Consider using all or part of your tax refund to tackle some projects that have a high rate of return. (Photo: Todd Henon Properties)

Whether thinking of putting your home on the market or not, improving your home’s functionality or curb appeal is a great way to use all or part of your tax refund. Tennesseans receive an average of nearly $3,000 each spring after taxes are filed, and that money is more than enough to accomplish or at least put a dent in one of the following upgrades-which, according to data from the National Association of Realtors, are the best bangs for your buck in terms of return on investment.

There’s a big difference in terms of appeal and value when it comes to the real estate market, but the following projects offer a boost in both:

Entry door replacement
With an average cost of about $1,000 or a little over, depending on size, type and style, a new door costs comparatively little and doesn’t take a lot of time to put into place. The National Association of Realtors reports the ROI for entry door replacement at more than 100 percent!

Don’t want to replace your front door altogether? Consider a new coat of paint, new hardware and/or adding your address number. You can accomplish one or all these upgrades for less than $200.

Faux stone veneer
Like your brick or siding, manufactured stone is a part of your home’s façade that will be the first thing your guests (or potential buyers) notice. Manufactured stone can be installed around your whole home, just around the bottom or in a section (such as around columns on the front porch or your mailbox’s base), so the price varies wildly. But the average ROI is 92.2 percent nationally. Faux stone is cheaper and much lighter than real stone and provides an elegant or edgy look, depending on your selection.

Installation is fairly quick and simple and, depending on the scope of your project, may be shockingly inexpensive.

Garage door replacements
Like your entry door, garage doors are one of the first things folks notice about your home, and there are numerous ways to spruce them up.

Replacing garage doors produces an ROI that ranges from 82 to 88 percent, depending on the cost and look of your upgrade. If a replacement is out of your budget or unnecessary, consider painting your garage doors-you can do this to match your entry door or in a contrasting color.

Siding replacement
OK, so your tax refund probably isn’t going to cover the cost of replacing your siding in full, but it’s still a great option if you’re looking for a dramatic change. The color options for siding have expanded in recent years, and so have the designs and patterns. From scalloped edges to a shingled look, siding choices are basically endless.

Fiber cement is worth checking out. According to most in the housing industry, it’s as durable as any product on the market. It looks like wood or masonry, so it’s a great choice for homeowners who want to achieve an antique look or keep with the feel of their historical neighborhood.

Historically speaking, the ROI when adding additional insulation to your home may be one of the wisest options you have-and the functional aspect of it is hard to beat! Again, your tax refund is unlikely to pay to replace all your insulation, but the money you’ll save over time in energy costs will more than make up for what you put into the replacement.

Regardless of which route you choose, all the aforementioned items will provide a strong return on your hard-earned dollars. Be thoughtful, be wise and enjoy.

Todd Henon

Todd Henon Properties is a top Chattanooga-based real estate team serving Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama since 2000. Specializing in homes, land, farms and estates, Todd’s seasoned neighborhood and acreage specialists are known for their expertise in the sale and purchase of traditional and unique properties at all price points. Todd’s credentials as a general contractor and visionary land consultant give his clients a daily edge. A lifelong Chattanoogan and avid outdoorsman, no one knows the market better or loves the region more than Todd and his innovative team of respected agents. Headquartered at Keller Williams Realty-Greater Downtown Chattanooga (each office is independently owned and operated), the Todd Henon Properties’ team invites you to search for your next home or investment move at

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