A flawlessly landscaped yard is a joy to behold. It can transform the entire look and feel of any home, and it doesn’t hurt that improving curb appeal can increase your home’s value by 7%. While we all dream of lush lawns and gorgeous gardens, undertaking a major landscaping project is expensive. Even if you DIY, the cost for supplies can be steep, and it takes time and skill to create and maintain an enviable outdoor space.
Don’t worry: We’re not here to crush your dreams of Arcadian tranquility. In fact, we’ve got good news! Your home equity may be able to pay for your landscaping project.
Home Equity Is Ripe for the Picking
Thanks to massive home appreciation over the past few years, homeowner equity is at extraordinary levels. Nearly half of homeowners with a mortgage have properties that are considered equity rich — meaning they owe less than 50% of their home’s estimated market value. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the average homeowner gained about $55,000 in equity over the previous year.
If you’ve owned your home for a few years, and your home has gone up in value, you may have gained some serious equity, too. But that money doesn’t have to stay tied up in your house. By refinancing and cashing out your home equity, you can use it to fund a landscaping makeover. In doing so, you’ll be reinvesting that cash back into your home and growing its value even more.
Outdoor Upgrades That Add the Most Value
The key to using home equity wisely is to allocate those funds for value-adding improvements. Sure, you could use it to install a pool or an outdoor kitchen, but keep in mind that those projects provide a lower return on investment (ROI). If your goal is to further increase your home’s value, you’ll get the best bang for your buck by choosing simple upgrades that boost curb appeal.
These enhancements will revitalize your outdoor space while adding value to your home:
Planting perennials and annuals
Installing flowering shrubs
Applying mulch and pruning shrubs
Regular lawn maintenance (weed control and fertilizer)
New wood deck
If your home’s curb appeal isn’t living up to its potential, then perhaps it’s time to change that. Upgrading your landscaping is a smart financial investment that will also give you a new sense of pride in your home. By tapping into your home’s equity, you may be able to achieve your landscaping goals sooner than you thought.
How Does Cash-Out Refinancing Work?
A cash-out refinance replaces your current mortgage with a new loan in which you borrow more than you owe and pocket the difference in cash.
For example, let’s say your home is worth $200,000, and you owe $100,000 on your mortgage. You could refinance and take out a new loan amount of $150,000. Since you only owed $100,000 on your previous mortgage, you’d get the $50,000 difference (minus closing costs) paid out to you at closing.