May 23, 2016 Josh Sprague

Annual Cost vs Value Report

One of the most common questions I get from clients is: what can I do to improve the value of my home? The first three things on my list would be to eliminate obvious defects (holes, dripping pipes, broken windows, deteriorated caulking around tubs, etc), enhance your curb appeal (landscaping, sidewalk, and front door/entry), and complete minor cosmetics (replace flooring/carpet, kitchen counters & hardware, paint, light fixtures, and plumbing fixtures). Once that key work is completed, the question is: What major project should come next, and what will generate the best return on investment? That’s where the annual Cost vs Value Report comes in. It tells you the average percentage of value recouped from each type of remodeling project, and helps you determine your priorities.

Highest ROI Improvements

This year, the highest return items from our West North Central region (highlighted in the graphic below) are as follows:

  1. New Steel Entry Door (102%)
  2. Stone Veneer/Front Facade (92%)
  3. Garage Door Replacement (88%)
  4. Wood Deck Addition (81%)
  5. Vinyl Siding Replacement (81%)
  6. Minor Kitchen Remodel (79%)
  7. Window Replacement (79%)

First Impression = Lasting Impression

Since first impressions of a home are often based on the exterior features, it may come as no surprise that siding, door, window, and deck replacement have a high rate of return — especially where the exterior is in dilapidated condition.  As with previous years, there isn’t much difference between a major (72%) and minor (76%) kitchen remodel.   That is why I always advise clients who are coming close to ssale time to consider minor kitchen and bath renovations to make the listing shine.  In the end, the choice between major and minor kitchen remodels will depend on the price range of the home and buyer expectations thereof.  In addition, sometimes a major kitchen remodel involves moving walls and reconfiguring in ways that can improve the flow of adjacent areas, a further benefit. In a pinch and without a major budget, however, the minor kitchen remodel will always pay off!


Final Note

If you’d like to read more, including return on upscale items, please visit the Annual Cost vs Value Reports Page.   And remember, I am always happy to walk through your home and help you decide where to allocate your dollars first. I do these “remodeling walk-throughs” almost every week, so don’t hesitate to contact me anytime to set one up.  Prepping your home for sale is the most important part of the selling process!

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