The warmer temperatures and the smell of backyard grills are the tell-tale signs that summer has arrived in St. Louis. For many, this is a welcomed time of the year; however, if your backyard isn’t quite ready for guests, the fun may be delayed. Start now and still have time to enjoy this summer.

We’re all aware that home improvements help increase a home’s value. Did you also know that outdoor enhancements can also help to increase the home’s value? Kory Kunze, First Bank Product Manager said, "Using a home equity line of credit can be a cost effective way to fund home enhancements, with rates lower than credit cards.  Borrowers can take advantage of attractive introductory rates if they plan on paying the loan off in a short amount of time.” 

A couple working on their home to improve it.

Outdoor Living

Buyers love decks because they add outdoor living space. Excellent for entertaining, backyard decks averaged an approximate 55% return on investment (ROI). Consider the maintenance of the material you choose. Often, composite decking material is a preferred choice over wood for its low-maintenance appeal.

Landscaping

Landscaping enhances the outdoor experience for everyone. Replace any plants that aren’t flourishing. Ask a local nursery what will work best for your soil. If you need to install all new landscaping, consider hiring a professional or asking them to sketch out what plants to place where. Often, if you're purchasing the plants from a nursery, they will do the layout inexpensively for you. However, that means you’ll have to do the installation.

Pool

Memories made in the backyard pool really make a splash; however, so can the price tag. Budget appropriately and get estimates. Find the style of pool that's in your price range.

Curb Appeal

Keeping a home in tip-top shape and ready for summer also means inspecting the exterior of the home. Do the shutters or doors need replaced or painted? A new front door can be one of your best investments when it comes to home improvements.

Taking advantage of a home equity line of credit can be an excellent way to finance those summer projects. Not only are you increasing the value of your home, but the interest could potentially be tax deductible. “When shopping for a home equity loan, consider things like the long-term rate, annual fees, and any early payoff fees,” said Kunze, “in the event you keep the outstanding balance longer than anticipated.”



Check with your tax advisor and may vary based on your tax situation. Cost vs. Value: Which Home Improvements Offer the Highest ROI in 2017? http://rismedia.com/2017/01/17/cost-value-home-improvements-offer-highest-roi-2017/#close http://www.huf ngtonpost.com/ashley-wren-collins/5-outdoor-home-improvements-to-increase-the-curb-appeal-of-your- house_b_7737366.html