Take action today. Call our experts at: phone icon1-800-522-5221


To Improve or Not to Improve: Home Renovations


By Rick Maines, Inside Sales Manager for AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC

Many homeowners will struggle with how to best spend their home improvement budgets. Most home improvement publications will tell you that renovating the kitchen will generally add the most value to your home.  While this may be true, they will also point out that even though the kitchen adds the greatest value to the home, the value added typically doesn’t match the cost of the renovation.

Generally, unless the kitchen is so dated that it will be a detriment to selling the home, a homeowner cannot expect to recoup the entire cost of the renovation. For example, renovating a kitchen that is only 5 years old will likely not increase the home’s value as much as it would were the kitchen straight out of the 70’s or 80’s.  As a result, whether or not to do the renovation is not a strictly dollars and cents decision.

The question is really, will I get enough “use value” to offset the difference between what the kitchen costs and the amount of value it adds to the property.  Use value is the amount of enjoyment one gets out of a certain item or feature.  Considering the amount of time the typical family spends in the kitchen, the “use value” of a kitchen is usually high enough to justify the expense.

But, if you are considering a more extravagant renovation such as adding a pool to your backyard, adding an outdoor kitchen off the family room, or spending thousands of dollars in custom landscaping, you’ll want to make sure you’ll be in the home long enough for the use value to outweigh the difference between the cost of the renovation and what the real estate market will bear.

Rick Maines is the Inside Sales Manager for AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC. He works in helping military families achieve the American dream of homeownership. Rick understands the military community, having grown up in Arlington, Virginia, with an Air Force Veteran father. After attending the University of Virginia, Rick commissioned into the United States Army and served from 1986-1989. After his military experience, he began his career in the Real Estate Industry as a Relator and Residential Real Estate Appraiser. In 2001, Rick shifted his career to focus on Residential Loan Originating. He continues to offer quality service to his clients and loves being a part of their home-ownership journey.

Rick currently lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina, with his wife, Melanie and their four children (Eric, Ross, Melanie and Riley) who are, one by one, spreading their wings and flying the coop.


AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC is an Equal Housing Lender and is a VA-approved lender not acting on behalf, in the direction of, endorsed or sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs or any government agency. This is not a commitment to lend or an offer and is for information purposes — your actual rate, payment and costs could be higher. Not all borrowers will qualify. Get an official Loan Estimate before choosing a loan. This is for VA mortgages (refinance and purchase) only. NMLS ID #1423968. http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/. For further state licensing and disclosures, visit www.aafmaa.com/mortgage. 639 Executive Place, Suite 203, Fayetteville, North Carolina 28305. 844-394-4526. Licensed Lender in Alabama 22416, Colorado, Connecticut ML-1423968, Delaware 0243333, Florida MLD1376, Indiana 34842, Iowa MBK-2018-0075, Kansas MC.0025489, Kentucky MC401802, Maryland 22541, North Carolina L-167411, Oklahoma ML011430, Oregon ML-5730, Lender and Broker in Rhode Island 17050098480, Pennsylvania 61781, Tennessee 135339, Lender and Broker in Virginia MC-6685. Contact AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC for current rates and a full Loan Estimate. This is not an offer and rates displayed may not be available at the time of rate lock. On April 20, 2018, rates and fees for a 30-year term, $200,000, VA fixed mortgage, with a 720 credit score, in the State of North Carolina were 4.125% with an APR of 4.353%. Loan to value is 100%. Principal Residence. Payment does not include taxes and insurance premiums. The actual payment amount will be greater. Some state and county maximum loan amount restrictions may apply. Payment is $969.30 (principal and interest only). No prepayment penalties. Not all borrowers will qualify. AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC is a licensed mortgage lender located at 639 Executive Place, Suite 203, Fayetteville, NC 28305, NMLS # 1423968. Disclaimer date of 07/25/18. Disclaimer will be updated in the event promotional items occur or new licenses for AAFMAA Mortgage Services LLC are finalized.