Spending That Makes Sense

Small, Yet Significant Home Updates

 

BY CHERYL ALEXANDER

Before taking on your next home remodeling project, it’s a good idea to get your ducks in a row by doing some essential preliminary work.

First, determine whether you’ll need a professional or not. If you do, then research the professionals you’ll want to hire. Then consider that not all renovations are equal. Many projects make for a better return on investment (ROI) when it’s time to sell. Lean on the side of neutrality so that house hunters will clearly visualize their own personalities in the home.

Also, research current trends. Each year, surveys are conducted revealing the ROI of popular home renovations. Contractors nation-wide are polled to calculate what these upgrades cost to complete. The data collected is compared with how much real estate agents estimated these features would boost a home’s market price. This year’s answers overwhelmingly show that the focus should be on the parts of your home that are the most visible because most buyers will decide whether they want to purchase in the first few minutes of looking. That means a new garage door and front door, new siding, and fresh, updated landscaping should be the first projects you consider.

A new garage has a huge visual impact on a house you’re planning to put on the market soon and replacing it can recoup 97.5% of the cost in resale. Entry door replacement is impactful and one of the first things a buyer will see. And the ROI is a whopping 90.7%.
The exterior of your house can take a beating from the elements, and after a while it shows. New siding could recoup 75.6% of the cost when you sell your house. Replacing part of that siding with manufactured stone veneer, however, will have a bigger impact. Homeowners who install a stone veneer on their house – usually on the bottom third of the exterior – see as much as 94.9% of the cost come back in the sale price.

Fresh landscaping could be just what the home needs to look new and appealing and with an ROI of 100%, every dollar spent here is worth it. It’s important to replace dead patches of grass, mow the lawn regularly and add a bit of color with flowers or bushes.

Indoors for kitchens and bathrooms, think minor renovations. A major upscale kitchen renovation will recoup just 50% of the cost when the property sells, and an upscale bathroom remodel only 56%. Instead, consider simply updating the kitchen cabinets and backsplash or installing a double vanity or new lights and showerhead in the bathroom.

Another worthy consideration is replacing the windows, which impacts both the outdoor appearance and the indoor bottom line. Replacement of midrange windows can see an ROI up to $1.15 for every dollar spent on the project, but that profit decreases with more upscale windows.

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