Month: April 2017

Home Updates That Deliver on Value

More and more, homeowners are choosing to stay put and renovate rather than buy new. Before you get started on an update to your home, take a look at the projects that may net a higher return on investment and those that remain popular no matter the ROI.

High-Value Home Projects

Exterior: According to the 2017 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine, an indoor renovation in 2016 averaged a 63.5 percent return, while curb appeal projects paid back an average of 74.9 percent. To take advantage of this higher ROI, look into outdoor improvements like swapping out your front door for a steel one or updating your home’s siding.

Insulation: Improving the efficiency of the attic with air sealing and fiberglass insulation continues to sit at the top of the high-value list, boasting an impressive 107.7 percent ROI.

Master suite: As push notifications and email updates blur the line between work and home, there’s a growing emphasis on creating serene, peaceful spaces. A master bedroom addition complete with a walk-in closet and spacious, well-appointed bathroom can bring comfort along with a respectable 64.8 percent return.

Popular Despite a Lower ROI

Would you like to make a few changes regardless of the return? You’re not alone. Homeowners continue to invest in kitchen and bathroom projects even when the ROI is low. But keep this in mind: Overall, replacement projects pull in a larger return (74 percent) than remodeling jobs (63.7 percent). The latter, however, often focus on personalizing the space, which may explain the popularity.

Looking to ride out rising mortgage rates by staying in your current place? Industry insiders predict that will be common, with many homeowners looking to renovation to spice things up.


What To Do Before Hitting the Road

Do warmer temperatures have you daydreaming of a spring or summer road trip? Before you pack up your vehicle, prioritize preventive maintenance tasks and give your car a good detail. In honor of National Car Care Month, here are a few post-winter pointers to tackle before you hit the road.

Tend to Tires
Cold temperatures cause tire pressure to fall, and slick or bumpy roads can do a number on tire alignment. Check your tires regularly and add air when necessary to return them to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. And don’t forget to rotate and align tires to keep their tread from wearing.

Change Windshield Wiper Blades
Be prepared for spring showers by hitting the road with newly replaced wipers. Worn, ineffective blades often squeak, jump and leave streaks that can inhibit a clear view of your surroundings.

Test and Replace Your Car Battery
Both cold winter weather and blazing summer heat can take a toll on car batteries, reducing efficiency and causing corrosion. To ensure your battery has plenty of life left, look for a location that can test it. If the voltage is low, consider replacing it to avoid the inconvenience of the battery dying unexpectedly.

Wash and Wax Your Entire Vehicle
Salt, sand and winter grime can corrode metals and ruin paint. To prevent weather-related damage, give your car a thorough wash on a regular basis, and don’t neglect the undercarriage. Once the vehicle is dirt-free, coat the surface with a layer of wax to protect it from spring and summer storms.

Giving your car attention in the form of regular maintenance and cleanings will help prolong its life and keep you safe on the road this spring.