Investing in Home Improvements

a dining table with a chair

For a current or prospective homeowner, a house represents more than just a place to lay their head. A home is also an investment — one that, for most people, is the largest they’ll ever make. Your home represents a huge chunk of your net worth (in fact, there are a significant number of Americans with no wealth beyond the value of their home). Building a secure financial future is about more than just the value of your home, but any wealth manager will tell you that your home’s value will play a major role in your long-term finances and retirement plans.

To a significant degree, the long-term value of your home depends on outside market factors. What stock markets do in New York City and what interest rates the Fed comes up with will change the value of your home; so will the real estate market in your area and beyond. But there are aspects of your home’s value that you can control.

If you invest in the right home remodel or renovation, you could actually increase the value of your home. And while homeowners shouldn’t treat their home as their entire portfolio, wealth management experts caution, they can and should maximize the value of their most expensive asset. A home is not an “investment” in quite the same way as a stock or a bond is, but treating a home as a store of value (and potentially an appreciating asset) is a smart addition to your financial plan.

Where Improvements Matter Most

A renovation project can make your home more comfortable and more enjoyable. But that’s not the only reason to let contractors start drilling into your drywall or installing a new deck, explain home renovation contractors in NJ. The fact of the matter is that quality remodeling can actually increase the value of your home. We’ve just established that financial advisors and retirement experts agree that your home’s value will play a role in your retirement; by extension, we can conclude that great home renovations can form a de facto part of your financial goals.

Looking at things this way means that we need to consider the return you could get on your investment. Which renovations offer the best “ROI” (as the finance gurus like to call it)? Though each home has its own unique needs, there is a typically correct answer to this question. Generally, experts tend to recommend kitchen renovations as the best way to get bang for your buck. Other popular picks include deck additions, new veneers, and smaller replacements and improvements like new garage door systems.

Getting the right remodel

No matter how wisely you choose your home improvement project, the most important part of the equation will be the home improvement contractor that you hire for the job. Making the right decision here will ensure quality craftsmanship and will prevent nasty surprises. Making the wrong choice could leave you with crooked patio stones and tile, botched installations, a sagging porch, or other problems. Getting the right team from the start will save you money in the long run, so make sure that you find a crew that has everything you need: architects, a certified installer, plumbing pros, and so on. Check out a general contractor’s web site and read reviews before hiring him or her! Check resources like Angie’s List.

Be sure to ask questions. A home addition is a large project; can your general contractor get it done in a timely manner? Vinyl siding should be a faster project, but can your contractor keep his or her price estimates down to reasonable levels? Will this project require a subcontractor? How much remodeling experience does this team have?

A good contractor won’t mind hearing all of these questions — and won’t mind answering them. Think carefully and choose wisely, because your finished basement or bathroom remodel isn’t just about your comfort now and in the future. It’s also about your long-term financial future and your retirement plan. Asking the right questions is sound risk management, and your high net worth later in life will prove you right.