By Robyn A. Friedman
City & Shore Magazine
It’s officially summer, the season when a homeowner’s fancy turns to thoughts of … home improvement.
But, according to a recent report by Remodeling magazine, not all upgrades are equal – some add more to a home’s resale value than others.
The 2019 Cost vs. Value report compares costs for 22 of the most popular professional remodeling projects in 136 U.S. markets. The report outlines how much real estate professionals believe the various types of investment will improve a home’s resale value. Some of the results may surprise you.
You may think, for example, that remodeling your kitchen or adding a bathroom might yield a high return when you sell your home, but that’s not necessarily true. According to Remodeling, it’s “curb appeal” projects, which enhance the appearance of a home, that provide some of the highest returns because they improve a buyer’s first impression.
So, for example, in South Florida, an entry-door replacement ($1,755 cost) would add $2,018 to the resale value of a home, for a 115 percent return on investment, Remodeling reports. Adding manufactured stone veneer (110 percent return) and garage door replacement (100 percent) round out the three projects with the highest returns here.
Compare that to a major midrange kitchen remodel costing $63,418, which yields a 59.3 percent return on investment, adding just $37,638 to the resale value of a home, according to Remodeling.
Despite the analysis by Remodeling, some industry experts disagree with the results, stating that they’re good in theory but not in practice. “I always look at what an appraiser is going to give you value for,” says Lucas Satten, a real-estate agent with Re/Max Advisors in Coral Springs, who has 16 years of experience.
“There’s curb appeal, meaning that the house is going to sell faster, but there’s only so much you can get out of a house. If the highest sale in your neighborhood is $400,000, and you add stone veneer, you’re still only going to get $400,000 for your house.”
Satten recommends inexpensive cosmetic upgrades to those thinking of selling their homes. “Paint makes a huge difference and is inexpensive,” he says. “Landscaping, mulch and cleaning are important as well. A little bit of mulch goes a long way.”
Before investing in home upgrades, particularly if you’re considering selling your home, check with the experts to make sure you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
To read the complete Cost vs. Value report, visit costvsvalue.com.