By Robyn A. Friedman
City & Shore Magazine
Are you planning to sell your home? If so, like most sellers, you’re probably sprucing it up, getting rid of clutter and doing minor cosmetic upgrades like painting and landscape improvements.
But many sellers do even more to get their homes ready to sell. Some undertake ambitious projects, such as kitchen and bath updates or even a roof replacement. But experts caution that not all home-improvement projects are the same. While some are necessary, to repair damage or replace outdated systems, others are discretionary. And, more importantly, not all projects will provide a return on investment when you sell your home.
That’s why Remodeling magazine publishes its cost vs. value report every year to guide homeowners on the projects that will yield the most bang for their renovation buck. This year, the magazine compared the average cost of 22 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 100 U.S. markets. And, if you’re like many homeowners who think that remodeling a kitchen or bath would add the most value to your home upon resale, well, at least according to Remodeling, you’d be wrong.
“Of the top 10 projects with the highest return on investment, nine are exterior projects,” says Clayton DeKorne, chief editor of the JLC Group, which publishes Remodeling. “They’re curb appeal projects, and you can’t underestimate how strong the effect of curb appeal is. If you drive up to a shabby house, you form an immediate negative impression even if the interior is really great.”
Here are the five home-improvement projects that will provide the highest return on investment in South Florida when a home is sold, according to Remodeling.
Manufactured Stone Veneer
Surprisingly, removing existing vinyl siding from the bottom third of a street-facing façade and replacing it with manufactured stone veneer will recoup 91.8 percent of the cost when the house sells. This project would add $8,107 to the resale price of the house based on a cost of $8,836.
Roofing Replacement (Asphalt Shingles)
This project involves removing an existing roof and installing fiberglass asphalt shingles, along with installation of a new underlayment, drip edge and flashing. This project costs, on average, $21,645, according to Remodeling, but adds $18,767 to the resale value of the house. The cost recouped: 86.7 percent.
Garage Door Replacement
Another curb appeal project, this involves removal of an existing 16×7-foot garage door and tracks and installation of a new four-section garage door. This project would recoup 85.6 percent of the cost.
Window Replacement (Vinyl)
Replacing 10 existing 3×5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-lite vinyl windows averages $17,102 in South Florida but yields $14,267 on resale for an 83.4 percent return.
Siding Replacement (Fiber-Cement)
Replacing 1,250 square feet of existing siding with new fiber-cement siding and trim averages $15,887 in South Florida but adds $12,633 to the resale value of the house, for a return on investment of 79.5 percent.
One other tip from DeKorne for those planning projects: Keep it neutral. If you’re doing a discretionary project like a kitchen remodel, don’t follow the latest trends or choose colors or materials you like that are not mainstream. “I might like white cabinets and a bright kitchen, but a buyer might want dark cabinets,” he said. “Your choices may or may not appeal to the buyer walking in the door.”
PHOTO: Manufactured stone veneer is estimated to return 91.8 percent of the cost of installation