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Real Estate Broker/Owner with LORI BLANK & ASSOCIATES, LLC

Home remodeling projects can add function to a home, but don't always add value. Consider the latest report from Remodeling Magazine. 

In it, the average cost of 35 projects are evaluated for the value they retain at the time of resale. Function beats flash, it seems, in today's housing market.

Expansive kitchens and custom vanities are returning less value to homeowners  on a percentage basis than energy-efficient doors and windows, for example.

A sampling of Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs Resale report shows the following cost recovery, by project:

  • Attic Bedroom Remodel : 79.90 percent cost recovery
  • Bathroom Addition : 74.90 percent cost recovery
  • Bathroom Addition (Upscale) : 72.80 percent cost recovery
  • Home Office Remodel : 63.40 percent cost recovery
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel : 85.20 percent cost recovery
  • Major Kitchen Remodel : 75.90 percent cost recovery
  • Roofing Replacement : 73.90 percent cost recovery
  • Window Replacement (Wood) : 85.30 percent cost recovery

Overall, "green" projects are returning a high percentage of costs to remodeling homeowners - especially for respect to homes that are "over-improved" with respect to the neighbors.

CNNMoney.com hosts a "Will This Renovation Pay Off?" calculator on its website, based on the data from Remodeling Magazine's annual report. It may be a helpful guide for you. That said, before starting a home improvement project, regardless of whether your goal is increase your home's resale value or to improve its function, be sure to talk with a real estate agent that knows your neighborhood well.

At worst, you'll gain insight to what's "typical" for your area to work into your plan, and, at best, you'll keep yourself from over-improving your home.

Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

Home remodeling definitely adds value. It just rarely adds as much value as what it costs. 

Jan 18, 2011 05:08 AM