For the past 30 years, Remodeling Magazine has conducted a “Cost vs Value” Report, which analyzes the return on various home upgrades. The researchers looked at 29 popular home improvements in 99 markets nationwide, polling contractors for costs and real estate agents for value. Click here to see the “Mountain” results.
Generally, the same types of remodeling projects consistently provide the best return on investment (ROI). What was unusual about this year’s results was that the value of more expensive projects rose significantly over last year, according to Craig Webb, editor of Remodeling. He attributed this trend to a hot real estate market.
I think there has been a major change in the style of homes in the past 5-10 years. For example, there are certain colors that scream 2002, like my sage green guest room. Today’s buyers are looking for an open floor plan, neutral colors, especially in the grey tones, and solid counter-tops in light colors with little to no pattern. They also prefer tile backsplash, free-standing tubs, I could go on and on. Just walk into a model home in a new development and you will see exactly what I mean.
Some of the perennial chart toppers for ROI are loose-fill fiberglass insulation in the attic and replacing an entry door with a steel replacement (really?). These both return over 100%, according to the study.
It is essential to note that in the Mountain region, not one renovation provided a 100% ROI. This means you should remodel your home with the idea of enjoying your renovations well before you want to sell.
If you are looking to get your home ready for sale, according to the study, “curb appeal” projects (such as new doors and exterior siding) generate higher returns than improvements done on a home’s interior. Carpet and paint can also generate high ROI, especially if the home has accent walls in last decade’s burnt orange or red. Take a look at the before and after photo for one of my listings above.
The bottom line is that if you are looking to sell your home, you must speak with a real estate professional to ensure you are spending money on the right things. If you want to update your home to enjoy it, do it now so that you will have the most time to appreciate your improvements.