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3 home improvement projects to consider this summer

Now that summer has officially arrived, many homeowners will begin seeking out updates to make to their houses.
6/30/2017 6:08:19 PM

Now that summer has officially arrived, many homeowners will begin seeking out updates to make to their houses.

But not all home improvement projects were created equally. First, you'll want to choose something that'll improve your comfort or enjoyment in the home. Next, it's important that the project be feasibly completed with quality while still being within your budget. Finally, it's always a good idea to choose an upgrade that'll benefit the home's value.

Here are three popular options among homeowners this summer:

Build a deck

Summer is all about being outdoors with friends and family. Whether you're hosting a big gathering or just relaxing in your backyard, a deck can provide the perfect spot to grill or chill out. There are plenty of decking material options, but many consumers opt for wood. A wood deck has visual appeal, plus it's more cost-effective than composite options, FortuneBuilders reported.

The typical wooden deck project costs around $11,000, according to Remodeling. However, the average homeowner will recoup around 71.5 percent of that.

Though wooden decks might be more popular for aesthetics and upfront costs, composite decks tend to be more long-lasting and require less maintenance. These will cost closer to $17,000 upfront, though they'll likely get around $11,000 back in the sale of the home.

Upgrade your yard

Adding some dimension or color to your yard is another way to make outdoor get-togethers more appealing. Landscaping is one of the most popular home improvement project requests, FortuneBuilders noted. Plus, curb appeal is one of the best things you can do for your home's value - it is the first thing future buyers will see, after all.

Bushes, trees and flower gardens are all great additions. Plus, if you choose the right plants and the right location, you can improve your home's energy efficiency, according to the Department of Energy. To maximize this benefit, plant trees in strategic locations to provide shade to your home. If you plan to install several in your yard, orient them so they direct wind toward your home for greater cooling potential.

The cost of landscaping depends on the size and scope of the project. But, FortuneBuilders recommended estimating the price to be around $3,000; it could add around 28 percent to the home.

Clear away drafts with new windows

Summer is the perfect time to address those drafty windows that kept you cold all winter long. But new windows aren't just good for energy efficiency; dual-pane windows will also block more noise from the outdoors.

New windows can be pricey, but they're often well worth it. A wood frame window replacement generally costs around $18,759, and homeowners may get as much as $13,691 back in the sale. This option is generally chosen for aesthetics. The biggest downside is the upkeep - making sure the wood doesn't warp, and repainting when it begins to peel.

To avoid the maintenance and for a lower price, other homeowners go with vinyl frames. Replacing windows with this choice costs about $15,000. At the time of sale, homeowners may get around $11,000 back for these windows.

Financing home improvement projects this summer

Making updates to a house is often just a part of being a homeowner. However, there's no denying that while these upgrades are often fun and exciting, they can be a bit expensive. For this reason, many people seek out renovation loans to help space their payments out over time.

Academy Mortgage has several renovation loan options for homeowners looking to vamp up the property they purchase or refinance this summer. Ask about Fannie Mae's HomeStyle loan, which caters to homeowners planning on making structural updates or minor repairs to their houses this summer. Or, if you're ready to take on a larger project, consider the FHA 203(k) full loan. For this, a borrower should plan to spend $5,000 or more on structural changes or minor repairs. Rates are currently low, making this summer a prime opportunity for people to make home upgrades with a refinance and renovation loan.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.