Profile picture for tamika256

Home improvements

I live in plainfield, IL, and my house is currently 40,000 underwater.  I'm trying to decide whether or not to fix my kitchen up (cabinets and countertops) or do a partial finish on the basement this year.  Which will bring the property value up faster?  Or, would it make sense to just put the extra money toward my Home equity line of credit?
  • June 06 2010 - Plainfield
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Answers (9)

My first question would be what your long term goals are with your current home Tamika.  More specifically if you plan on moving anytime in the near future or if your just looking for the best use of your expendable income at this point?

If you have no immediate plans to sell and see yourself in this home for an extended period of time then when comparing an investment into fixing up a kitchen or a basement, routinely the kitchen will pay better dividends.  Check out my blog.....www.teamkastein.blogspot.com and you'll see a recent list of top home improvements for your money and the list of the worst improvements for your money when looking for an average rate of return when you sell.  This should be helpful. 

If your goal is to do whats necessary to prepare it to sell, price points are extremely important in this buyers market and unless updating is a definate need, its not necessary the answer and you may be better off just paying down your line of credit.

If you would like at any point in the future, keep my information handy and I'll be available to meet with you for a free consultation and I can offer my professional advice.  I live in Plainfield and own run my brokerage in Naperville so I'm local and have a great pulse on this area.

Best of luck in the route you pursue :)
Ben
  • September 03 2010
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Pay your home equity down first. Maybe you can get by with a fix on the kitchen by updating hardware and countertops only.

Leanne
  • September 02 2010
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It depends when it was last updated and what it looks like. Forty K is not to bad all things considered.

Leo
  • June 07 2010
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Profile picture for tamika256
Thank you Mr. Roake, but I just had my home appraised in April (in an attempt to refinance my first mortgage, which i think i'm just going to give up on).  Thanks again for your input.
  • June 06 2010
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Hi Tamika,

If you'd like a CMA, I live in the area and would be happy to stop by and let you know exactly where your home value is.  I can also let you know about your options if you are wanting to sell.  Feel free to contact me. 

I agree with the other answers.  If you're not planning on staying, you won't get a whole lot out of any improvements, unless the kitchen is substandard for your neighborhood.  Finishing the basement will probably cost more than the value added would be unless you do all the work yourself and really enjoy the work. 
  • June 06 2010
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Profile picture for tamika256
I thank each of you for your suggestions.  To ZetaCross, you're correct my HELOC is about 250 a month which is half of what it was when I moved in back 2006.  As for how long I plan to stay in my home, I'm not so sure anymore.  I was hoping to sell the house in 2011 or 2012, but with the way the market is..who knows. 
  • June 06 2010
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Profile picture for ABBAUSA
Hold off on any improvements just yet.

Keep your maintenance up to date and be sure all honey dos are done.

Make sure you are staying put for at least 5 years or more before you invest anymore more money in your home.

Visit with a local Realtor© to determine current value and if a short sale will fit your circumstances.

Save some money as you can.

Good Luck!

James Callas - Realtor©

  • June 06 2010
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Profile picture for ZetaCross
It is always good to pay down home equity line. How long do you expect to stay in the home? The issue is that home equity line interest rates are extremely low right now. So it is not costing you that much. If you want to reface your kitchen cabinets and put in some new countertops, that could be done for $5000 or so. The safe thing is to pay down your home equity. Suze Orman would kill me if I didn't say that.
  • June 06 2010
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
Maintain the home and get the loans down.  Improvements will distinguish a home from others that are for sale but not necessarily add value at the moment.
The remodeling Magazine's Cost vs Value reports can help demonstrate that for you.
Improvements should be for your benefit first.  Do you like to cook and a new kitchen would make that even more fun?  Do you need some more espace for family/guests or a home theater?
  • June 06 2010
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