Most people have the impression that home improvements are good investments and that you will recoup the cost when you sell. If you feel that way..well...you're wrong in 9 of 10 cases.
With the exception of a steel front door which recoups 102% of the construction cost at sale, most other "improvements" are for your benefit and enjoyment. So enjoy them, but don't expect much in return.
Some projects--namely room additions and upscale remodeling--are just plain dollar drains, according tothe 2010-2011 Cost Vs. Value report.
Remodeling Magazine and the Association of Realtors conducted a survey which compares construction cost estimates (provided by HomeTech Information Systems) with resale value estimates (provided by members of NAR) across the country for 35 mid-range and upscale home remodeling projects.
If you renovated in 2005 you might just now get your money back. If you do it today..it's not happening. Home prices are still declining and the return on your "project" has suffered, especially when it comes to the room additions, pools and bigger ticket remodels.
"When it comes to renovations, it's vital to keep potential buyers' tastes in mind, not just your own" says Elizabeth Mendenhall, vice president of committees for the National Association of Realtors.
If you're going to be in the home for the next 10 years and you yearn for that 1960's retro kitchen ..well go for it! After all, most homeowners are now unable to sell so they can update to their own tastes with no issues..
But if you're planning to do a high end upgrade, remember that of each $1000 you spend, you'll only get back $600 typically on the sale. That's just the rule..we didn't create it! Some other costly projects that don't pay off can be: Home office remodeling $458 of every $1,000, sunroom additions only $486 and bathroom additions at $533.
These are national averages to be sure and will vary in different areas. But your local Realtor can give you a really good idea what to expect in your market.
If you want a bigger bang for your buck pay closer attention to your home's exterior Windows are typically good returns, as are garage doors siding. Nothing except that steel door gives you more than an 85% return so be aware. But making your home more energy efficient is wise in this economy and when it is time to sell, nothing beats curb appeal.
The easist and cheapes renovations for sellers are the basics, carpet and paint. Neutrals please. We know you like Orange for Clemson but you may really push off that Gator fan! Keep your blinds and curtains open for showings. Nothing says fresh like natural light.
So tricks to avoid that will not be cost effective. Pools, solar panels, tankless water heaters, ponds or garden figures, and very high end upgrades to the aesthetics.
Easy ones that will? Carpet and fresh paint and some nice flowers in the yard.