Transform Home Equity into Home Value

Your home is your refuge – where you relax at the end of the day, make memories with loved ones and simply enjoy life. While the space you’ve created is personal and may be full of emotional attachments, remember it’s also a financial tool you can use to your advantage. A house is one of the largest investments most people make in their lifetime. This investment could garner a sizable return when it's time to sell, depending on the amount of home equity you've built.

What is home equity exactly? It’s the difference between the market value of your home and what you still owe on your mortgage. If your house is worth significantly more than what you owe, you may be able to tap into that equity with a PNC Choice Home Equity Line of Credit (Choice HELOC). It can be used to pay for things that matter to you, like consolidating debt, paying for education, renovating your home and more. Choosing to use the funds for home improvements comes with a unique set of financial benefits. 

Benefits of using home equity to improve your home: 

Possible tax deduction

Certain types of home renovations may qualify as tax deductible expenses. Improvements made for medical purposes – like a wheelchair ramp or elevator – or installing energy-efficient equipment like solar panels may qualify for savings. Consult your tax advisor to see if the changes you’re considering might be eligible for these benefits.

Low interest rates and flexibility

Rates for borrowing against the equity in your home are typically lower than those for other types of loans. PNC’s Choice HELOC offers competitive low variable rates, plus the option to lock in a fixed rate on all or any part of your variable rate balance over $5,000. This gives you flexibility – and even better, you only pay interest on what you borrow.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Should you put your home on the market, certain renovations may help your home sell quicker or for more money. Remodeling Magazine estimates that remodeling projects can return anywhere from 48% to 101% of the project cost at resale, depending on where your home is and the type of project. Knowing which improvements to make is key when it comes to getting the ROI – and sale price – you want. 


Five of the best home improvements for resale value*

1. Garage door replacement

Reliability and security are deal breakers for any homeowner or buyer. Installing a new garage door doesn’t take a large initial investment, and you’ll likely get most of it back when you sell. In the meantime, enjoy the confidence of knowing your garage door is in tiptop shape.

  • Job cost: $3,695
  • Added resale value: $3,491
  • Cost recovery: 94.5%

2. Mid-range kitchen remodel

An updated kitchen is a huge selling point, but you don’t have to go all out. Stick to the basics, like refacing or replacing cabinets, installing new countertops and fixtures, and, if there’s room in the budget, new energy-efficient appliances. This type of remodel can give you a beautiful new space to cook and congregate, and also add to the resale value of your home.

  • Job cost: $23,452
  • Added resale value: $18,206
  • Cost recovery: 77.6%

3. Fiber cement siding

Fresh, clean-looking siding can boost curb appeal and make a big difference when it comes to first impressions. Fiber cement siding is a popular option for many homeowners and buyers because it gives the home a natural wood look without the warping and maintenance associated with real wood.

  • Job cost: $17,008
  • Added resale value: $13,195
  • Cost recovery: 77.6%

4. Vinyl window replacement

New windows can update both the look and efficiency of a home. When deciding what kind of windows to purchase, note that vinyl windows are more cost effective than wood or fiberglass. They come in a range of colors and styles, require minimal upkeep and could lower your heating and cooling costs.

  • Job cost: $17,641
  • Added resale value: $12,761
  • Cost recovery: 72.3%

5. Composite deck addition

A well-built deck can add more living space to your home and more personality to your outdoor area. Composite decking is a great alternative to wood – it looks similar, but has long-term advantages. While the upfront cost is higher, the time and money you can save on yearly staining and replacing damaged and warped boards may make it worthwhile.

  • Job cost: $19,856
  • Added resale value: $13,257
  • Cost recovery: 66.8% 

*Costs and percentages are approximations. 


Not all projects are worth it.

Some home renovations tend to recoup much less than what you put into them. Unless you’re selling in a high-end market, opt for a mid-range renovation. Your goal is to create something you love that will also appeal to a wide range of buyers. For example, a mid-range kitchen remodel can cost you about $25,000 and return 80% of your cost when you sell. A major upscale kitchen remodel, including high-end granite or marble countertops and restaurant-grade appliances, will cost an average of $135,547, with an expected cost recovery of only about 50%. Choose aesthetically similar, more cost-effective materials that both look beautiful and can help you raise the value of your home.

Understanding the goal of your remodel is the first step. Are you looking for pure joy, pure profit or a mix of both? Take advantage of the equity you’ve built to give your home a new look that you can love today and potentially profit from tomorrow.

Thinking of renovating? Estimate the cost with our Home Improvement Calculator.

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