Older couple

Longtime homeowners may be content with their home just the way it is, but home equity shouldn’t be overlooked as retirement nears. The ability to utilize tools such as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) or a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) can be a valuable resource to support and maintain retirement plans. 

While keeping up with the Joneses may not be the priority, you should consider whether an effort to update your home might be worthwhile. An overdue refresh makes life in retirement more enjoyable, but it could also increase your home’s value when you need it most. 

Don’t Get Left Behind

Often, it is the established neighborhoods that attract buyers looking for larger lots and homes with character. However, few of these shoppers want to sacrifice the aesthetics or features of more modern kitchens and bathrooms. 

If you find yourself living in a dated home in an in-demand area, investing in an update of these high-traffic spaces is likely the most effective renovation investment. Despite the potential, it’s important not to go overboard. New appliances and a fresh look are a safe approach and don’t necessarily require the time and financial investment of a chef-worthy kitchen or spa-like retreat. 

Find Room To Grow

Regardless of your neighborhood, adding square footage, or at least making better use of the space you have, is a reliable way of increasing your home’s value. Starting from scratch with a new addition can be a costly and sometimes risky path. Instead, consider less expensive options. 

A home with unlivable space in a basement, attic or garage may present tremendous potential for added equity. Converting these areas into additional square footage can not only add property value, but it can also make more comfortable spaces for visiting loved ones, or possibly a new revenue stream in retirement, via vacation or long-term rental. 

For those who find adding a large space too daunting or cost-prohibitive, smaller projects such as creating an additional bathroom within the home or opening up the floor plan can bring a substantial increase in value. This approach can also add to the home’s functionality, and the realities of getting older, by making the layout more conducive to aging in place. 

Increase Curb Appeal

Of course, the exterior of your home creates an all-important first impression. Updating deteriorating or unattractive siding with newer, more appealing materials such as cement boards can go a long way toward maximizing your property’s potential. 

Addressing apparent problems, such as foundation concerns or a roof due for replacement may not add immediate value, but can prevent future issues and unnecessary depreciation. Keeping the home well maintained is also a condition of a HECM, so it’s better to make those repairs sooner rather than later. And remember, a fresh coat of paint and basic landscaping are affordable options that can make the home stand out and positively impact an appraisal. 

Explore the options for accessing your home’s equity at OpenMortgage.com. Our professionals understand the commitment you’ve made to your home and bring the same passion to serving our clients. Call to speak with a representative today.

Things to know about Reverse Mortgages:
  • At the conclusion of a reverse mortgage, the borrower must repay the loan and may have to sell the home or repay the loan from other proceeds
  • Charges will be assessed with the loan, including an origination fee, closing costs, mortgage insurance premiums and servicing fees
  • The loan balance grows over time and interest is charged on the outstanding balance
  • The borrower remains responsible for property taxes, hazard insurance, and home maintenance, and failure to pay these amounts may result in the loss of the home
  • Interest on a reverse mortgage is not tax-deductible until the borrower makes partial or full re-payment
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