For many, this time of year feels like Christmas, or that they have won the “teeny tiny” lottery. Somehow, getting a tax refund feels like found money, even though it was really your money, that you overpaid the federal government. The recently enacted “COVID Economic Stimulus” payments, on the other hand are, in fact, unexpected funds. The recipients are so happy that the check from Uncle Sam has earned a cute nickname - “stimmy.”
The big question becomes “what to do with these federal funds?” Wise people like your grandmother had the right idea. She said, “Smart money is invested, not spent on immediate gratification.” For current homeowners, the best place to invest this refund and stimmy is on home repairs and improvements. The return on this investment can be substantial when it comes time to sell the home. Just think of it as “ROI from IRS.”
The wide array of home improvement products available from Acme Brick, Tile and Stone is a great place to get some ideas.
Improvements in kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, outdoor entertainment areas, and even the front door can add value to what is probably your largest investment - your home. Click here to see some great ideas.
An Expert on Home Improvements
With his background in home construction and renovation, Logan Moss of Acme Brick, Tile & Stone has a wealth of information on which home improvements will offer the best ROI.
“One of the first things to consider, before choosing a home improvement project is to consider just how long you plan on living in your current home,” he said. “This will establish priorities for the funds you have available.
“If a homeowner plans on staying in his/her home for the next five years, it is advisable to focus on those projects that need repair in order to get a better quality of life. If a sale is planned in the immediate future, ‘curb appeal’ and improving rooms that are high priorities for buyers are the primary considerations.”
“Coincidentally, I am facing these decisions about my own home improvements at this time. We have been told by a realtor friend that updating the kitchen and bathrooms adds the most value to the home. After that, floors and neutral paint colors are next. Using tax refunds, stimulus checks, and other funds, we are updating the façade of our house by adding thin brick to give it a more contemporary look.”
From $100 to $3,000 - Great Ideas for Driving ROI
The financial wizards at NerdWallet have some practical advice for using those refund and stimulus funds to invest in a home and get better ROI when it comes time to sell.
For Less Than $100
- Replace cabinet hardware. Changing knobs or handles is fairly simple but gives the whole room a new look.
- Seal the driveway. You’ll reduce unsightly cracks and slow deterioration of the concrete or asphalt.
- Get the HVAC system serviced. Regular cleaning can add 10 years to the life of your system.
For Around $500
- Add a tile backsplash. Backsplashes provide an instant transformation at a fraction of what a full kitchen remodel costs. Excellent tile choices, including the new antibacterial PROTECT ® tile are available from Acme Brick, Tile & Stone.
- Refresh interior paint. If selling the home soon, neutral colors are best.
- Insulate the attic. Buyers love energy efficiency, and the homeowner will enjoy lower utility bills.
For About $1,000
- Get a new front door. Replacing a wooden door with one made of fiberglass means the door won't swell or contract with the weather. For a bit more, the Acme wrought iron doors represent the pinnacle in curb appeal.
- Replace inefficient appliances like the water heater, toilet, refrigerator, or dishwasher.
- Tile the bathroom floor. Acme Brick, Tile and Stone has a dazzling range of bright, easy-to-clean tiles.
For About $3,000
- Install new kitchen countertops or make other improvements in the kitchen. Here are some additional kitchen improvement ideas for using that refund for enhancing the most popular room in the house.
- Replace the garage door.
- Enhance your landscaping. Adding clay pavers, a fire feature to the outdoor entertainment area or artificial turf increases curb appeal and functionality.
Other Refund Refurbishing Ideas
The costs for some home improvement projects vary, based on their size. Flooring and painting are good examples of this. However, using these refunds with savings can pay big dividends when it comes time to sell the home. Here are a few ideas to consider.
- Add a fireplace
- Replace old, damaged flooring with new hardwood or durable synthetic flooring
- If the home is constructed of brick, paint the brick in a different color
- Add metal siding for a contemporary look
- Add an R&R room for meditation, reading, or workouts
- Use thin brick to add warmth to interior walls
- Build a “sanity shed”
There are hundreds of ways to invest that income tax refund or stimulus check, but none are safer and potentially more lucrative than making home improvements. Use those funds wisely.
Ready to renovate and refurbish? Click here for some excellent advice from the experts at Acme Brick, Tile & Stone.