4 Affordable ways to increase your home’s net value this tax season

That tax return you're about to receive? We've got a suggestion as to what to do with it: increase the net value of your home. 

We've long said your home is likely the single biggest investment you will ever make. The average tax return in 2018, according to SavingToInvest.com, is $2,840, which may not seem like a large sum to some folks. To others, it is a world of opportunity. 

Thus, we offer some suggestions to increase your house value for under $2,500.

Make extra mortgage payments

A colleague recently told us how, with each tax return year after year, he makes an extra payment on their mortgage. For those anxious to pay off their homes, It makes complete sense.

Let's take a 30-year mortgage at $2,000 per month. If you make one extra mortgage payment per year, you'll have your mortgage paid off in about 26 years. True, each family's' circumstances are different, but for many families, that's just a few years past your kids' college graduation(s). And right about that time, hopefully, the concept of retirement takes fruit. 

Build (or extend) your back deck

This is a project for your family, for you and the neighbors or for you and your buddies. Hiring a contractor is an option too-- and hiring a building inspector is a must -- but to keep costs at or below your 2018 tax return, seeking help from friends is necessary. The building supplies and tools (and maybe a few pizzas and a case of beer) will eat up most of your tax return, but at the very least, there is no need to worry about labor costs.

Not very handy? We all have a friend or two that is. Think of it as a lesson in Construction 101.

Already have a deck? Add a fire pit in the back yard

Fire pits are all the rage in the Northern states, especially New England. While adding or extending a back deck is achievable with a couple of handy friends, we recommend however, that you consult a licensed and insured mason to construct a fire pit. Fire pits need to be a legal distance from your home and your neighbors' homes.  And while there may not be a legal requirement, they also need to be a 'safe' distance from your trees, your neighbor's trees, and your shed. which a licensed mason would would be happy to help you with.

Replace old, drafty windows

Replacing your old windows with new, energy efficient ones is a win-win. Replacing windows can cost anywhere between $350-$900 per opening. However, not only are you adding to your house value, you're going to see significantly lower heating bills in the winter.  In the meantime, they'll work better when you open and close them!

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