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4 ways to maximize your home value right now, according to experts

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There are a few strategic moves you can make to increase your home's value this spring, experts say. Getty Images

American homeowners currently have an average of $193,000 in tappable equity. If you're sitting on a large amount of home equity, you'll realize larger gains if you decide to sell your home. You can also borrow a larger amount through home equity loans for things like debt consolidation, home improvements, or a down payment on another home. 

Unfortunately, however, not all homeowners saw their home equity increase to the same degree over the last few years. The steep climb in home values began in Q3 of 2020 and continued through Q4 of 2022, so if you bought during or after that time, you likely missed out on some of the rapid appreciation. 

And, some markets saw larger increases than others. For example, the median sale price of existing homes in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, only increased by $15,300 between 2021 and 2023. On the other hand, the Anaheim, Irvine and Santa Ana areas of California saw an average increase of $161,000 over the same period. 

Compare your home equity loan options to find the best fit now.

4 ways to maximize your home value right now, according to experts

While the recent home equity surge may not happen again anytime soon, here are four ways experts say you can still boost your home equity this year. 

Increase your home's curb appeal

Increasing your home's curb appeal can help you get a quick value boost. 

"House and window washing along with cleaning of the concrete driveway and sidewalks increase the value of a listing by an average of $10,000," said Brian Durham, vice president of risk management and managing broker at Realty Group LLC and Realty Group Premier. 

"Additionally, fresh new mulch and a few brightly colored flowers are inexpensive ways to improve curb appeal," he adds.

Learn more about the home equity loan rates you may qualify for here.

Make energy-efficient upgrades

Energy-efficient upgrades can also help increase your home's equity

"One of the best types of home upgrades to look into right now is green energy. Having a source of sustainable energy, like some solar panels, can increase a home's value significantly," said Seamus Nally, the chief executive officer of TurboTenant. 

Nally adds that energy-efficient upgrades can help to keep your energy bill down and may help you qualify for tax rebates. 

Add a desirable room

Adding a room can be another value driver. 

"Do you have room in the basement? An additional bedroom or bathroom can add a great amount of value," said Durham. 

However, you don't just want to add any room. It's important to consider the types of rooms that will be desirable in your area. 

"An example to consider as valuable or not would be converting a garage into an elaborate and expensive recording studio or home theater," said Rebecca Jones, certified real estate appraiser and appraisal expert at real estate school, The CE Shop.

"This finished square footage might end up decreasing the value and marketability of your property in a neighborhood in which parking on the street is difficult and most other surrounding homes have designated parking," Jones says.

Perform strategic renovations/remodeling 

You can also consider strategic renovation and remodeling projects

"Another way (to boost your home value) is through remodeling existing bathrooms or the kitchen. These are great ideas for resale but also increase the enjoyment of the home while you live there," said Durham. 

Mike Hardy, managing partner at Churchill Mortgage, also recommends bathroom and kitchen remodels and says they tend to be one of the highest ROI improvements you can make. 

Along with improving the aesthetics and style of your home, don't forget about the fundamental maintenance it may need. 

"Although it may seem like a higher priority to renovate the kitchen, renovations like roof repairs and exterior siding replacement typically yield the highest long-term return on investment in comparison to other home improvement projects," says Michael DiMartino, senior vice president of project services at Power Home Remodeling. 

"Real estate agents pull comps in neighborhoods, and a home with a new roof is much more attractive than a home with a 15-year-old roof that's going to need replacing in the next 10 years," DiMartino says.

The bottom line

When deciding which value-boosting strategy you should implement, it can help to consider what's most important to buyers in your local area. "Remember that real estate values and priorities can vary by market," said Hardy. He recommends getting an expert opinion from an experienced local realtor before jumping in. 

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