5 Smart & Easy Home Upgrades Brokers Should Recommend to Prospective Borrowers
A home is more than just a place your borrowers will hang their hat. It’s also the single largest investment many of them will make in their lives. Protecting and adding to the value of that investment is simply a smart economic decision — one that more and more borrowers are interested in pursuing.
The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University estimated that remodeling projects are on the uptick and will continue to rise. More than $337 billion is spent annually on renovation and repair of owner-occupied housing in the U.S.
Brokers can burnish their brand, extend the reach of their marketing communications, and build larger social media followings by offering helpful information that prospective buyers and existing homeowners can benefit from.
Prospective borrowers take notice when a broker consistently distributes good advice and is respected as a legitimate thought leader in the mortgage industry. It also shows that they are invested in the success of their clients even after the deal is closed, and borrowers want to work with organizations that can prove they truly care about them.
Focus on Changes That Make Homes More Desirable, Modern, and Valuable
The first thing most borrowers do once the papers are signed is start making the fixes that the previous owner neglected or adding on features the building is lacking.
Brokers would do well to recommend changes and updates that offer the greatest return on investment. Prospective borrowers want to know which upgrades, improvements, and renovations boost home equity the most and net the greatest return. Furthermore, the ‘grass is greener’ effect is real. When the neighbors have smart home features and other modern conveniences, everyone else is going to want them too.
Some upgrades, like finishing a basement or building an addition, unquestionably add a great deal of value but can be extremely expensive and time consuming. In the wake of the pandemic, with an increase in demand for home building supplies and the headaches of a global supply chain crisis to contend with, some of those major upgrades are coming at an even steeper premium.
So, in this article, we’ll share five home upgrades that brokers should recommend that are easier to plan and execute but which will still go a long way in adding significant value, efficiency, and desirability to a property for borrowers:
- Tell borrowers to add a more secure front door Security concerns are especially top of mind right now. Crime rates are unfortunately rising nationwide and homeowners are prioritizing improvements that will enhance their sense of sanctuary and safety. Changing a wood front door to one made of steel not only makes it more difficult for intruders to break in, it provides better thermal insulation, saving them on heating and cooling bills.
- Recommend a new garage door Like the front door, garage doors are a vulnerable point of entry to the home. Additionally, older-style garage doors have begun to look dated and can prove unreliable. Newer four-section, steel garage doors on heavy-duty, galvanized steel tracks often come with lifetime warranties, and can easily be adapted to reuse the existing motorized opener.
- Refer them to contractors that will replace fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms The hardware on cabinets can be swapped out in just a day or two in cases but makes a huge visual impact. Changing faucets and other plumbing fixtures can take a little more time and effort but also doesn’t have to be a major investment. Yet, switching to a stylish, and most of all, cohesive look across all the fixtures makes a home look modern and enhances buyer perceptions of the thought and care that went into every detail.
- Encourage borrowers to choose a tankless water heater A few years ago, tankless water heaters were still a relatively new technology. They couldn’t supply enough hot water for larger homes with several bathrooms. Today they are both more affordable, more powerful, and a far wider variety of options exist to fit the needs of any home. More and more buyers like the idea of hot water on demand without a giant water boiler. Plus, in addition to having smaller footprints, tankless heaters are more energy efficient and last longer than traditional storage tank heaters.
- Make sure they know that smart thermostats will save them money in the long run Arguments over where to set the thermostat have bedeviled homes for generations. Thankfully, smart technology offers a solution that not only ends the family squabbling but lowers energy costs and makes the home look and feel more modern. According to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), smart thermostats that automatically adjust and optimize the interior temperature based on real world use are among the three most requested home technologies.
It’s never a bad time to educate borrowers about how to maximize and enhance the value of their home, and some upgrades are so smart and easy that virtually everyone should be considering them.
Brokers have an important role to play as experts and advisors in this regard. Your prospective and existing clients will thank you, and you’ll market your service more effectively online.
FSB Mortgage, First Savings Bank’s third-party originating division, is a new kind of wholesale and correspondent lender that offers a superior lending experience. Contact us today to learn more.