Which Home Improvements and Renovations Really Pay Off?

Learn value-boosting home improvements and helpful renovation tips from homeowners like you

No matter what the motivation for your home renovation may be, you’ll want to know that your money is well spent. RenoFi helps you finance your project in the smartest way possible, and now we’re sharing which improvements provide the best return on investment (ROI) to increase your home’s value too.

home improvements

Here are the top 3 renovations with the best ROI:

1. Remodeling Kitchen & Bathrooms

As the two most utilized spaces in a home, investing in these rooms makes sense for both ROI and quality of life. While renovating your kitchen or bathroom can be the most expensive in terms of construction, you’ll get as much out of it as you put in. In some of the hottest housing markets, that means a return of 100% or more of the renovation costs. And while you still live in the home, energy-efficient upgrades here can provide significant savings on utility bills and boost overall enjoyment of everyday activities for you and your family.

2. Finishing the Basement

High-income buyers in our area and throughout the Northeast particularly value a finished basement, according to a study by NAHB. On average, finishing this space will provide 70% ROI, meaning you can increase your property value by $700 for every $1,000 you spend. With some drywall, flooring, and paint, this space offers more heated square footage, which can bump a home into a different price bracket.

Finishing your basement is also a great way to add more livable space as a recreation area, room for visiting guests, or organized storage space — all without having to bump out any walls or worry about property zoning restrictions.

3. Upgrading the Curb Appeal

Investing in the exterior of your home offers plenty of benefits. In addition to enhancing the beauty of your property, certain upgrades also help improve your home’s efficiency and security. Window and door replacements not only add to your curb appeal architecturally but with newer low-E glass and built-in insulation, you can enjoy superior interior comfort. And newer roof materials provide added durability and longevity throughout harsh weather conditions. Overall, projects that involve exterior improvements - from new windows, roofing, and siding to painting and landscape maintenance - can result in 80% ROI.

How RenoFi Can Help

In case you haven’t heard, RenoFi has introduced the smartest way for homeowners to finance their entire renovation wishlist — no matter what size or scale. That’s because with our renovation home equity loan, you can increase your borrowing power up to 3x the traditional home equity loan, while enjoying lower monthly payments.

Let us explain a little more about how renovation home equity loans work. There are three primary benefits:

  1. Unlike traditional home equity loans, renovation home equity loans are based on what the AFTER renovation value of your home. With the ability to borrow up to 90% of this ARV, it dramatically increases how much you can borrow for your renovation.
  2. You don’t have to refinance your first mortgage with a renovation home equity loan. So if you already have a fantastically low first mortgage rate locked in, you won’t have to refinance into a higher rate and pay the additional closing costs.
  3. With construction loans, your contractor has to request up to 5 draws to receive your money throughout the process, requiring inspections from a third party and a bunch of tedious paperwork — all of which cause headaches and delays. RenoFi loans don’t require any of that, so you can control the distribution of your funds and can keep your project moving.

A few more things…

Enjoy the Lowest Rates. Compared to personal loans, credit cards, or refinancing your mortgage into a higher interest rate, renovation home equity loans are the lowest cost solution for financing your reno.

And A LOT Lower Fees. Just like any home equity loan, renovation home equity loans have incredibly low fees compared to first mortgages. And thanks to our partnerships with awesome credit unions, our renovation home equity loans have the lowest fees in the industry!

Choose Your Term. Again, just like a traditional home equity loan, you can choose a term of 5, 10, 15 or 20 years.

It Works For Projects of Any Size. While construction loans really only make sense for major home renovation projects (due to those frustrating draw periods and paperwork which your contractor also hates), a renovation home equity loan is a good option for something as simple as finishing your basement ($25k-$50k) up to a total home remodel ($250k-$500k+).

More Tips for Planning Your Renovation

In addition to financing your renovation in the smartest way possible, RenoFi is here for tons of helpful insight every step of the way. With a growing network of awesome credit unions, contractor partners, and happy homeowners, we can help pair you with the right lender or general contractor for your project, while sharing the lessons learned from other families who have recently gone through the same process.

For example… Here are a few helpful tips shared by previous RenoFi clients.

1. Borrow enough to give yourself a buffer

When Kyle and Cicely of Moorestown NJ chose tiles and countertops that were more expensive than they originally planned and unexpectedly had to replace their HVAC during construction, they were suddenly over budget. As a result, they had to supplement their RenoFi loan with personal savings. As they reflect back on their budget and loan request, they wish they had borrowed a bit more. Make sure you’re borrowing enough money to anticipate costs you didn’t plan for to prevent having to compromise elsewhere.

2. Establish clear communication with your contractor

For Katie and Ken in Ardmore PA, they admit to kicking themselves for not getting exact costs from their contractor for extra electrical work and heated flooring they added to their project as it progressed. Having a more clear picture of their final costs may have swayed a few other purchasing decisions they made along the way.

They also realized they were on a slightly different page than their contractor from day one. While his budget was reflecting solely the new addition being done, Katie and Ken assumed it incorporated updates to their existing space as well. So in the end, there were discrepancies in the total costs. Their advice is when you start speaking to your contractor, be very clear about your expectations and the work being completed versus the work being budgeted. Don’t be afraid to speak up if something isn’t as you expected, otherwise, you’ll only end up frustrated.

3. Don’t go through the loan process alone

No matter what our homeowners' project entailed, one thing almost all of them had in common was not knowing where to start when it came to financing.

When DJ and Vanessa of Villanova PA met RenoFi, they were just about to close on a traditional loan, having accepted they had no other choice than to refinance. They went through all the headaches of comparing endless quotes from so many different banks and felt at their mercy while trying to hunt on their own. RenoFi was the one all-encompassing resource they needed to find the right loan - and also save $119K in future interest payments.

For Katie and Ken, it was over 9 months of blindly filtering through endless loan options before they had the help of RenoFi. With a first mortgage of less than 4%, it was crucial they find a loan that didn’t require them to refinance, and RenoFi’s system made finding the right solution for their specific goals a lot easier.

Whether you’re considering some of the smart, value-boosting renovations recommended above or you simply have those personal wish-list items you’ve been dreaming about, let us help you create a happier place to call home. To find out how much you can borrow for your renovation, try out our loan calculator , and contact us to discuss your project.

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