Like many that receive a tax return, it is used for items you have wanted, or put towards a “needed” vacation. Instead of throwing it away on unnecessary items or a long weekend away, why not put it back into your home where you can enjoy the upgrades for years to come, not to mention adding to the value of your home if you ever plan on selling it or pulling equity out in the future. With the typical refund averaging a couple thousand, there is plenty to put back into your home to give it some needed upgraded curb appeal or interior projects that you have been putting off.
As values have been increasing, some homeowners have already taken out equity loans to either pay off debt or complete a home renovation, so before you take out additional debt, any tax refund should be applied to this first. If you do not have an outstanding loan, if there are credit cards with balances, it would be wise to pay down, as high interest rates on credit cards can add to the number of months it would take to pay off, especially if only making the minimum payments.
If your return was in the hundreds using for your home do not worry, there are many small projects that you can use that will go a long way in freshening up the area. Painting would be a great way to start, as a fresh coat of paint can brighten up a room, plus painting the ceiling and trim a bright white will really make them pop. Cleaning up the yard is another great way, adding to your landscape such as laying down fresh mulch, replanting flowers, or an exterior paint job such as porch posts, fence, or even your deck with can be cheap, but still time consuming and much needed effort.
If you saw your return to be in the thousands your list of possibilities grew considerably, as you can begin major home renovations such as replacing appliances, bathroom/kitchen sink or faucet, or counter tops will give an instant upgrade. If your carpet has seen better days then maybe it is time to replace or upgrade to laminate floors, immediately replacing a dated look to a home. If you have older storm doors then these could be replaced for a few hundred dollars each, adding to the energy efficiency that may currently be lacking in the home.
For whatever money you don’t spend on the house, you can always use your tax refund for other useful purposes. Rather than investing in your house you should invest in your retirement. If you are diligent about saving and investing money then you won’t need to wait on a tax return in order to move forward with home improvement projects.