7 Home Investments You Should Make This Year

Welcome the new year with a fresh outlook on life, and your surroundings, by investing in your home. As one of the biggest contributors to lifelong wealth-building, your house is also your sanctuary.

Make smart updates that enhance your home’s value, its functionality, and your enjoyment of it in the new year.

1. Energy-Efficient Updates

Your monthly utility bills will likely only increase as the years go on, but you don’t have to meekly accept the situation. Instead, invest in energy-efficient updates inside and out of your home. Switch any remaining incandescents to LED bulbs, which burn longer and use less energy.

Exchange energy-draining appliances for Energy Star–rated models, which boast convenient features along with their energy-sipping capabilities. An efficient front-loading washing machine uses less water and requires minimal soap, for example, meaning your investment pays for itself quickly.

Take your energy efficiency further and change up the biggest factor in your energy equation — your energy source. Today’s solar panels are more accessible for the everyday homeowner and seamlessly integrate into your roofline for a clean look.

Some installers provide financing and lease programs, making solar power a possibility for homeowners of any budget. Click here to learn about installation options and how much money you can save each month.

2. Storage and Organization

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It only takes a few flicks of the thumb on social media before you see the latest home organization trend. Lean into the reset of the new year with a fresh take on your home’s functionality.

Enhance closet spaces with organizers and hanging systems that maximize wardrobe navigability. Create calm out of chaos under bathroom sinks with storage units that enable both order and plumbing access.

Take your tidiness dreams to the next level and outfit your long-term storage spaces as well. Add wall racks to your garage to stash sporting equipment out of the way but still within reach.

Install sturdy shelving in your attic spaces to maximize your storage tote capacity. No matter what area of your home you choose, adding thoughtful organization upgrades can make daily life better.

3. Home Office Improvements

Many people spend at least a portion of their workday at home, but everyone needs a functional home office. Start with your basic office setup of a sturdy desk, ergonomic chair, and adequate lighting.

While many modern floor plans prioritize open spaces, remember that work and study time are no place for distractions. If possible, commandeer a seldom-used guest room or space in the basement that you can close off. Privacy features like window treatments or a white noise machine can also be helpful.

Integrate up-to-date connectivity tools, too, like enhanced Wi-Fi, which may require extensions or added bandwidth. If fiber networks are available in your area, look into switching to this more reliable and powerful option. Consider the work needs of other people in your household, too, when making updates. Reserve an area for kids to study with a right-sized desk and storage unit that can double as art space.

4. Outdoor Living Spaces

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The moment the weather cooperates, many homeowners flock to their deck or backyard. However, the prep work for a spring-ready outdoor space starts now. Focus on hardscape updates that can be done in chillier temperatures.

Add natural stone patios, install crushed limestone pathways, and nestle seating nooks in your yard to create moments of respite. Shape planting beds in preparation for spring blooms with complimentary natural stone for added texture and a timeless look.

Build multifunctional spaces that can flex with life’s demands. A circular patio space can host fall gatherings around a portable fire pit and provide the perfect spot for a summertime kiddie pool.

Similarly, a well-built timber surround and mulch base for a playset can be converted for older kids’ trampolines. Think about your current and future needs, seasonal preferences, and how you can enhance project spaces each year.

5. Kitchen Refresh

As the workhorse of the home, your kitchen understandably takes a beating. Day-in, day-out meal prep can leave a once-gleaming kitchen dull and in need of a makeover. Start with switching out cabinet hardware, light fixtures, and trimmings. Let the light in with clean windows and remove old-fashioned window shades, which trap dust and odors. Add interest to builder-grade windows with clip-in muntins, which can transform the space into something special.

While you’re swapping out old appliances in favor of energy-efficient ones, look for trend-forward, technology-infused models that will facilitate your culinary pursuits. Smart fridges track when food is removed, which can help you keep tabs on your grocery needs. Plus, many offer superior food storage and temperature control, keeping veggies and fruits properly within range for maximum longevity.

6. Multiuse Spaces


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The live-work-play mantra isn’t reserved for the latest multiuse development in a city center; it’s for your home, too. Open-concept living in both urban and suburban dwellings makes defining spaces tough, and wrangling purposes tougher. Home in on awkward spaces like wide-open basements to define play areas and living spaces with strategic updates and design.

Use color to break up a long lower level, segmenting playroom sections from the movie-watching zone with furniture. Use a tidy cube storage piece to separate the space and keep little ones away from cords and technology.

On the flip side, you may have rooms — like a guest room or formal dining room — that are underutilized. Welcome guests with ease without monopolizing your extra space by installing a Murphy bed unit, which also adds storage. Locate your home office or craft area there so you can make use of the room between hosting duties. Add built-in bookcases to the dining room so it can double as a cozy library.

7. Income-Generating Renovations

Extra, unused space presents an opportunity for your home to do more than provide shelter and build equity. Your home can become an income-generating property easier than you might think.

Homes with a second entrance can be reconfigured to offer an Airbnb-able guest room with an en suite. A former mother-in-law’s quarters make this an easy update, but an unused space above the garage or in the basement can serve the purpose, too.

If your area is popular with travelers, consider the type of accommodations that’d be best suited for them. Homes in rural areas may find success in converting an unused shed into a quaint cabin or retreat. If your yard is especially spectacular or you have a stately barn, make updates that engaged couples would swoon over.

By hosting weddings, photo shoots, and other events, you may even be able to write off upgrades for business expenses. Speak with a trusted tax advisor before you start your project, however, so you know what will pass muster with the IRS.

Invest in Updates That Enhance Your Home Life

Pay attention to your needs with each upgrade, adding thoughtful features and conveniences to your life. When you do, your home will be not only your (likely) biggest investment, it will become a haven you look forward to returning to each day.