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REAL ESTATE

The Thing That Can Add $5K in Value to Your House

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fireplace in modern living room (rickszczechowski)

Becoming a homeowner is still the American Dream for many people. You apply for a 15- or 30-year mortgage and add as many home upgrades and improvements as possible. In addition to hoping it's a seller's market when you put the 'for sale' in your lawn, those home improvements determine how much profit you stand to make from your investment.

One of the best investments you can make is fireplace installation, according to a recent study from Angie's List. The company surveyed 100 real estate agents on home values in relation to fireplaces and 2,000 homeowners/home buyers and found that fireplaces are a pretty hot commodity.

The majority of potential homeowners in the market today see fireplaces as an asset. They top so many home buyers' must-have lists and are in such demand, in fact, that fireplaces increase over 76% of homes' value anywhere from $1,000 to $4,999. The study has one caveat -- electric fireplace inserts aren't nearly as desirable as wood-burning or gas-burning fireplaces.

Without much variation, the wood-burning option was favored by all age demographics. Specifically, of those aged 22-29, 58.82% preferred wood burning, with those aged 30-39 close behind at 57.89%. Meanwhile, those in the 40-49, 50-59 and over 60 age groups favored wood-burning fireplaces at 63.04%, 65.35% and 67.31%, respectively.

Adding a fireplace may add value to your home, but it will come at a price too. If you're looking to make a home improvement, make sure you understand your financing options. Home equity lines of credit (HELOC), personal loans and/or credit cards are often used to help homeowners with remodels, but they all come with different terms, benefits and pitfalls. For example, a credit card may have a higher interest rate than a HELOC, but if you default on the credit card debt, your home won't be in jeopardy like it would with the HELOC. No matter which option you pursue, you can check your credit score for free on Credit.com beforehand to see which options and interest rates you'll qualify for. And if you spot errors on your credit, disputing them can get them fixed quickly.

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This article was written by James LaDue and originally published on credit.com.

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