Remodel: Is It An Investment

People remodel because of immediate needs for the owner. Either its time for more space or just a desire to upgrade and modernize. Curb appeal and adding value is an important consideration, But resale value is hard to pin down.

Home evaluation is hostage to market forces and individual taste. Thats why Replacement projects always perform better in resale value than other types of remodeling projects. They are less expensive projects that contribute to curb appeal, a strong subjective factor among home buyers.

If you are remodeling because you need to reconfigure for your needs, always keep in mind the resale value of your remodel choice, but dont expect to get it all back. Balance your needs and consider the recapture amount of the project and then build out.

Whatever you do don't overspend and don't be too unique. Most projects wont return your costs and certainly outside the norm remodels can take forever to sell. So where should you put your money...

Biggest Bang For The Buck

Remodel magazine does an annual survey and they point out that declining home prices and lower construction costs were overmatched by a 15.8% drop in estimated resale values. The ongoing uncertainty and loss of equity has hurt the recapture rate of remodels and upgrades. In other words, buyers arent willing to pay for remodels.

Getting Your Money Back
Top five remodels   (chart).

1. Garage door replacement returned 84%
2. Entry doors returned 102%
3. fiber-cement siding replacement returned 80% of cost.
4/5. Wood deck additions (66 - 73%) tied with minor kitchen remodel returning (60 - 68%)

Getting the point? Dont go overboard. Most projects will return between 55 to 70% of your cost. If thats ok because you need space or will have lots of enjoyment then go ahead. But if you think you will recoup, likley not. 

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