Home Improvement Return on Investment

If you are considering a home improvement project in the near future, I am sure you are asking yourself, will I get my money back when I sell?  Reports like Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report provide interesting data on ROI for home improvements, but they require experience to decode.  Here’s our perspective on the data…

Among the top ten projects listed in report above for the South Atlantic Region, nine are exterior projects.  We agree that investing in the curb appeal of your home is a good idea, but before deciding on what elements to update, align your selections with your neighborhood.  For example, if you install a wood deck, but the majority of the decks in your neighborhood are composite, your return may be lower because the buyer for your neighborhood is expecting composite.  Likewise, if your garage doors are wood and your neighborhood standard is steel, it may be time to bring your house up to par with the rest of your street.  And don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of money to spruce up the exterior of your home.  Even simple fixes like power washing, fresh paint and clean landscaping can make a big impact with buyers.

You may be wondering why updated kitchens and bathrooms don’t make the top of the cost vs. value list, even though these areas are very important to most potential buyers.  The reality is, the price of a new kitchen, bathroom, or any major home improvement for that matter, includes materials and contractor costs.  To get to the true value of these items, you need to subtract the labor.  The value of the materials is what will hopefully transfer when you sell, so consider this your return.

If you aren’t able to undertake major home improvements, that’s okay!  Even simple cosmetic updates can put your home in better selling position.  Painting existing wood cabinets is a great update if they are in good condition – we recommend hiring professionals who will use a paint sprayer to ensure the end result is even and smooth.  Update your kitchen cabinet hardware and purchase matching appliances for a cohesive look.  If your counter tops are outdated, install a new slab of granite on your existing cabinetry for a fraction of the cost of a full kitchen renovation.  And the same goes for bathrooms…replace old faucets and fixtures for an inexpensive update.

Ultimately, the money you spend on your home is never guaranteed to return to your pockets.  The good news is, most improvements, expensive or not, will likely generate more showings and traffic for your home, both of which are very valuable.

Happy renovating!