The Best Home Improvements that Increase Home Value

Your home is your greatest asset in more ways than one. It serves as your family’s base, the backdrop to holiday memories, and of course, as your biggest investment. That’s why it makes sense to continually refine, refurbish and renovate your home to make each day that you spend there better, and to improve real estate values when you decide to sell. Island Federal Credit Union offers the following list of home inspirations— those improvement projects that add value to the way you live today, and ensure top dollar when you sell.

#1 A Weekend Chef’s Dream Kitchen

Ask any real estate expert for the home

Ask any real estate expert for the home upgrade with the greatest return on investment, and the answer will always be the kitchen. In New York, a mid to high-level kitchen remodel will bring homeowners a return of 78-82 percent. The ultimate dream kitchen includes an open floor plan with an island for storage/seating, ceiling height custom cabinets, high-end finishes (i.e. stone countertops and tile, glass backsplashes, commercial-grade cooktops and vent hoods), and built-ins like wine fridges, ice makers and pot-filler faucets. Add to that list, amenities like new flooring, lighting, appliances flush with cabinetry, and double sinks, ovens and dishwashers. Need to bring the outside in? Consider skylights and French doors that lead to an outdoor kitchen. Great renovations come from good financial planning. Let the experts at Island Federal Credit Union show you how to turn your home equity into cash for the kitchen of your dreams.

#2 Home Sweet Spa

Bathroom remodels and/or additions provide some of the

Bathroom remodels and/or additions provide some of the highest resale returns of any home improvement project. But, before you begin, start with “Why”? Are you modernizing the functionality of your current bathroom, or updating style and color? Consider who will use the space and how will it fit your décor throughout the rest of the house. Start with repairs, assess ventilation and upgrade electric and plumbing. Then, move on to flooring, cabinetry, tiles and fixtures. Some of the most popular bathroom upgrades include whirlpool bath spas, double vanities, heated towel racks, hidden toilets, rainfall and Swedish showerheads, oversized shower stalls, and bidets. Planning for the future, think about adaptations that work for mature markets too. Items like wider doorways, convenient height handles and fixtures, stability rails and in-shower seating. Age in place with a home equity line of credit from Island Federal Credit Union .

#3 Backyard Oasis

Backyard living spaces are becoming equally as important

Backyard living spaces are becoming equally as important as front of house curb appeal. Outdoor living rooms extend the square footage of a home and offer a variety of crowd-pleasing amenities with year-round appeal. Covered patios and decks rank high on the list of outdoor additions, alongside “wish list” items like outdoor kitchens and fireplaces/fire pits. Sanctuary spaces and water features continue to gain in popularity with ponds, fountains, Zen gardens and mediation rooms in high demand. A pool or spa can offer a respite from summer heat and daily stress, but high maintenance costs may offset resale value. Mature trees, professional landscaping, lighting, and decorative fencing also give backyards a boost. Your outdoor oasis is not out of reach. Talk to your loan specialist at Island Federal Credit Union about a fixed rate home equity line of credit.

#4 Cultivate Curb Appeal

Anyone who watches a home improvement show knows

Anyone who watches a home improvement show knows the value of curb appeal. It creates your home’s first impression! Landscaping is a key component of curb appeal, so clean out overgrown bushes, remove dead/overhanging trees, replace uneven lawn, install new beds for plants and flowers, and invest in a fully functioning irrigation system. Driveway, garage, walkways and lighting should also be a part of your landscape design. Replacing windows and doors and adding decorative window boxes and/or awnings go a long way in changing the look of your exterior. Larger front-elevation remodels may include adding dormers or porches, new siding and/or a new roof. Don’t forget small details that add up to big impact, like dramatic doorway and porch lighting, contrasting shutters, a stylish mailbox, bold treatment for house numbers and a fresh coat of paint. Put your house to work when doing work on your house. Get a low cost HELOC from Island Federal Credit Union .

#5 Popcorn Optional

A continuing trend is for new multi-purpose rooms

A continuing trend is for new multi-purpose rooms that bring families together. These high-end spaces can combine a media room with a home theatre, wine cellar and gym/spa to replace libraries and dens or transform a basement or attic. Key components in these high-tech spaces include the latest technology such as streaming media. Adding in-home theatre features (i.e. large screen projection and surround sound) take binge watching to the next level. Video gaming too, is driving demand for a large-screen, surround-sound experience. What takes these entertainment enclaves over the top are their high end finishes. Look for leather seating, hardwoods, specialty lighting, acoustics and integrated controls, along with fully functioning kitchen and bar areas for refreshments. Do More. Pay Less. With a Home Equity Loan from Island Federal Credit Union .

#6 How Suite It Is!

Today's master bedroom has evolved from a place

Today’s master bedroom has evolved from a place to begin and end your day to a comforting antidote to our ever-busier lifestyles. Offering a combination of sleeping space, sitting areas and spa-like bathrooms, master bedrooms are packed with a variety of new features and amenities. Upgrades range from raised, beamed, or coffered ceilings to crown molding and chair rail finishes. Lighting is key, so look for recessed lighting with dimmers, or sconces and chandeliers that create ambiance. For natural light, replace windows, add skylights or French doors. Fireplaces are a perfect compliment to designated seating areas. One of the most in demand features of today’s bedroom suites is a walk-in closet…or two! And no master suite is complete without a spa-like bathroom. The perfect master suite works for both inhabitants, resulting in double sinks, closets and, even separate master bedrooms for each partner! Improve any home improvement project by financing with a fixed rate home equity line of credit from Island Federal Credit Union .

#7 Upscale Downstairs

A finished basement can be a good investment

A finished basement can be a good investment now — and for the future resale value of your home. Experts report a 70% payback when you transform an existing basement into extra living space. The first step in any basement remodel is proper insulation. Check the foundation for dryness and cracks, and ensure outside elevation is graded away from the house for proper drainage. Insulation with a vapor barrier on both sides can keep cold and damp out and heat in. Understand your local codes as they relate to any plumbing or electric work you may plan to do. Another factor to consider in a basement: Safety. Plan an escape route in the event of an emergency requiring evacuation. Add pizzazz to practicality with amenities such as a media-rich man cave, cedar closets, walk-in wine cellars, counter-topped laundry rooms, bar set-ups and/or an exercise studio. DIY your dream project financing. Talk to the professionals at Island Federal Credit Union about a Home Equity Line of Credit.

#8 Get Smart

Pundits are calling 2017 the year of the

Pundits are calling 2017 the year of the SmartHome. For homeowners, these high-tech assists can impact virtually every area of the home from smart bulbs designed to make us sleep better to smart watering systems for our gardens. Connecting a home to the Internet of Things (IoT) today includes Nest thermostats and smoke detectors, August smart locks, and Ring video doorbells, and personal home assistants like Google Home, Bosch’s Mykie and Amazon’s Alexa. Energy costs, especially on Long Island, are a key consideration for upgrading to an energy-efficient SmartHome. Plus, these automation devices allow you to program on-the-go and monitor and manage in real time.

Investing in smart features, especially those that would help reduce monthly expenses are expected to rise in popularity and increase home resale values – especially among first-time millennial buyers. Be smart about your home. Talk to your Island Federal Credit Union loan officer about a HELOC today!

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