Newsflash: New Homeowners Landscaping advice (and how to pay for it)

Hi R/RealestateWe bought this house last year in Denver. We are first time buyers with 5% down. Currently we have seen appreciation from 315k purchase to 350-375k (constantly checking comps that have sold on Zillow/Redfin ranging from 350-400K+, both of those have us estimated at 365-375k). We did modest improvements to the interior last year, which made the place much more livable for us. This year we are looking at biting off the the landscaping in the backyard, which is an absolute nightmare ( I am not afraid of DIY but I am overwhelmed at the size and poor condition of the yard. First step is to get it scraped and graded with new irrigation as our foundation. Then its about putting it all back in (grass on the flat areas, low maintenance rock/mulch on the hill with shrubs and plantings). I have gotten an end to end quote for about $25k. Holy shit I was not prepared for that… but that was the lowest for a complete solution (highest was closer to 40k). We’re not doing anything extravagant… just landscaping that makes sense and is easy to care for, also will add a flagstone patio. We are not welly saved for this kind of project, we have been offered a HELOC for 23k which would be enough to get it done. Now we are still paying PMI and would love to use this as the last step to getting our LTV over 80%. My lender doesn’t seem to want to play nicely to remove PMI. We currently have a 3.75% interest rate +.5% PMI. What would a seasoned RE investor/homeowner do in this situation? Hold off and do it with cash (likely will take us 1-2 years to save up with no major set backs)? Bite the bullet take the HELOC and start paying it down (while still paying PMI if our lender doesn’t allow us to re-appraise)? Or use the HELOC and refi cash out (to pay HELOC off) with a higher interest rate but be over the hump of 20% equity? We will be in this house 5-7 years total at which point we will either sell or convert it to a rental.Thanks!



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