What Renovations Bring the Best ROI?

If you own a home, or are in the process of buying one, you may have a laundry list in your head of renovations you would love to undertake. Whether you hate your current bathroom layout or wish for a gourmet kitchen, there are probably a number of projects you could see yourself tackling in the years ahead.

But what would be the return on those projects when it comes time for resale? If you are several years away from selling your home, the enjoyment and use you’ll get from these projects might make them worth the cost, but if you are planning to sell your home within the next few months to a year, you’ll need to see major Return on Investment (ROI) in order to make those updates and upgrades make sense financially.

The good (and surprising) news is that the best return on investment in Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 study came from low-cost, common sense improvements that are quick, easy, and bring big bang for the buck.

Note: With one exception, none of these improvements will turn a profit for you, but they almost pay for themselves with the value that they add when it’s time for resale.

  1. Fiberglass Attic Insulation (107.7%): How’s that for glamorous? The number one upgrade, and the only one on the list that actually makes you money, is installing low-cost fiberglass insulation. Thinking of selling your home? Perhaps add this install to a few environmentally friendly smarthome elements like the ones we talked about recently for a green update that is sure to woo Buyers.
  2. Entry Door Replacement (77.8-90.7%): A new entry door provides extra security and a facelift to your curb appeal that practically pays for itself. In mid-range upgrades, the steel entry door returned an impressive 90.7% of its cost at resale, while in the luxury category a fiberglass front door provided 77.8% ROI.
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer (89.4%): The study found that removing the bottom third of vinyl siding from an existing home and replacing it with a manufactured stone veneer was an update that almost paid for itself. The cost is almost $8,000 in most markets, but with this kind of return it’s an improvement that can really make your listing pop.
  4. Garage Door Replacement (76.9-85%): Topping the chart for luxury homes and appearing high on wishlists for midrange, a new garage door is a surprising winner when it comes to ROI. In both scenarios they replaced the garage door and tracks while retaining the existing opener system. If your garage door opener is glitchy or has seen better days, it might be worth replacing it as well if you choose this update.
  5. Minor Kitchen Remodel (80.2%): While many of us dream of gutting the old kitchen and completely remaking it, when it comes to paying for itself smaller is better. The minor remodel replaced cabinet and drawer fronts, replaced laminate countertops with new laminate, replaced appliances and flooring, and refreshed paint or wall covering. At an average cost of almost $21,000, this might be one you’d like to enjoy for a while before you sell.
  6. Siding Replacement (76.4%): In the midrange category, this was an improvement that boosts curb appeal and can really freshen up the look of the home. At a cost of more than $14,500, it’s one of the pricier items on the list, but is clearly a valued improvement.
  7. Window Replacement (73.0-73.9%): Whether you choose wood (73.0%) or vinyl (73.9%), this is an improvement that pays well in the luxury category. Oddly, it does not appear on the midrange category at all, suggesting that this is an update buyers of more moderate homes are less concerned with and won’t value as much when writing their offers.

A few more improvements that went over well? Anything that creates space! Whether it was a basement remodel, a family room addition, or even the addition of a second story, each of these was valued at around 70% ROI upon resale. One new category that did very well was Universal Design, which include handicapped accessible features throughout the home. At 68.4%, this improvement’s strong showing is probably the result of the aging Baby Boomer population and their desire for accessible features as they approach retirement.

If you are thinking of selling your home, we can help! Let our Eng Garcia Grant real estate professionals walk you through the latest in home improvements and renovations to help you make smart decisions as you prepare your home for listing. Then let our professional service take you all the way through your home sale to the closing table. We’re here with the best advice and knowledge to get you the best possible ROI on your largest investment–your home!

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