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10 Ways to Use a HELOC to Customize Your Home

Given the Northwest's tight real estate conditions, some homeowners are choosing to upgrade, remodel or spruce up their existing house - instead of taking their chances in the market and entering a bidding war. But with the average bathroom costing homeowners almost $9,600 and a kitchen update coming in at about $22,000, fixing things up can quickly clean out your bank account. Fortunately, we've got a way to help you make improvements without wiping out your cash.

A female kitchen fitter prepping cupboards
  1. Upgrade your kitchen cabinets and counters.
  2. Few home improvement projects have a higher return when it comes time to resell than kitchens. To keep your costs low, stick to changes that don't require you to add or remove walls or change electrical or water lines.

  3. Work on your curb appeal.
  4. Three of the top four remodeling projects on Remodeling Magazine's "Cost Versus Value" survey involve improvements to a house's curb-facing façade: adding a stone veneer, replacing a garage door and replacing the entry door.

  5. Incorporating an "eat-in" kitchen.
  6. More millennial homebuyers are bucking traditional home layouts, like formal dining rooms, and opting for multi-functional spaces. Enter the "eat-in" kitchen. One survey found that 30% of prospective home buyers ages 35 to 54 indicated that this is a "very important" aspect to them when house hunting.

  7. Convert and create a bedroom.
  8. What's the first thing most buyers look at when deciding whether to view a particular house? The number of bedrooms. Check your state, county or city requirements to be sure, but most areas only require a room to have an entry door and additional means of exiting (like a window or another door) to be classified as a "bedroom."

  9. Update your flooring.
  10. Unlike some other remodeling projects, flooring prices vary greatly – ranging from $3 a square foot for carpet to $12 a square foot for hardwood floors. If you're thinking of selling in the next few years, then you'll want to think strategically about your home's future buyers. If you think that your neighborhood and house would be popular with young couples and families, then you may want to install hardwood floors, as these demographics prefer hardwood to carpet.

  11. Spruce up your bathroom.
  12. HGTV reported that a bathroom remodel gave sellers a 102% return on investment. Repainting, replacing a bathroom's caulk or re-glazing an existing tub are easy weekend, DIY projects that can make a big difference.

  13. Swap out your storage.
  14. Most people's attics are full of items that should be donated, tossed or consolidated. Consider clearing yours out and turning it into something useful, like an office, bedroom or den.

  15. Replace windows with French doors.
  16. If you've got a backyard or deck area, then this is a relatively easy way to improve the flow of your home. "It makes the room feel bigger and gives you somewhere to go. Suddenly your home just feels more spacious," said Steve Aaron, from HGTV series "Selling LA."

  17. Deck out your backyard.
  18. Adding a wood deck recouped an 87.4% average return when it came time to resell. This could be especially strategic if your home and neighborhood are appealing to families and young buyers.

  19. Think energy efficient.
  20. If you're in need of new appliances, consider investing in energy-efficient models, which could pay off when it comes time to resell and save you money on your energy bills in the meantime.

    Contact your local loan officer to find out more about how our home equity line of credit could help you make upgrades for your lifestyle today and improve your home's value when it's time to resale.

Real estate agent and clients looking at paperwork in new home

Check out WaFd Bank's HELOC calculator!

Use your home’s equity to finance your next big project. Whether it’s to pay for a home renovation or remodel, or pay consolidated bills, a no annual fee HELOC from WaFd Bank is often more affordable than using credit cards or other loans.

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