This is not quite a guest blog because writer Susan Kimmel is my partner in crime and vice president of HomesRenewed™.
Tax Day is upon us with it’s headaches and stress of filling out all that paperwork – but the good news is that over 2/3 of Americans will be receiving a tax refund. The average refund in 2017 is $3000 – that’s a lot of breakfasts at McDonalds! So what else will we do with our money?
A recent study by Bankrate indicates that the majority will put the funds into savings. For the rest, a CBS poll shows it depends on your age and your income level. More than 50% of those over 65 and in the upper tax brackets plan to use their refund on a vacation. And Millennials? Though they have splurged on TV’s, phones, cars, etc. in the past, this year they are more likely to use the windfall money to pay down debt – school loans, credit cards, and home improvements.
A survey by Better Homes and Gardens found that millennials define themselves as the fix-it generation. They are buying fixer-uppers as starter homes. Many millennials now have enough equity in their homes to qualify for Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC’s). With the tax refund windfall they can start making improvements to renovate out-dated kitchens and bathrooms or put on an addition such as a family room.
Wouldn’t it be great if they could leverage the windfall by remodeling the “smart” way? That’s what HomesRenewed is proposing – something similar to the Energy Star program where buying the air-conditioner with the Energy Star logo means an immediate tax savings.
HomesRenewed is working with grassroots groups and business interests to propose legislation that will reduce the cost of improvements that prepare your home for residents throughout the modern lifespan. No matter your age or ability, if you add handrails, grab bars, create a stepless entry or roll-in shower, your home will be updated, safer and qualify for a financial benefit to help pay for the improvement.
These improvements will also increase the re-sale value of your home because, as the US population ages, there is more and more demand for these features. On a national level, upgrading the housing stock will benefit us all by both enabling older adults and those with disabilities to remain active in their communities and by increasing visitability so friends and family who need these features are welcome in many more households.
Look for more from HomesRenewed as we bring this vision into reality!