Thanks Uncle Sam! Revamp Your Home with Your Tax Refund
Posted in Home Remodel on May 8, 2018
Ah, April. You bring us so many beautiful things: budding, bright spring blooms, brighter, warmer, longer days, and early signs of the start of something heavenly – San Diego summer. Oh yeah! Did we forget to mention one of our favorite tidings that April brings? A nice little (or fingers crossed, not so little!) check from Uncle Sam himself, post tax season. We’re talking about you, tax refund: you wonderful, often-unexpected pocket of cash that for many of us can feel like ‘free’ money that we can use in any way our heart desires. Should your heart desire improved value on your San Diego home, consider putting your tax refund back into your property. While most Californian’s won’t see a refund substantial enough to bank roll an entire kitchen remodel or new master bath, many may be surprised with the home improvements you can fund thanks to your refund! Let’s explore your options:
$ 500 – $900 Refund
- Front Door Focus: Considering turning your refund focus to the exterior of your home, specifically, with the front door. Let’s face it, first impressions matter and most often, your front door is what will catch people’s eye. It is what welcomes you into the home and the right front door can provide excellent curb appeal overall. Should you ever choose to sell your home, a beautiful, appealing front door can increase your home’s chances of attracting potential buyers who are simply driving by. Consider funneling your fund into a new front door or sprucing your existing door with a fresh coat of paint.
- Landscape Loving: You don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars to improve your home’s gardens or landscaping! It’s obvious that a beautiful, well-cared for garden can add great curb appeal and beauty to your home but did you know that, according to American Society of Landscape Architects, landscaping can contribute to almost 28% of your home’s overall value. If your yard is lacking a little luster, consider planting perennial plants that take to the San Diego climate such as Lavender or Poppy – they’ll bloom beautifully, add a lush dimension to your garden, and often last years rather than ‘annuals’ that need to be replaced. Another option would be to invest in adding lower-maintenance, water-wise landscaping such as succulents to your property.
- Light the Way: Adding outdoor landscaping doesn’t have to be incredibly costly, but this fairly minor improvement can have great impact on your home’s appeal! Adding outdoor lighting can raise the profile and curb appeal of your home – in some cases, it may even protect your home from potential burglary. Consider lighting up your front walkway, landscaping, or even adding motion-sensing lighting.
- Baseboard Breakdown: Often, your home’s baseboards may suffer from wear and tear – and a whole lot of ‘grime’. Consider using your refund to hire a painter or contractor to re-caulk and re-paint your baseboards, a fairly minor improvement that can really update the look and feel of a room. Depending on the size of your baseboards and square-footage of your home, this project may run a bit steeper, so consider pricing this out first!
- You’ve Got Mail: Add a new mailbox or new house numbers to your San Diego home and watch the curb appeal climb! These tiny tweaks may not cost much, but often act as a ‘face lift’ to the front of your home.
- Refund Rug: The right rug can really make the room – whether it ties in or adds a pop of color, adding a rug can add a sense of dimension, warmth and ‘finish’ to your space.
- Come Clean: Consider using your refund to hire an organizer to help you tackle any space of your home that may feel overwhelmingly cluttered, hire a service to deep clean your carpeting, reseal your flooring, power wash the deck or even the entire exterior of the home!
- Handle Happy: Using your refund to replace the knobs or handles in your home, specifically in the kitchen or bathrooms can give the space a whole new look or feel without a hefty price tag
- HVAC ASAP: Did you know that regular cleaning can add 10 years to the life of your HVAC system? Consider using the refund to hire a service to come clean your cooling system to ensure you and your home can stay cool for years to come.
$900 – $1,500 Refund
- Show Your Kitchen Some Love: Many say that kitchens and baths are what sell a home, and an outdated kitchen can not only be a turnoff to potential buyers, but not as enjoyable for you to use! Consider replacing your inefficient or outdated appliances such as your refrigerator or dishwasher, opting for a more modern, stainless steel option. While you won’t be able to bring home all top of the line appliances in this price range, you could absolutely chose to replace one appliance or find models on sale that still provides a great update to what you have. You could also use your refund to update your cabinetry color, install a new sink, add a backsplash or swap out dated drawers!
- Front Door Face Lift: As mentioned, you can paint your front door for a total upswing in curb appeal, but should you have the funds available, replacing your existing front door with a steel front door can actually provide over a 100% return on initial investment, according to Remodeling Magazine, plus added insulation and security benefits!
- Gorgeous Garage: Replacing your old garage door with a more modernized, appealing version won’t just update the look of your home – it can provide an estimated ROI of 83.7%. Need more convincing? 32% of home buyers say that the garage is one of the most important rooms of the house.
- Beautiful Bathrooms: Even the simplest of upgrades can positively impact your bathroom and with this size of a refund, you have quite a few options! Think: updated toilet, fixtures, bathtub, sink, mirror, vanity or even ceiling lights. Consider replacing any old, ceramic tiles with sleek subway-style tiles for a more modern look. If you are happy with the look of your bathroom but want to focus on improvements that will add value over time, you could invest in a new water-efficient toilet or added bathroom vent. Combine these ideas with a fresh coat of paint and your bathroom will have a whole new look! Thanks Uncle Sam!
- Perfect Patio: Depending on the desired size and material, you could create an outdoor oasis for your family using your tax refund! The average cost of a ‘bistro style’ (note: smaller, more intimate space ideal for drinks around a small fire pit) can range anywhere from $800 to $1000 while a larger, 16×18 sized space (ideal for entertaining or grilling) could run anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500. Consider pricing out if a patio is right for your refund!
$2,000 – $3,000 Refund
- Fix Your Flooring: While quality hardwood flooring can run from $7 to $14 per square foot (potentially more if you choose professional installation, of course) this upgrade can return almost 1.5 to two times what it costs should you choose to sell! This investment majorly upgrades the look and feel of a room, and buyers will notice.
- French Door Fantasy: With a sizable refund like this, you could consider turning two adjacent windows into an opening for stunning French or even sliding glass doors – automatically brightening up your space. Opt for modern, energy-efficient doors to cut down on heating and cooling costs, as well.
- Light it Up: Upgrade your home’s lighting system or fixtures in your entryway, dining room, living room, or bedrooms – for a sizable upswing in overall feel and look. Don’t forget to swap out all of your bulbs to LEDs!
- Open Sesame: Consider using your refund to create a more ‘open’ look and feel, literally. Creating an open floor plan in your San Diego home can be as easy as hiring a contractor to remove a wall, leaving you with a larger, open space that is ideal for entertaining and flow of the home! Homes with a more open floor plan often feel larger, as well!
- Countertop Consideration: Whether you plan to cook in your kitchen forever or list it in the near future, one upgrade that has a major impact is kitchen countertops. Consider replacing your current countertops with natural stone or granite (there are levels that can make this ever-popular option a bit more affordable, as well) for an incredible overhaul!
Whenever you are tackling a home-improvement project, it’s crucial to consider the ‘big picture’. Should you choose to take on a larger scale remodel or simply invest in smaller projects, your home will reflect such wonderful efforts. Whether you are hoping to improve your home’s resale value or maximize your family’s enjoyment of the space, we hope you consider our list! How will you spend your tax refund in 2018?