Someone I know says that in order to sell a home in today's market it has to be "the prettiest girl at the dance". OK, that statement may bring back some not so pleasant memories of junior high school, but if we're talking about making a home more attractive to buyers, there is a lot of truth to it. It's a buyers market and the buyers know it so they are able to pick and choose in order to get the most for their money. So what is a seller to do? One approach is to embrace the idea of remodeling, especially if a home is more than 10 years old. From a design stand point, a lot has changed in 10 years and many of today's buyers expect granite and stainless in the kitchens and look for homes with updated spaces. Then there is the issue of wear and tear that can make a home less desirable for potential buyers. But which remodeling projects give you and your home the most bang for your buck?
According to the annual Remodeling Cost vs Vale Report, a joint effort of Realtor Magazine and Remodeling Magazine, in 2005 when the real estate market was booming homeowners could expect to recoup an average of 86.7% from their remodeling projects. While remodeling is still a viable way to increase the value of a home, the 2008 average has dropped to 67.3%. Like everything else when it comes to today's housing market, even that number can change dramatically depending on the type of project and where you live. The report indicates, for instance, that in Charlotte, NC, some projects like new decks and window replacements can actually net more than the project costs. If you're in Seattle, you can anticipate recovering 100% of your costs for things like a deck or a minor kitchen remodel. For homeowners in markets including Chicago, Indianapolis and other Midwest cities the news isn't as good. In those cities, it's tough to get your money back.
The Cost vs Value Report studied 30 different home improvement projects in nine regions across the US and you can see the full report online to get a better understanding of it all, but here are a few highlights for those of us living in North Carolina which is part of the South Atlantic Region and also includes Washington, D.C, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
According to the study, and the 2008 averages, these are some of the home improvements projects where you can expect to recoup a fairly large portion of the cost:
- Adding a wood deck - 83.9%
- Remodeling an attic into a bedroom - 75.5%
- Remodeling a basement - 78.1%
- Minor kitchen remodel - 79.9%
- Mid range bathroom remodel - 75.5%
- Replacing vinyl siding - 82.6%
- Fiber cement siding - 91%
- Vinyl window replacement - 82.4%
If you're thinking about creating a dedicated home office space, though, you might want to reconsider installing those built in shelves and custom desks. The home office remodeling project had the lowest return of all the 30 projects studied coming in at 56.3% in our area, even less in other areas.
Needless to say, these are national numbers and subject to change depending on what is usual and customary in any given area. The rate of return will will also vary depending on the quality of the materials used and the workmanship. In the end, while remodeling can be challenging it's also a great opportunity to make your home more attractive for future buyers, and maybe even more livable for yourself in the meantime.
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For more information about buying or selling homes or land in the Brevard, NC area, contact the Clay Team today at BrevardNCProperty.com!
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