Improve Your Home WITHOUT Borrowing Money. Wait! What?

In our last few posts, we’ve been talking about a variety of ways to increase the value of your home and ways to leverage the equity from your biggest investment to improve the quality of your life (and your investment) both now and for years to come.

You’ll recall that the equity in your home is simply the difference between the amount you owe on your home loan and its current market value. Many people choose to borrow against this equity to finance repairs and improvements to their homes, thus increasing the home’s value and improving their living space. People also get home equity loans to help with big expenses like weddings and higher education.

It’s easy (ok, it’s easy for me!) to get carried away with the idea of extensive renovations. First, you’re just painting the hallway. Then the baseboards don’t look right. So you decide to replace those. While the baseboards are off you realize that would be a good time to replace the carpet… The list goes on and on, and before you know it you’re in for six months of living in a torn up house and another $20,000 in debt.

So one has to wonder: is it necessary to tear up your house and go into debt just to freshen up the place? Well, sometimes it is. But not always. Consider these budget friendly ideas and give your place a whole new look:

  1. Add candles. Mostly inexpensive, sometimes scented and sometimes not, candles can really change the ambiance of your home. Choose colors and scents that lift your mood.
  2. Tired of your furniture, but not ready to invest in new? Repurpose what you have. Move some furniture from one room to another or bring the wrought iron bench from your patio into the entry way. It’s your house – do whatever you want!
  3. Change up the window treatments. Visit a fabric store, find a fabric that will fit in with the rest of your decor, and ask the salesperson for advice on how to drape it and which hardware to use. Flat sheets give you lots of yardage at a low price, so consider them an option for window treatments, too.
  4. Bring in some lamps. Like candles, lamps can add to the charm of a room. Find them in department stores, chain stores, or yard sales.
  5. Bring in some flowers. Whether real or made of silk, a single rose in a bud vase or a colorful bouquet in an elegant glass vase, flowers brighten up your space and add color.
  6. Clear the clutter. Too many knick-knacks detract from a room, so get rid of what you don’t want anymore and put away the rest of it. A small collection of one type of item is more attractive than an unorganized variety of “things.”

Bottom line: if there’s water in the basement or a hole in the roof, you have to fix it right now and that can be expensive, so you might need a home equity loan to help. If you’re just tired of the way things look, though, try changing it up a bit or adding a few new accessories. You might be surprised how much it helps!

Join us next week for the first post in our April series. Next time around, we’re talking about vacation plans!

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