Just got Back My Tax Refund...What Can I Do With It?

Good question!  It's amazing to learn that the national average tax refund is about $2700. Not bad.  Should you plan a vacation, pursue a hobby, buy lottery tickets?  What about making upgrades on your home?  After all, it will help you maintain its value and will give you a nice return on your investment.  in addition,it may be improvements that you'll enjoy every day.

John Riha, the author of seven books on home improvement and hundreds of articles on home related topics, has several ideas.  As the executive editor of Better Homes and Gardens magazine and editorial director of the Black & Decker Home Improvement Library and a residential builder, Mr. Riha has several suggestions for outdoor projects that are sure to enhance your property and provide some enjoyment too.

Add Outdoor Lighting - Not only will you feature your property in its best "light", you'll be able to highlight your landscaping and architecture while providing safety and security.  The estimated cost for 7 LED lighting fixtures to illuminate 100 ft of walkway is about $2275.  Add to this a low voltage transformer estimated at $400 and 2 motion detectors estimated at $300 and you have an impressive outdoor yard at a total cost of $2975, professionally installed.

Install a Patio - Bring the inside, outside!  A professionally installed  12x16 brick or concrete paver patio will cost approximately $15 per square foot, or $3000 total.  (Concrete will be less expensive, at approxi,ately $6 to $12 per square foot, installed.)  You can expect to get a payback of 30% to 60%, not to mention your Summer enjoyment.

Upgrade Your Deck - Add shade sails to provide privacy, shade and ambiance.  Shade sails can diffuse shade for areas not covered by trees or building overhangs.  Made of weatherproof materials, they are available in various shapes.  Fun!  Professional installation of a 12 ft triangular sail costs about $3000, including the sail and posts.

Replace Your Air Conditioner - Don't wait until the scorching  Summer weather!  New central air conditioning units require 30% less electricity and can lower energy bills by 30% more than the units manufactured a few years ago.  Estimated cost of a professionally installed unit - about $3000.  Good news - you may also qualify for an energy tax credit for the year you install the system.

Some great, practical ideas from John Riha, just in time for warm weather planning.  After all, Spring is only weeks away!

Andrea Burr

Andrea Burr

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
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