It’s tax time again. You may have already received a refund, or have one on the way. The average family gets a refund of just over $3,100 – but how to spend it? With the U.S. real estate market continuing to rebound since the housing bubble burst, now is a great time to invest in your biggest asset while increasing your comfort and enjoyment. If you’re fortunate enough to get back a substantial amount from the IRS, it can go a long way toward improving your home.
Here are five money-wise ideas to make your home more comfortable and valuable in the long term.
- Replace old windows and doors. After another winter of record-breaking cold temperatures in many parts of the country, we’re certain many homeowners have window and door replacement at the top of their to-do list for 2015. Upgrading to energy-efficient windows* saves you money – as much as $350 annually according to the U.S. Department of Energy – and makes your home more beautiful inside and out. If your windows don’t need upgrading, consider a new entry or sliding glass door. Both can also provide significant energy savings.
- Upgrade landscaping. A smaller tax return is well-spent when you upgrade the landscaping in your front yard to improve curb appeal. By adding a paver patio, a water feature or planting perennial shrubs and flowers, you can bring new life and increased appeal to your outdoor spaces.
- Add insulation. Even a few inches of fiberglass insulation added to your attic could save you some serious green in the future. A professional roofing contractor can determine how much insulation you need to reach the recommended attic R-value for your region.
- Install a tankless water heater. Consumer Reports reports that tankless water heaters, which use high-powered burners to heat water only when it is needed, are on average 22% more energy-efficient than gas-fired storage-tank models.
- Replace garage doors. If your garage doors are old, clash with the style of your home or just look too plain, replacing them can dramatically increase your home’s curb appeal.
For more information about improving your home with windows and doors, find a Sunrise® authorized dealer in your area.
*If you purchased ENERGY STAR®-qualified products from Sunrise in 2014, you may be eligible for a tax credit on your tax return. Learn more here.