Love Your Home again

3 upgrades to step up its style and functionality

Two women with color cards

Over the past few years, the housing market has been unstable due to rapid interest rate hikes following a previously hot market. As a result, limited availability has led to high housing prices, which has caused many families to stay in their homes. The positive news? Your home has likely increased in value, and you can leverage that value through a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to fund home improvement projects (instead of dipping into your savings). HELOCs function like credit cards in that you only borrow what you need, providing you with access to the money as needed. The only question now is, which home improvement projects provide the most pleasure and bang for your buck?

Fresh coat of paint

Before you roll your eyes at what seems like an obvious point, we can’t underscore enough the value of fresh paint. Paint is relatively inexpensive – a gallon goes for less than $50 – and it can be a DIY project. Stick to a neutral palette and add in some pops of color with your décor, and you will have a brand-new space in no time. If you have no interest in DIY-ing, hiring a professional won’t set you back too much. Beyond your walls, consider putting a fresh coat of paint on outdated kitchen cabinets. This will take more elbow grease or additional money to pay a professional, yet you’ll likely be thrilled with the results, and you’re adding value, to boot!

Refinish your floors

Whether your existing floors are in desperate need of refinishing, or you want new wood flooring, you will add immediate and everlasting value to your home, namely:

  • Beautifying your home. Wood flooring comes in all colors and sizes that you can easily match to your home’s look and feel. No matter what you choose, it will give your home a timeless, classic, warm and inviting feeling.
  • Durability and longevity. Wood flooring is durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic, making it ideal for high-traffic areas of your home. When cared for properly, it can last decades, making it a cost-effective investment.
  • Better air quality. Wood flooring, unlike carpets, doesn’t trap dust, dirt and allergens, which means that it can improve the indoor air quality of your home. Plus, it’s easy to clean!

Decluttering your closets 

A tidy and well-organized closet is something everyone loves. If you use high-quality materials to add custom built-ins and extra shelving, it can be a wise investment, as it may pay off in the future if you decide to sell your home. Let us name the perks of revamping your closet:

  • Reduced clutter. A well-designed and organized closet can ensure every item has a place of its own. That will make mornings far less stressful!
  • Increased storage space. Gone are the days of searching endlessly for your favorite sweater. Adjustable shelves, shoe racks, baskets and other nifty solutions will maximize your storage space, keeping your clothes organized and easily accessible.
  • Added happiness. A clean, beautifully organized space will give you just the boost you need to start your day. Instead of digging through piles of unorganized clothes, you’ll be satisfied with how organized and de-cluttered your closet is – every day!

Leverage Your Home’s Equity to Fund Upgrades or Renovations

If by this point you are considering how to pay for a home upgrade, relying solely on your savings account or monthly income might not be realistic , especially for big ticket projects. An alternative solution to consider is a HELOC, which allows you to tap into your home’s equity and reinvest that money back into the home, increasing its value even further. As a bonus, certain upgrades might even qualify for tax deductions (speak with a tax advisor to learn more).

Wondering about the equity in your home and how much you might be able to access? This useful HELOC calculator can help provide a ballpark estimate after plugging in your home’s approximate value and the amount left on your mortgage. Still not sure if a HELOC is right for you? The experts at Solarity Credit Union are ready and waiting to learn more about your home improvement goals and walk you through your options.

About Solarity Credit Union

Solarity Credit Union is a not-for-profit, cooperative financial institution with nearly 200 employees serving approximately 54,000 members. With more than $1.3 billion in assets under management, Solarity offers a wide range of financial products and services with a focus on home loans and providing extraordinary experiences to members. Solarity membership is open to everyone who lives, works, worships or attends school within a Washington State school district. More information can be found at

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