5 Renovations to Consider Taking On Right Now

published Jul 30, 2018
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(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Almost every homeowner has a renovation project in mind, but the big question is: When should I do it? Sometimes, it makes sense to save up and put it off. But in certain cases, it would behoove you to do it sooner. These are the medium and big-ticket projects that, yes, will add value when it’s time to resell, but are also improvements you want to enjoy for yourself. If you don’t want to use cash savings or high-interest credit cards to pay for your project, a home improvement loan from SoFi can be a smarter way to get you cooking in your dream kitchen.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

1. Upgrade Your Kitchen

If you’re a home cook, you probably know exactly what your kitchen needs to work for the way you cook. A full kitchen renovation or upgrade can set you back as much as $50K depending on the appliances and finishes you choose, but having a great place to cook and congregate in your home might be worth it for you. If you’re a homebuyer, you know that an upgraded kitchen can add a ton of value to a house. According to Houzz’s recent study of trends in U.S. home renovations in 2017 and 2018, homeowners see an average return on investment (ROI) of 83 percent for this kind of remodel.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

2. Open Up the Floor Plan

In the old days, smaller, secluded rooms meant more efficient temperature control and more formality. These days, we favor more casual living, and thankfully have made crucial advances in HVAC technology. An open layout lets in more light, makes for a more social home, and allows for better airflow.

A renovation like this will call for the help of a structural engineer and architect, so don’t expect to skimp. Depending on the size and structure of your home, this project could be a huge and expensive undertaking or a simple and affordable one. Either way, the average ROI for this type of remodel is 48 percent.

(Image credit: Chris Stout-Hazard)

3. Get Great Curb Appeal

First impressions count…especially when it comes to real estate. Professional (or even amateur, if you have a green thumb) landscaping may be visually appealing to new buyers when it’s time to sell, and in the meantime, it will make you happier to come home. Keep in mind that young trees, shrubs, and perennials will take two to three years to fully fill in, so landscaping is something you definitely want to invest in early on.

Other outdoor improvements such as a new front door and vinyl siding replacement can also have a big impact on resale value—the average here is also 48 percent—while also making your home more efficient.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

4. Remove a Drop Ceiling

Once utilized as a way to save on energy costs, new forms of insulation have made the drop ceiling a thing of the past. If you’re renovating an older home, you might be surprised to discover that you could raise your ceiling height significantly…but it’ll come at a cost. Vaulting a ceiling can cost up to $20K per room, but the long-term value may make it worth it, and in the meantime, your space will feel larger and more gracious.

In addition to having more headspace, you’ll have the chance to consider upgrades to other features like molding and lighting. Other interior room renovations like these can have an average ROI of 67 percent.

(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

5. Create a Whole New Space

The number of bedrooms, baths, and total square feet are top factors when it comes to pricing a home. So, if you’re considering a conversion or addition, it makes sense to go for it as soon as possible. Converting an attic or basement to an extra bedroom can have a high value for you, followed by exterior additions such as a sunroom. Just keep in mind that in most markets, square footage will only include spaces that are temperature-controlled year-round, so budget accordingly for insulation, heating, and A/C.

Of course, not all renovations have to be big projects (wink emoji)…

Getting a great return on your renovation is only one part of the equation. Having time to enjoy it is even more important. SoFi offers no-fee home improvement loans of up to $100K that can make your dreams a reality. You can find our if you’re pre-qualified and get your rates in two minutes or less (don’t worry—it won’t affect your credit score1). Receive your funds within seven days on average, and get going on your next project sooner rather than later.

This post is sponsored by SoFi and was created by the Apartment Therapy Creative Studio. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Apartment Therapy possible.

1To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.

SoFi Lending Corp. is licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law, license number 6054612. NMLS #1121636. Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply; see SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. 375 Healdsburg Ave., Suite 280, Healdsburg, CA 95448.