By Robyn A. Friedman
City & Shore Magazine
Are you planning to sell your home? If you’re thinking about sprucing it up first by doing renovations, such as updating a bathroom, replacing carpet or repainting the interior, well, not so fast.
In today’s real estate market, these types of improvements may not be necessary. Housing inventory remains low, while buyer demand is at record highs, so bidding wars are still common. As a result, buyers are snapping up whatever they can find and resigning themselves to doing any renovations that may be necessary.
“In a slower market, renovations and upgrades were necessary to move homes but now, with limited inventory and strong demand, buyers are willing to overlook some of the items that were on their wish list, like a brand-new kitchen or bathroom,” says Minette Schwartz, senior director of luxury sales for Compass Florida in Miami Beach.
In addition, a recent report details the returns on investment of various home-improvement projects, and it might be surprising to learn that the remodeling projects with the highest returns are, for the most part, those that add to the home’s curb appeal, such as garage door replacement and manufactured-stone siding.
In early May, Remodeling magazine published its 35th annual Cost vs. Value (CVV) report, which analyzes 22 remodeling projects to see which drive the highest prices when homes sell. The report revealed that exterior replacement projects continue their multi-year streak of delivering the best returns on investment for homeowners. Of the 22 projects in the report, 11 are exterior replacement projects. The three projects with the highest returns, on a national basis: garage-door replacement, manufactured-stone veneer siding and minor kitchen remodels, which return 93, 91 and 71 percent of the cost, respectively.
The CVV report underscores the importance of curb appeal for those hoping to sell their homes.
“Home buyers approaching a house tend to form strong opinions about it before they walk in the front door,” says Clayton DeKorne, chief editor of the JLC Group, which publishes Remodeling. “A strong positive opinion based on the condition of the exterior seems to set the tone for whether they will or won’t pay the price in the listing. It’s harder for buyers to bring their price up once they’ve assessed a house as ‘rundown.’”
In South Florida, the installation of manufactured-stone veneer on the exterior of a home recoups 98 percent of the cost, according to the CVV report, while garage-door replacement yields 89 percent and a new roof, 79.3 percent.
“This reliably confirms the idea that curb appeal still drives the highest prices in home sales,” DeKorne says.
Photo credit: DAVE1276