5 Smart and Easy Home Upgrades for Prospective Borrowers

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

A home is more than just a place to hang your hat. It’s also the single largest investment most people will make in their lives. Protecting and adding to the value of that investment is simply a smart economic decision — one that more and more borrowers are interested in pursuing.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University estimated that remodeling projects are on the uptick and will continue to rise. More than $337 billion is spent annually on renovation and repair of owner-occupied housing in the U.S.

Focus on Changes That Make Homes More Desirable, Modern, and Valuable

The first thing most borrowers do once the papers are signed is start making the fixes that the previous owner neglected or adding on features the building is lacking. It’s important to find out which upgrades, improvements, and renovations boost home equity the most and net the greatest return.

Some upgrades, like finishing a basement or building an addition, unquestionably add a great deal of value but can be extremely expensive and time consuming. In the wake of the pandemic, with an increase in demand for home building supplies and the headaches of a global supply chain crisis to contend with, some of those major upgrades are coming at an even steeper premium.

So, in this article, we’ll share five home upgrades that are easier to plan and execute but which will still go a long way in adding significant value, efficiency, and desirability to a property for borrowers:

1. Add a more secure front door 

Security concerns are especially top of mind right now. Crime rates are unfortunately rising nationwide and homeowners are prioritizing improvements that will enhance their sense of sanctuary and safety. Changing a wood front door to one made of steel not only makes it more difficult for intruders to break in, it provides better thermal insulation, saving them on heating and cooling bills.

2. Change the garage door 

Like the front door, garage doors are a vulnerable point of entry to the home. Additionally, older-style garage doors have begun to look dated and can prove unreliable. Newer four-section, steel garage doors on heavy-duty, galvanized steel tracks often come with lifetime warranties, and can easily be adapted to reuse the existing motorized opener.

3. Replace fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms 

The hardware on cabinets can be swapped out in just a day or two in cases but makes a huge visual impact. Changing faucets and other plumbing fixtures can take a little more time and effort but also doesn’t have to be a major investment. Yet, switching to a stylish, and most of all, cohesive look across all the fixtures makes a home look modern and enhances buyer perceptions of the thought and care that went into every detail.

4. Choose a tankless water heater 

A few years ago, tankless water heaters were still a relatively new technology. They couldn’t supply enough hot water for larger homes with several bathrooms. Today they are more affordable and powerful, and a far wider variety of options exist to fit the needs of any home. More and more buyers like the idea of hot water on demand without a giant water boiler. Plus, in addition to having smaller footprints, tankless heaters are more energy efficient and last longer than traditional storage tank heaters.

5. Install smart thermostats that save money in the long run

Arguments over where to set the thermostat have bedeviled homes for generations. Thankfully, smart technology offers a solution that not only ends the family squabbling but lowers energy costs and makes the home look and feel more modern. According to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), smart thermostats that automatically adjust and optimize the interior temperature based on real world use are among the three most requested home technologies.

It’s never a bad time to learn how to maximize and enhance the value of your home, and some upgrades are so smart and easy that virtually everyone should be considering them.

FSB Mortgage is a nationwide, bank-backed lender offering a broad range of loan products to retail customers. Get in touch today to learn about our flexible lending products, fast turn times, and exceptional customer support.