Improve the property

Some remodeling and improvement projects boost a home’s equity. The average payback on common upgrades is 64 cents for each dollar spent, according to Remodeling magazine’s research. And that’s if the home sells within a year. Smaller projects — adding attic insulation, replacing a garage door or front entry door — do better at increasing equity, especially if you pay with cash instead of via a loan.

Not all home renovations add value, however, so choose your remodeling projects carefully. Even if you’re not planning to put your home on the market in the very near future, you can make it safer, more comfortable and more energy-efficient. Financial institutions offer loans and financing that can help you accomplish your home improvement goals.

Best value-adding projects

In its “Cost vs. Value Report,” Remodeling Magazine compared the average cost of a home improvement project with what real estate agents estimated to be the resulting average median price increase. The projects where value exceeded cost include basement finishing, steel entry, and garage door replacements, a new roof and fresh vinyl siding.