WHICH REMODELING PROJECTS WASTE THE LEAST MONEY? 

[pd] wikimedia

[pd] wikimedia

The annual home improvement survey is out, and once again the steel door tops the list of home improvements that will lose you the least money when you sell.

Clients often ask me if they should remodel the bathroom or replace the counter tops when they prepare their house to sell. They ask other agents that, too. Which is why the National Association of Realtors publishes an annual study of which home improvements buyers will pay extra for.

Yeah, none. Realtors across the country chime in, and they/we are pretty clear on this: None.

Even the steel entry door is a disappointment, with brokers estimating that buyers will pay $1,122 for your new $1162 door. Fiberglass door? Forget it. The “R” on that “I” is only 71%.

A kitchen remodel, which runs $20,000 to $50,000, nets only about 75% of your cost–at the high end! The cheaper your remodel, the smaller fraction you’ll recoup.

Most of the least-losing improvements are external: Fresh siding, garage doors, and the dearly loved steel entry door are up there. In New England, the door and even a new deck break into positive payback territory! Add two! Surround your house with decks, and make millions!

Additions–family rooms, sun rooms, and garages–are the biggest money dumps. Home office remodels are for chumps. New roofs are a ghastly miscalculation.

Here’s the thing: First impressions matter tremendously–as they should when you’re purchasing a giant consumer product with 1,000 hidden pieces that might or might not make your next 20 years a long, slow dance of regret. …Right?

So yes, no new windows. But wash the heck out of whatever windows you have. No new kitchen, but paint elderly cabinets white. If you add a sunroom ($76,000) plan on half your ROI coming back as pure joy, because it’s not going to come back as money.

If you must, if you really must, you can replace the entry door.

Check out the full list of survey items here.

 

 

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