Renovate

5 Home Improvements to Finish Before You Refinance

The ability to refinance your mortgage, and the rates you get, are determined by an appraisal of your home. An appraiser will compare your home to other homes that have sold in your area. To get the best options, you need to tackle home improvements that add functional space or deal with major structural issues.

Expand the Square Footage

One of your best bets, when looking to refinance, is to add square footage. If you have the space, add an extra room that can be used as a bedroom or an office. Kitchens also make a big impact. Knock out a wall and add extra space to create a larger area. If you’re renovating on a slightly smaller scale, turn a powder room into a full bath.

Build Up Your Lot Size

If there is a parcel of land annexing your yard, consider purchasing that to expand your lot size. In some areas, extra space is at a premium, so this might not be an option. In that case, consider developing an outdoor living space. Build a patio or deck with indoor amenities such as a kitchen area or fire pit.

Make Structural or Electrical Repairs

While most appraisers aren’t looking for cosmetic updates such as new paint or a redecorated room, they will take note of major structural changes. Check your foundation and roof to make sure they are in good shape. Consider updating any old electrical wiring and adding voltage, particularly if you live in an older home.

Expand Your Garage

If you don’t have a garage, now is the time to build one. If there is no space for an attached garage, build a detached version. Or, expand a single-car garage to a double car garage with some extra room for storage.

Add a Loft or Office Space

If you have a small outbuilding or barn that isn’t currently redone, finish it for storage, extra living space or an office space. Depending on how your property is zoned, you may be able to create a small apartment that can generate some extra income. You could also opt to build an in-law suite, which will add livable square footage and is a popular option for home buyers.

When you’re looking to refinance your home, your improvements should be focused on adding square footage and making sure the basic structure of your home is in good condition. When you get an appraisal, these types of changes will help your home valuation in comparison to other homes in your area, thus giving you the best refinancing options.

Emma Sturgis

Emma Sturgis

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