It’s been a crazy year, but we have some exciting things to look forward to – warmer weather and brighter days ahead. Many of us will also see another stimulus check in the coming weeks and months, and you may be wondering how to put those extra dollars to good use. For homeowners, your stimulus check can go a long way in updating and upgrading your home, and if you do it the right way, it can be a smart investment that adds value to your home. Here are ten of the best ways to spend your stimulus check on your home.
1. First, Do Essential Repairs and Maintenance
Before you consider doing any upgrades, make sure you don’t need to make any important repairs or essential maintenance tasks such as HVAC maintenance, appliance repairs, gutter cleaning, or roof repairs. It will feel good to check these items off your to-do list knowing that your home will continue to run smoothly.
2. Replace Your Windows
Depending on the amount you receive, you may be able to afford to replace several windows. This upgrade has two benefits: replacement windows can add to the value of your home with an average 75.8 percent return on your investment and can significantly reduce your energy bills. Plus, you may qualify for a tax credit if you install energy-efficient windows in your home.
3. Install a Smart Thermostat
This is a relatively small investment for potentially big savings on your energy bill. According to a Nest customer survey, smart thermostat users saved an average of 10-12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling costs, with an average savings of $140 per year on energy bills. Your smart thermostat could pay for itself within a couple of years!
4. Give Your Bathroom a Facelift
Bathroom updates almost always are a good investment and don’t have to break the bank. Smart decorating updates without the need to move plumbing make a big impact. Think painting, installing new light fixtures, installing new faucets, getting a new shower curtain, installing a new countertop, replacing knobs and handles, and maybe even installing new tile . Not only are these cost-effective updates, but they’re all great DIY projects you can tackle in a weekend.
5. Do a Mini Kitchen Update
Just like bathrooms, budget-friendly kitchen updates can really pay off. Replacing outdated appliances (see tip #9 below), replacing the backsplash, painting cabinets and replacing knobs and pulls, installing a new sink and faucet, updating the lighting, and maybe even installing a new countertop are the smartest kitchen updates you can make with the least amount of money and effort.
6. Consider Replacing Your Front Door
According to FortuneBuilders.com, the nationwide average cost of a new entry door is around $1400, which is exactly the amount of many people’s stimulus checks. The average return on that investment in increased home value is $1280, or a 90.7 percent return. That’s not too shabby, plus you’ll have a swanky new door to increase your home’s curb appeal.
7. Pay More on the Principal of Your Home Mortgage
If repairs and maintenance are all taken care of, you could always add money to your mortgage payment, which can make a nice dent in the length of your mortgage, potentially saving you hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage loan.
8. Invest in Some Landscaping
Creating more curb appeal is a great way to add to the value of your home, particularly if you plan to put your property up for sale in the near future. Landscaping can make a significant difference in how your home is perceived simply by just cleaning up your yard, planting some trees, adding some greenery and flowers, and sprucing up your lawn.
9. Replace Your Appliances
If you have old and outdated appliances, or If you think your appliances are on their last legs, it may be wise to take a preemptive step and look into replacements or upgrades. Some of the best appliance and systems upgrades to increase the value of your home include refrigerators, built-in stoves, and high- efficiency washing machines.
10. Get a Home Warranty
A smart way to prevent unexpected costs of appliance and home systems breakdowns is to get a home warranty. American Home Shield home service plans protect covered systems and appliances from breakdowns and normal wear and tear. Not only could you save on expensive repairs or replacements, but you’ll also give yourself peace of mind knowing you and your home are covered by the oldest home warranty company in the country.
Also, all of our home service plans come with our Shield Assurances, which means you’ll get coverage for things that aren’t automatically included in many home warranty plans, including:
- Older items, no matter their age
- Undetectable pre-existing conditions
- Items without maintenance records
- Breakdowns caused by lack of maintenance
- Improper installations, repairs or modifications
- Malfunctions due to sediment, rust or corrosion
- Removal of old, defective items
- Duplicates of the same item, like that extra fridge in the garage
Now is a great time to get a home warranty! To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we’ve launched our best home service plans yet to help you protect your home and keep it running smoothly.