It’s hard not to feel like a home renovation expert these days. HGTV is on 24 hours a day, you can find a YouTube tutorial on pretty much anything, and most people are pretty good at working Google. All this information is great, but it can also be overwhelming. When it comes to the financial aspect of home improvement projects, there are many mistakes smart people make every single day.

Not All Renovation Projects Will Actually Help Your Resale Value

All too many people justify home renovations because they think they’ll get those dollars back when they sell their home. Not so fast. A dollar spent on a renovation doesn’t necessarily translate into a dollar in added home value. has an annual cost vs. value assessment table which provides estimates for the cost recouped with each type of home improvement project. According to the site, in 2017, home owners who added a midrange bathroom to their homes were expected to only recoup 54% of the cost. Adding insulation to the attic was reported to provide the greatest return on investment with an estimated 107% of investment cost regained over time.

Your Neighbor’s House Will Affect Your Resale Value More Than You Know

Sure, your neighbors’ houses will influence whether prospective buyers think they’d be buying into a “nice neighborhood.” If your home doesn’t have something your neighbors do, that could hurt you. For example, if your home is the only one in the neighborhood that doesn’t have two bathrooms, adding one could pay off in a big way when you sell. On the other hand, a buyer may not be willing to pay a premium just because you picked granite countertops when your neighbors have laminate.

Don’t Get Too Wacky or Artsy with Your Home Renovations

There are many things you can do to your home that can hurt its value. For example, while to you a big mosaic tile design on the wall of your shower or entry to your house may be beautiful, to another buyer it may seem gaudy or odd.  If you care about resale value, keep your unique style to non-permanent features of your house that can easily be changed.

Don’t Finance Your Home Improvement Projects the Wrong Way

If you don’t have cash on hand to pay for your home improvement projects, you might consider how you’ll pay for them.


  • Use a credit card you can’t pay off before it charges you interest
  • Tap into your 401k (especially if you’re under 59 ½)
  • Use a payday loan


  • A Home Equity Line of Credit
  • Fixed Home Equity Loan
  • Renovation or Rehab Loan

We help people finance their home improvement projects every day with these sorts of financial tools. Visit a branch, or WECU’s home loan center to discuss your options.