According to CNN Money, about eight out of 10 people filing their taxes this year are getting a refund, with the average amount being about $2,800. While it may be tempting to put that money toward an island getaway, an even better way to spend your tax refund is by using it to grow one your biggest investments: your home.

"While some people may choose a spontaneous purchase with their refund dollars, smart homeowners choose to pay down their debt or invest in a project with solid payback,” says Roger Murphy, president of Hy-Lite, a U.S. Block Windows Company. “Using refund dollars to enhance your living experience in the kitchen or bath pays off every day. Whether it’s purchasing a much-needed appliance, fixing plumbing issues or replacing an old window, these are enhancements you’ll enjoy continually throughout the year.”

While Murphy’s company specializes in decorative glass privacy windows, there are many improvements that instantly up your home’s value. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, which measures the average cost of 21 popular remodeling projects and their average resale value one year later, garage door replacement has the highest ROI at 98.3 percent (up from 85 percent year-over-year). Backyard patio jobs garnered the lowest ROI, at 47.6 percent (down from 54.9 percent year-over-year).

Nationally, when it comes to renovation ROI, curb appeal still wins. Here are the top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report's "midrange" cost category:

Manufactured Stone Veneer (97.1 percent ROI)
– Average Cost: $8,221
– Average Resale Value: $7,986

Entry Door Replacement (Steel) (91.3 percent ROI)
– Average Cost: $1,471
– Average Resale Value: $1,344

Deck Addition (Wood) (82.8 percent ROI)
– Average Cost: $10,950
– Average Resale Value: $9,065

Minor Kitchen Remodel (81.1 percent ROI)
– Average Cost: $21,198
– Average Resale Value: $17,193

Siding Replacement (76.7 percent ROI)
– Average Cost: $15,072
– Average Resale Value: $11,554

Before you go on that shopping spree with your check from Uncle Sam, think about how you might spend it on your home instead. You’ll be the beneficiary in the long-run!

If you need more real estate information, feel free to contact me.

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