Spring has come early this year, and so has the urge to get out the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) project list at the bottom of your junk drawer! Now is the time to decide which of those projects you should tackle in 2012 while you are motivated to do some handy work. As a Realtor, I can never truly separate myself from my potential return on an investment in my home. I always have to ask myself the question: “Am I going to get this money back or not….and if I won’t, am I willing to chalk it up to an entertainment expense?” Some improvements will actually increase the value of your home, others will simply make your home more appealing on resale, and some of them we simply do for our own enjoyment. The “improvements” you want to avoid entirely are the ones that make it harder for you to sell or could devalue the home….
In keeping with that thought, I decided to share the Top 5 returns for home improvement projects. I can almost hear the drum roll in my mind as I prepare to share these in order of least return to greatest percent recouped at the time of sale…are you ready?
#5 Garage Door Replacement
The average cost of replacing a garage door is $2994 which will be recouped at a rate of 71%. My opinion on this one is that not only will you get most of your money back, but curb appeal is so important in the resale of your home that it will help get potential buyers from your curb and into your kitchen for a showing…which brings me to the next possible improvement….
Minor Kitchen Remodel
The national average cost for a minor kitchen update is $19,588, which experts believe will provide the seller with about $14,000 at the time of sale for a 72% return on the investment. It is important to note that for our market, $19000 sounds like a lot of money for a “minor” kitchen update. Minor kitchen updates have always fared well on resale, and would include such items as counter tops, faucet, cabinet knobs, light fixtures, etc. If you start knocking out walls, you are well past a minor kitchen update.
Attic Bedroom Addition
Expect to spend about $50,000 on this update while increasing the value of your home on average by about $36,000 with a return of about 72.5%. This definitely goes beyond a weekend DIY project…just sayin….
Entry Door Replacement
Much like replacing garage doors, the entry to your home is so incredibly important to the look of the outside of your home. As a Realtor, I can honestly say that the front door is most certainly the first impression a buyer has of your home. While the Realtor jangles with keys and tries to get the lockbox to work on your home, the potential buyer is standing there staring at your front door!!! Experts say that a cost of approximatley $1200 will be returned by about 73% at the time of sale.
Drum roll please…..the number one return on your investment is…..
In this case, they are talking specifically about replacing your worn out siding with fiber-cement siding. Expect this update to set you back about $13,500 with an anticipated return of about 78%!
Keep in mind that a lot of factors affect how much you will actually get back on an investment in your home. If you are already the most expensive house in your neighborhood, you might want to forgo the improvements. I would love to come check out your project ideas and help you figure out which ones are most likely to help improve the value of your home or make it more saleable in the future.
In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful early spring,
***The information gathered for this article came from the March/April 2012 issue of Realtor magazine. The statistics shown above were derived from surveys completed by more than 3,000 Realtors from across the country. Each person’s home is a unique situation and you should contact a Realtor or appraiser to learn more about how these improvements could affect the value of your home.