This article was previously posted by our Loan Advisor, John Draper, on LinkedIn.

Whether you’re looking to sell or buy a home, there are several factors that go into determining the value of that home. Everything from your school district and comparable home sales in the area, to the age of your house and updates you’ve made over the years.

That last one is a particular doozy. Home updates effect both the buyer and the seller of a home, as the question of “how much is this worth” will come up during the home buying process. Additionally, what’s popular to update one year, might not be as much of a deal breaker the next year.

For example, adding a wood deck to your house or minor kitchen updates are projects that have steadily held their value for the past eight years, while updates like a two-story addition have drastically declined in value.

A colleague of mine, Kim Rossbach, recently shared’s annual Cost vs. Value report which compares how popular home improvement projects retain their value for resale over the years. Not only does it show you the cost vs. value on a national scale, you can also view by region and even city.

If you’ve lived in your house for a few years, you can easily use the equity you’ve obtained to refinance your house, which will allow you to pull out cash to fund these home improvement projects. The upside? Those funds will most likely come back to you when you do decide to sell your home in the future. And if you decide you don’t want to sell- now you’ve got a living space you’re happy with.

Contact our lenders for more tips on how you can improve the value of your home.