Remodeling Projects That Pay You Back

Remodeling projects can make your home a noticeably better place to live — and if you decide to sell, certain projects will pay you back a good bit of what you put into them. So which projects are the best investments, in terms of their return when you sell?

According to Remodeling magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report, curb-appeal projects will give you some of the best returns. For example, replacing the front door with a new steel door returns 91% of the cost, or manufactured stone veneer in place of vinyl siding on the bottom third of the street-facing façade, 89%.

The report looks at 29 remodeling projects and compares out-of-pocket costs against how much real estate professionals predict the improvements will add to the potential selling price of a house sold within a year of finishing the project.

The projects in the report pay back an average of 64.3 cents on the dollar in resale value — the bulk of the cost, but not enough to call them outright money-makers that first year. Only one project recoups its entire cost and then some: having a professional seal and add loose-fill insulation to the attic, with a return of 108%.

Ultimately, the bottom line for any remodeling project is: how it will enhance your home’s value, not just in immediate resale price but also in turning your home into a more comfortable, livable space. And that can help you avoid dedicating even more time and money to buying a new house and moving.

Add a family room and you’ll recoup the lion’s share of what you put in — 78% within a year, according to the report. The same goes for a kitchen remodel, which came in at 70% payback, or finishing a basement, 81%.

But for a young family, the return-on-investment may not be the motivating factor. Building on a family room opens up for more social space as the family grows, making the home more comfortable and workable for the family over time, delaying or preventing a costly move.

Projects that help baby boomers stay in their homes continue to be popular with home owners across the country. The report included a bathroom update to make it safer and easier to navigate. It widens the doorway so it would be accessible by wheelchair, installs a zero-threshold shower with fold-down seat, puts in a comfort-height toilet, reinforces walls to support grab bars, and installs a sink with space for a person to sit at it. If the home is then sold within a year, the real estate pros predict an average payback of 68%.

If the homeowners stay, the return can be even greater. Saving the cost of a move and the price of a properly equipped replacement house only adds to the value of the project.

And to remain in a familiar home and neighborhood, that payback in quality of life can be immeasurable.

Contact STHBRA to learn more about remodeling projects that prove their value or to find a remodeler.