It’s that time of year. Tax refunds! Millions of Americans will receive checks in the mail from the IRS in the coming months.  For many of us having a little extra cash is great, we don’t always have that luxury right? With so many ideas running through our minds, what should we spend our tax money on? First off, I want to start by telling you 5 things NOT to spend your tax dollars on. These 5 things were written by financial consultant Trent Hamm.

Five things not to do with your tax refund:

1. Buy lots of little frivolous things. Quite often, after getting a return, my parents would take the entire family out to dinner a few times. One year, they bought a Nintendo; another year, we got a giant new television when the old one was fine.

2. Get a new car. Income tax returns often meant automobile upgrades, even if the old one was still running fine.

3. Put the check directly into a checking account “for safekeeping.” This idea was heading in the right direction, except by putting it in the checking account, it didn’t earn anything, and over time it slowly was spent on all kinds of unnecessary things until it was gone.

4. Loan it to family members. Twice, the entire return was “loaned” to a family member who just simply never repaid the “loan.”

5. Have a giant party. At least one year, my parents had a giant spring party with tons of food and drink that ate almost all of their tax refund.

So you see the trend here right? These are materialistic, short-term just flat out easy ways to burn through your return and never accrue anything of actual value. The point we are trying to make is why not do something with that extra cash that will add LONG TERM value. What should you do?


Do a home improvement project!
Roll that money right into something new and exciting for your home. Home improvement projects can increase the value of your home, which is especially important if you foresee a move in the coming years. Not only will it raise the value of your home but it’s functional. You’re able to use it or enjoy it as long as you live there.

So here are 10 Things Express Electrical can do to INCREASE the value of your home.

1. Lighting Upgrades.  Lighting was #3 on the Brokers Tell All top 10 list for how to increase value in your home. Not only does lighting make your home brighter and more appealing it also plays a major factor in your power bill. Switching your light bulbs to LED or CFL will not only increase the lighting you have but will save money every month on your power bill! Drop down lighting in a kitchen, modern light fixtures, recessed lighting in hallways or a living room can make a big difference in value, appeal and functionality.

2. Home Automation. Move over Bill Gates , home automation systems are not just for the technological elite anymore. Our home automation systems are affordable and best of all do exactly what the name suggests. Control the thermostat from your phone, configure it to go up and down when you leave the house. Control your door locks from your phone. Program your lights to come on when the sun goes down. Control shades, ceiling fans, entertainment centers all from one location. Control your home even when you’re away.

3. Security System. Now a days security systems are a top priority for most households. You want to protect your family AND your belongings.  Here is Top 10 Home Burglary facts from 2016. Research suggests a home burglary takes place every 18 seconds in the U.S. and the average cost of theft is $2200. Our security systems offer 24/7 home monitoring, wireless cameras so you can view your home whenever you’re away right from your phone. Pet protection,  indoor/outdoor sensors, environmental protection in case of a water leak or fire, your system will automatically notify the authorities.  We have Don’t Panic pendants for elderly residents who may not be able to reach a phone. A security system will increase the value of your home while protecting everything in it.

4. Generator Installations. Living in North Carolina, the home of the Carolina Hurricanes, we are all to familiar with the major storms we get in our State. Nothing is more inconvenient than being without power for a long period of time. A generator installation can be wired to control your entire house. Never worry about being without power again. From hurricanes in the summer and fall months to ice storms in the winter, when the power goes out we have you covered.

5. Outdoor Projects. Adding landscape lighting or walkway lighting can significantly increase your homes value and curb appeal. Have a shed out back? Running power to the shed so you have lights outside and so you have receptacles increases the usable space on your property. More usable space the more your home is worth. We have seen people turn their sheds outback into man caves. Adding power gives you the ability to do as much as you want with your shed.

6. Whole Home Surge Protection. Power surges cause millions of dollars worth of damage to homes every year. Not only does a major power surge cause damage to the wiring in your home but can destroy anything plugged into your outlets. TVs, computers, major appliances, etc. Whole home surge protection can be installed in your home that will prevent any type of electrical surge from running throughout the home. This is a very low cost investment that could save you thousands of dollars down the road.

7. A Small Addition. Maybe you want to increase the size of your kitchen or bath. Or add on to your living room so you can fit that pool table or sunroom. Increasing the square footage of your home is one of the best ways to increase value. More usable square footage more value and functionality. With any addition most likely you will need extra receptacles, light switches and lighting installed. We are here to take care of all those things for you.

8. Entertainment Center Upgrades. So we are not telling you to go out and spend a bunch of money on an entertainment center (see rule #1 on our list of what NOT to do). However, if you already have a TV and surround sound system we can hide all the wires for you. We will install and run wires in the walls and ceilings. So you can have a full theater experience without unsightly wires running everywhere. We install that TV on the wall freeing up space below. We will also hide the wires in the wall and add a receptacle behind the TV. Even if you sell your home and take these things with you, your room will still be wired for an entertainment system increasing the value of your home!

9. Attic Fan Installations. In North Carolina the temps in the summer months reach 100+ degrees. The temperature in your attic can directly affect your homes energy efficiency. It’s also dangerous for an attic space to get that hot. Attic fans cool that space and decrease your chances of a fire while lowering your energy costs.

10. Co2 and Fire Alarm Detectors. Adding additional CO2 and Fire Alarms not only make your home safer but will increase value. Even from a peace of mind perspective knowing you have the proper safety and monitoring equipment in place can add so much value to the home. Having hard-wired detectors prevents you from having to replace batteries all the time.

So there is our TOP 10 things Express Electrical Service can do for you to INCREASE the value of your home. So before you spend that Tax Return money ask yourself this question. Is this something that’s going to add long-term value to me? And will I be able to get my money back out of this?

Have a great year everyone and if you decide on that Home Improvement Project make sure you give us call! 919-859-9588