DuPage Habitat for Humanity


Building Equity in Your Home

Our Habitat ReStores have the answers!


As soon as you move in, you'll probably start brainstorming ideas to spruce up your new home. Exploring new colors, patterns, and layouts can be exciting and freeing. These changes can not only upgrade your own living space but also build value in your home!


In celebration of Financial Planning Month, we are focusing on building home equity. Building equity in your home shouldn't break the bank, and many times it can be simpler than you think. Before we jump into building home equity with straightforward home upgrades, let's get started on the basics and learn what it is!


What is Home Equity?

"Home equity" is the portion of your property that you truly "own" compared to how much you have left to pay on it. To do a quick estimation of your home's equity, subtract your mortgage's remainder from your home's current value. So if your home is worth $500,000 and you have $100,000 left to pay on your mortgage, your home equity is $400,000; as your loan amount decreases, your equity increases.

There are two main ways to gain equity on the home you own; the first is paying down the home's principal balance. The second way is what we will focus on: increasing the market value, specifically through home renovations.

Simple Solutions That Go a Long Way

Any change you make can impact home equity positively or negatively. Make a note of how each upgrade, replacement, and construction will be affecting your home's value because it will ultimately impact the equity you are working toward in your home.

With that, here are simple ways to build home equity:


  • Paint the interior or exterior of your home. For exteriors, white is usually the most popular as it looks clean and makes the house appear larger. Beige is another good option for the exterior since it blends in with many different types of landscapes. For interiors, neutral colors like blues, grays, and whites are the most buyer-attractive.
  • Stain your deck. If you have a deck or porch, adding a few extra layers of stain can give a pop of color to your front or back outdoor area.
  • Replace flooring in notable areas of your home. Due to regular wear and tear, carpet and hardwood can age quickly. Simple replacements can change your home's appearance, vibe, and equity.
  • Increase storage space. Kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, and basements can all be handy places for shelving.
  • Do some landscaping or gardening to spruce things up. Keeping it simple with aesthetic landscaping will be the best way to go. Try some landscaping additions like flowers, plants, trim, or landscaping rocks to add some pop to your yard, preferably improvements with small upkeep; home appraisers judge the condition, not how expensive the materials are.
  • Install energy-efficient windows. Drafty, single-pane windows increase electrical costs in your home now and will be a turn off to potential home buyer's years down the road.  


Aesthetic changes to your home can only go so far. More significant projects like building a fence, home additions, or a remodel are other ways to improve your home's resale value and drive up your ROI. 


Read more about DIY improvement projects - 5 Seasonal DIY Projects, DIY Home Improvement Projects


Whatever you're looking to do, the ReStores have you covered! We've got a deep selection of home improvement and building materials at our ReStores in Addison, Aurora, and Chicago Heights! 
Stop by this week to see how you can improve your home's equity with the help of the ReStore!



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