Minor kitchen remodel. This
consists of giving a functional, but dated, kitchen
a makeover. It includes new cabinet doors and drawers
(with cabinet boxes left in place), a moderately priced
wall oven, cooktop, countertop, sink and faucet and
Average payback: 98.5 percent
Estimated job cost: $14, 913
National average resale value: $14,691
Along with bathrooms, kitchen updates are almost
always among the smartest remodeling projects for resale value, say the pros.
"Home buyers seem to gravitate to the kitchen first when they're looking
at a house," says Joe Traynor, a real estate appraiser in Indianapolis. "And
as appraisers, we do give extra credit to houses with updated kitchens.
I've also seen homeowners go too far -- they might put granite countertops and
top-of-the-line stainless-steel appliances in a very modestly priced house,"
he says. "Those improvements aren't going to help the home's value in the
long run, and the owner definitely isn't going to get his money back when he sells."
Midrange siding replacement. This more modest variation of the No.
1 ranked project (upscale siding) includes replacing 1,250 square feet of
siding with new vinyl siding and trim.
Average payback: 95.5
percent of cost
Estimated job cost: $7,239
National average resale value:
The value of this project is in its immediate
curb appeal: New siding cleans up a house quickly. However, Perry points out that
vinyl may not be appropriate and could actually detract from a home's value in
historic neighborhoods or upscale areas where traditional wood siding is still
the preferred material.
Attic bedroom remodel. This entails converting unfinished attic space in
a two- or three-bedroom house into a finished bedroom and bathroom with shower.
It includes a new shed dormer, new windows and closet space in the eaves.
Average payback: 93.5 percent of cost
Estimated job cost: $39,188
National average resale value: $36,649
this is a relatively expensive undertaking, real estate experts suggest you do
an attic renovation only if you're going to live in the house for a while (preferably
five to 10 years) and enjoy the reclaimed space yourself. Over the long haul,
this project adds significant value to your home because it creates brand-new
living space and isn't just a cosmetic improvement.
mind, though, that attic remodels don't make sense in every neighborhood and part
of the country.
"In Florida, most of the attics aren't
big enough to stand up in, so remodeling them wouldn't make sense at all. Plus
there's the heat issue -- these rooms would be sweltering hot for us and very
expensive to cool," says Viessi, a Miami Realtor.
is a good example of a remodeling project that would be wise to discuss in advance
with a Realtor who's familiar not just with housing in your area, but in your
specific neighborhood," says Viessi. He says good Realtors are always happy
to spend time talking with you about the wisest renovation projects for your home
-- even if you're not planning to sell your home anytime soon.
top resale projects from the Cost vs. Value report ranked by percentage of cost
recouped at resale, include:
- an upscale bathroom remodel:
- a major kitchen remodel: midrange, 91 percent;
upscale: 84.8 percent.
- a deck addition: 90.3 percent.
basement remodeling: 90.1 percent.
- window replacement: 89.6
- a bathroom addition: midrange: 86.4 per cent, upscale
- roofing replacement: 84.7 percent.
family room addition: 83 percent.
- a master suite addition:
midrange 82.4 per cent; upscale 80.1 percent.
- a home-office
remodel: 72.8 percent.
While a good return on your investment
is important in every remodeling project, experts say that the most important
factor in your decision should still be whether the project improves the way you
live in your home now.
"The fact of remodeling
is that you never get your money back instantly," says Perry. "If you're
undertaking a project because you're going to stay in your home awhile, and it
will enhance your lifestyle, then great -- do it. It's tough to put a price on
the happiness many young families get from fixing up their house and truly enjoying
it for the next 20 years."
|-- Posted: April
12, 2006 |