for projects that can improve your home. But before you pick up the sledgehammer, it’s important to consider the return on investment of the project and whether or not you are adding value to your home.

During the two-year period that began in 2019, Americans spent more than a half-trillion dollars on home improvement projects, according to the most recent American Housing Survey from the Census Bureau. That’s more than double the typical spending during that previous two-year span.

As the pandemic wore on, the number of homeowners who hired professional contractors to work on their homes declined, but do-it-yourself renovations surged. With many people confined to their houses, they sought ways to make their living spaces more comfortable and enjoyable. And the result was an uptick in DIY projects such as building decks, planting gardens and putting up fences.

The most common home improvements include painting rooms and updating light fixtures. Approximately 51% of homeowners plan to undertake those kinds of tasks in the next two years, according to NerdWallet’s latest Home Improvement Report. Other common projects include installing a new roof, renovating the kitchen and upgrading the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

Although the home improvement industry is expected to slow down in 2024, there’s no doubt that homeowners still see value in investing in their properties. In addition to the potential to increase a property’s resale value, these projects can help boost overall and long-term comfort while creating a more pleasant environment for those who live in the house.

In a NerdWallet survey, we found that the top reason most homeowners plan to do home improvement projects is to make their houses more comfortable for themselves and their families. However, 20% of those surveyed also say they plan to remodel their homes with the intention of making them more appealing to potential buyers.

Many homeowners struggle to find money for home improvement projects, and some resort to financing these kinds of investments. While the cheapest options are typically credit card debt or personal loans, mortgage lenders offer special home loan programs that can provide low rates and fixed payments for the life of the loan.

Another option for funding home improvement projects is a homeowner equity line of credit, or HELOC. While there are a wide variety of HELOC providers on the market, you’ll want to compare rates and terms before choosing one. It’s a good idea to work with an experienced lender that has a solid reputation in the mortgage industry.

Whether you’re considering a small project or a major renovation, it’s important to hire contractors who are licensed and insured. It’s also a good idea to look for companies that have a strong track record and are part of a reputable association or accreditation organization. In order to reduce the risk of problems, homeowners can also opt for a professional aggregator, which can match them with service providers based on their needs and preferences.