Elfant Wissahickon-Chestnut Hill
The Larry DiFranco Team, Elfant Wissahickon Realtors
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Sweat Equity: What It Is & How to Calculate It

by The Larry DiFranco Team, Elfant Wissahickon Realtors 01/09/2022

Sweat equity is a term used in real estate and in the business world. For real estate, sweat equity refers to the amount of effort a homeowner or investor puts into improving a property. For those interested in flipping homes, this concept is crucial to determining the home's value. Here is some more info about sweat equity to help you understand the basics:

How Do You Calculate Sweat Equity?

Sweat equity is difficult to quantify. However, there are ways you can calculate it to figure out an accurate valuation for your home. One way to find the sweat equity value is to consider the original value of the property and combine it with the cost of your materials to make your improvements. By subtracting that number from a final sale price—whether real or estimated—will tell you your sweat equity in dollars.

Other variables can affect this formula, such as the percentage of fluctuation in market values. The value of certain improvements and additions may also be higher in one area compared to another.

Examples of How to Add Sweat Equity

What sort of projects and improvements add to your sweat equity? Here are some examples:

  • Increase Energy Efficiency - There are plenty of DIY renovation projects you can use to add sweat equity to a property and make it more energy efficient at the same time. Replacing and repairing windows and window seals, servicing the HVAC system and installing solar panels are just a few examples.
  • Install Wood or Laminate Flooring - Improved flooring can add considerable sweat equity to your home if you do the work yourself. Whether you install natural hardwood, manufactured wood or vinyl, brand new floors will add noticeable value to the property.
  • Renovate Outdoor Spaces - Investing your time and labor in landscaping and simple outdoor upgrades can yield considerable returns. Some examples might include adding a fire pit, installing a new garden path and clearing out weeds to plant a garden.

While sweat equity can be tricky to calculate, it's important for every homeowner to understand. Whether you plan to live in your home or flip it right away, adding to sweat equity can have major benefits.