Buyers First Look Outside for Value When Buying the Next Home

What remodeling projects provide the most bang for your buck when it’s time to sell your home? Doors and windows lead the way, according to the 2013 edition of Remodeling Magazine’s Cost-to-Value Survey. The magazine has conducted this survey for almost three decades, providing insight to homeowners regarding what home improvements will provide the highest rate of return when a home is sold.

A steel entry door can be purchased for a little over $1,100, and sellers will see an estimated 85 percent of that investment returned to them when the home is sold. A garage door is also a solid investment when it comes to selling a home. A new, mid-range or upscale garage door will improve a home’s curb appeal, as well as return approximately 75% or more on the investment.

Siding and windows are also highly sought after improvements, demonstrating that first impressions do make a difference when a buyer is seriously considering a home. A mid-grade vinyl siding update averages a little over $11,200, and returns about $8,150 (about 73%) on the investment. Foam-backed vinyl siding has an average return of 72%. Fiber-cement siding also returned a high value for the initial investment, returning 79.3% of the cost to the seller. Window replacements return a value of approximately 73.3%.

When it comes to the interior, minor kitchen remodels will provide an owner with the best value of approximately 75% return. According to the study, a minor kitchen remodel will include replacing 30 linear feet of cabinet fronts and countertops with new, raised-panel wood doors and drawers and new hardware. (Cabinet boxes are left in place). Replacing the wall oven and cook top with energy-efficient models, and replacing sink and faucets with mid-priced replacements is also a part of a minor remodel. Laminate countertops are replaced, along with the kitchen floor. When these changes are made, the remodeling investment of about $19,000 will lead to a return of about 75.4 percent of the investment.

A high-end kitchen upgrade does not yield the same results. A kitchen updated with top-of-the-line custom cherry cabinets, stone countertops with imported ceramic- or glass-tile backsplash; built-in refrigerator, cook top, commercial grade range, trash compactor, built-in combination microwave and convection oven, new lights, cork floor and cherry trim, was valued by the study at $107,000. Buyers were only willing to pay $64,000 on that investment, or only about 60 percent.

Home-buyers appreciated the extra space provided by an attic bedroom/bathroom addition. A converted unfinished 15×15 foot bedroom and a 5×7 foot bath with shower, plus closet and carpeting (finished walls and ceiling and electrical wiring and lighting included) was estimated to cost around $48,000. The return on investment was placed at approximately $35,000 or about 73%.

Neither a mid-grade or upscale master bedroom suite ranked very high on the return-on-investment list. A mid-grade addition was estimated to cost around $100,000 and return about 63% on the investment. An upscale master bedroom addition was estimated to cost approximately $220,000, and returned an even lower 52% return, or about $114,000.

The idea of adding a sun-room or remodeling the office of an existing house may sound like a good idea. But financially, it may cost much more than either project is worth when it comes time to put the home up for sale. A sunroom addition, on average, will cost about $70,000, and the return will be slightly over $30,000, or less than 50 percent.

A home-office remodel also comes in near the bottom of the list when it comes to home upgrades that consumers are willing to pay for. The average cost of an office remodel is $27,000, with a return of approximately $11,600 or 43 percent.

At Louisville Home Inspections, we are committed to helping you make great decisions.

Posted in Home Buyer Information.