Remodeling Costs Recuperation

Many buyers judge a house by its exterior, or so it seems from the results of the 2007 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report. Three of the four projects with the highest national percentage of costs recouped this year were exterior upgrades.

The most profitable project on the national level was upscale siding replacement, recouping 88 percent of costs upon resale. Wood deck additions and wood window replacements also returned more than 80 percent of costs, at 85 percent and 81 percent, respectively. On a national average, the only interior project to return more than 80 percent of remodeling costs this year was a minor kitchen remodel, returning 83 percent of project costs at resale.

Realtors know what attracts buyers in their local markets and can help your house put its best facade forward. It is another way Realtors add value to the real estate transaction.

Four new projects were added this year. The wood deck addition, a back-up power generator, and both a midrange and upscale garage addition were included. Nationally, the back-up power generator only returned 58 percent of the investment on resale, although the return was highest in the West South Central region, which comprises Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and

Texas, at 68 percent. Buyers in the Pacific region of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington value their garages: The midrange garage addition returned nearly 70 percent nationally but 88 percent in this region, while the upscale garage addition returned approximately 65 percent nationally but 78 percent in this area.The least profitable projects were a back-up power generator, sunroom addition, and home office remodel. The back-up power generator returned the lowest percentage of initial cost in the East North Central, New England.Sunrooms are least popular in the East South Central, Mountain, and West South Central regions. Home office remodels return the lowest percentage of project costs in the Middle Atlantic (New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania).When considering a remodeling project, particularly with an eye toward resale, it’s important to evaluate your home’s current condition, how the project will change the existing space in your home, as well as how your remodeled home will compare to other homes in your community.

For example, using a breakfast nook to expand the kitchen seems like a good use of space, but using the same space to add a first-floor bathroom in an older home that doesn’t have one will draw more buyers. Realtors see thousands of homes every year with their buyer clients and can provide valuable insight into what projects and improvements will make a difference with buyers in your area.

Contact your local Realtor for added insights for remodeling that might increase resale values in your home.

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