Find out which home investments pay off—and which improvements to scratch off your list
Summer is often the ideal time to tackle home projects and renovations. However, it is a good idea to choose projects wisely. Some improvements will see a return-on-investment when it comes time to sell your home, while others—not so much. And it’s a good idea to be aware of home remodeling trends and not choose a style that is going to be out-of-date as soon as installation is complete. We spoke with a number of real estate and design experts and came up with some stats and tips.
A valuable resource when it comes to all things remodeling is Remodeling Magazine and its annual Cost vs. Value Report, which tabulates the average cost of 29 common remodeling projects with their average values at resale one year later, across 99 markets. Let’s focus on the highlights of the 2017 findings specific to the “mountain west” region of the U.S.
Here are some of the strongest projects (for mid-range home prices):
Deck Addition (wood) – People who live in the mountain west obviously enjoy their indoor/outdoor living. This project has a return value of 81.4% and an average cost of $10,263.
Minor Kitchen Remodel – No surprises here; homeowners like a nicely updated kitchen. The average spent on the job was $20,173 with a 79.8% return.
Garage Door Replacement – Convenience is important. Average spending on this project was $1,690 with a 75.9% return on resale.
Entry Door Replacement (steel) – This is one that may take away from the quaintness of curb appeal but be valued for security appeal. The average cost was $1,397 with a 75.9% ROI.
Roofing Replacement – Another no brainer—especially when it comes to the upkeep of those pesky flat roofs. But this one will cost with an average of $19,806 – but a return of 73%.
Surprisingly, some of the lowest returns were on projects that might be on your personal wish list such as master bedroom addition and bathroom remodel. “Most people want open plans still,” says a prominent real estate broker in Santa Fe. “They don’t need dedicated spaces, like a dining room or living room.” Instead, they want a nice open flow.
We were able to drill down and look at data coming specifically out of the Albuquerque region. There were very strong returns that mimic the mountain west results on the following projects: deck addition, roofing replacement, entry door replacement (but fiberglass in this instance and not steel), and minor kitchen remodel. But owing to our wonderful sunsets, the backyard patio category was also a top earner – with a more than 100% return but a big ticket cost at $50,000.
“People certainly buy for kitchens, master bedrooms, and outdoor spaces,” confirms a top New Mexico real estate broker. “And a great portal will practically sell a home,” she adds.
As is the case with many things in New Mexico, home design marches to a different beat here. This is especially true when it comes to Santa Fe Style—which extends far beyond the capital city. According to Kim Shanahan, executive officer, Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, Santa Fe Style continues to evolve—especially on interiors. “Kitchen surfaces and cabinets have gone from Mexican tiles and pine cabinets from the late ‘80s to sleek lines of Euro-style cabinetry and solid-surface composite countertops from a variety of materials.” He also explains how blending the old with the new can be surprisingly harmonious in the hands of good designers and remodelers.
So it seems that some of the best projects are the most practical. Of course, when it comes to turning your home into your version of your castle, your emotional contentment is always a consideration. So take this advice with a grain of salt, and renovate on!
Looking for a way to finance your remodel project? Consider a home equity line of credit with State ECU – affordable financing that you can access indefinitely for virtually any purpose (with lines up to $250,000). Visit our mortgage page for more info and to apply.