Stuck at home? Renovations to consider.

Library | 9/11/2020

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Home is where the heart is. Increasingly, it’s also where a lot of people are now spending the majority of their time. Thanks to the COVID crisis, many people now work, go to school, dine, exercise and seek entertainment – all within the safe confines of home. Feeling stir crazy yet?


If you find yourself trapped with your loved ones under one roof, you might as well make your home more functional (and beautiful) for the current situation. It’s a good time to start considering some home renovations to make your life easier and more enjoyable.


Below are some home improvements that might help save your sanity.


1. Create a dedicated office space. If you are one of the millions of people now working from home, it’s time to stop working from the couch or the kitchen table and get down to business. Find a space in your house that you can convert to an office – ideally a room with a door or on a floor of its own for privacy and quiet. Some people are even buying outdoor sheds and renovating them into office space by outfitting them with electricity, AC and heaters. (Make sure you get Wi-Fi there too!) Invest in a desk, an ergonomic chair and good lighting for those Zoom calls. Create a space that motivates and inspires you, and try to keep it free of clutter to reduce stress.


2. Designate a classroom. If your kids are attending school virtually, it can be helpful for them to have a school area that is separate from where they play or sleep. Make sure they have computers/laptops with enough power and bandwidth to support a lot of video conferencing, a good set of headphones and that the rest of their school supplies are organized and handy. Working at a desk in a somewhat private area can help improve their focus.


3. Update your kitchen. One of the unexpected consequences of COVID is that with many restaurants shut down, you have to cook. A LOT. Every day! If your kitchen is small, dark, or doesn’t have enough storage or counter space, this can be a daily trial. You can do a full kitchen renovation to get more space, or a refresh - maybe get some new appliances, have the cabinets refinished or get new counter tops. You and your family are probably spending a lot of time in the kitchen right now so make it into a space that you’ll all love.


4. Make movie magic. Is your house equipped to entertain your family? Since concerts, movies and other fun activities may be off the table for the foreseeable future, it might be wise to invest in a cool home theater. A big, high definition TV and sound system can really improve your family’s TV/movie-watching/video game playing experience – as well as providing comfortable places to spread out and relax. An awesome home theater space may make everyone more content to stay home.


5. Work out. If you’ve let your gym membership lapse but don’t want to gain the dreaded “COVID-15”, think about finding a space in your house for a home gym or yoga studio.  Whether you want to go full tilt and get weight machines, exercise equipment, mats and mirrors or just create a Zen space where you can follow fitness videos without bumping into furniture, having your own workout space can be a much-needed stress reliever.


6. Add an Addition. Maybe your house didn’t feel so small until you were all in it together 24/7. Maybe your adult children were supposed to head off to college but now are taking classes online at home. Maybe you want your elderly parents or in-laws to stay with you, instead of going to a senior community that may be risky right now. Whatever the reason – you need more space.  While there are many things you can do to your current house to make it feel roomier, an addition is the only way to actually make it bigger. Bonus: adding another bedroom/ bathroom suite can increase the value of your home.


If you need help paying for these renovations, you may want to explore taking out a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). A HELOC is a revolving line of credit which functions like a credit card and uses your home as collateral against default. And just like a credit card, you can spend it on anything you want – including desks, computers, TVs, weight machines, and kitchen counter tops!


Additionally, a HELOC lets you take out funds as you need them, and you only pay interest on the money you actually spend – not the entire amount of the loan.


If you’re interested in improving your home and are looking for a way to finance it, we can help. Learn more about opening a HELOC or talk to one of our helpful home loan consultants today.


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