Between the most recent round of $1,400 stimulus checks and tax returns (which average $3,000) hitting Americans’ bank accounts, odds are you recently found yourself with a little bit of extra money on your hands.
While many Americans are looking forward to splurging on a post-COVID vacation or a guilt-free shopping trip, others want to invest the money. Your home is most likely your biggest asset, so investing in it is a great way to see a large return! It may not be as exciting as that trip to Vegas, but you will thank yourself for that added value when you sell your house for more later. In the meantime, you’ll get to enjoy living in your updated space!
Here are our top picks for the best way to invest your stimulus check and tax refund into your home.
1) Save money for future home expenses
If you don’t want to spend your check immediately, consider using it as an initial deposit to start a home savings account.
A great way to begin a home savings fund is to open a high-yield savings account. Many large banks offer these savings accounts and allow you to earn up to 25x more in interest than the average savings account! It’s an opportunity to earn a small return without a possible penalty if you need to withdraw funds soon.
Once you’ve built your savings, you can use that extra cash to:
2) Upgrade your home’s exterior on a budget
Paint and powerwash
On average, it costs about $2,500 to paint your home’s exterior, but you can save money by doing it yourself! Depending on the state of the home, bringing in a professional to power wash your exterior walls may be all it takes to freshen up the look of your home and costs only $250.
Embrace your inner gardener or hire a landscaper
Keeping a lawn in pristine condition can be hard work, but you will see the value when you go to sell. And, in the meantime, you get to enjoy the great view outside of your window!
One of the biggest 2021 landscaping trends is converting your green space into a functional vegetable garden! Building this DIY Planter Box ($30 for supplies) will provide you with fresh veggies and increase your home’s marketability to future buyers!
Replace entry doors
New doors can instantly elevate a home’s exterior when you’re working with a tight budget. After all, a door is the first thing guests will see when they arrive. The average cost could be covered by a tax refund or stimulus check. You can also DIY this project to save more.
A wooden deck addition
As a prospective home buyer, are you more likely to purchase a home that has a deck? The answer is probably yes! DIY a wooden deck to create an outdoor oasis with a limited budget.
3) Revamp your home’s interior
Hire a professional organizer
We all have a room in our home that could use a good purge! Home organization can feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to begin. Hire a pro organization team to tackle this project for you. Ultimately, it will improve your home’s appearance and help you access the items you need when you need them.
Get a deep clean from a professional housekeeper.
Everyone likes to come home to a tidy home! Hire a housekeeping team to deep clean your home. A visit from a housekeeping team will help you start fresh and make upkeep a little less overwhelming. A deep clean can cost anywhere from $200-$400 depending on the market and services provided. This is also a great option if you hope to sell your home shortly. A clean home will result in better quality listing photos and home showings.
Transform your “dumb home” into a smart home
Hey Alexa, “Turn my home into a smart home.” It’s 2021, and smart homes are here to stay. You can spend as little or much as you want and work smart features into your home over time. A great place to start is a video doorbell ($99) or a virtual assistant like Amazon’s Alexa (starting at $40). Build up your home’s capabilities by adding in smart lights, vacuums, and security systems. This will keep your home up-to-date in the eyes of potential buyers – and you’ll get to enjoy the gadgets in the meantime!
Here’s an overview to help you begin your smart home transformation.
Add a fresh coat of paint
On average, it costs about $2,000 to have a professional paint the interior, but you can save money by doing it yourself!
Accent walls have been sky-rocketing in popularity over the past year, and it’s not too late to jump on the trend! Here’s an example of a professional-looking DIY accent wall that’s simple enough for anyone to take on!
The cost of new floors is about $6- $10 per square foot (depending on the material you use), so while you might not be able to refloor your whole home with just one stimulus check, you can certainly get new kitchen floors! Upgrading the floors of the highest-trafficked areas in your home can go a long way when it comes to reselling – hardwood floors alone can add up to 2.5% to your home’s value.
4) Start a home repair project
Let’s face it; a repair is usually necessary at some point in your career as a homeowner. While many home repair projects aren’t glamourous, they can save you a ton of time and money in the long run if they are prioritized. If your home requires a repair that you can tackle after getting a quick YouTube education, you could save on labor costs and potentially increase your home’s market value.
Here are a few examples of projects that you can DIY:
- Fixing a leaky pipe
- Garbage disposal repair
- Replacing a faucet
- Patching a hole in your drywall
- Re-grouting tile
- Paint your interior
- Clean furniture upholstery
- Restore your deck
- Replace or remove flooring
- Replace roof shingles
- Build or replace a wooden fence
It’s also okay to hire a pro if you don’t have the time to dedicate to a DIY project. Either way, you have nothing to lose by investing in a home repair project. You will either reduce the risk of needing to make a much larger investment in the future, or you will improve your living space.
5) Treat your loan officer to a cup of coffee
We’re just kidding on this one (or are we)? We’d love to meet with you over coffee to discuss your home financing plans. If there’s ever a way for us to help you take the next step with a refinance, investment property, or move-up buy, we’d enjoy the opportunity to work with you!
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