Dear TZ - Which home improvements give me the most return on my investment?

Real Estate Agent with Remax First Realty II 0790808

Dear TZ,

I'm going to be selling my house in about a year and I have some cash to spend to get it ready to sell. Which home improvements get me the best improvement in selling price?

Fix It Up FreddyFile:Lodgings front door.jpg


Dear Freddy,

Lots of Union County residents are thinking about getting their homes ready to sell. The truth is, some home improvements are worth more than others.

Remodeling Magazine and the National Association of Realtors produce a collaborative report on improving a home before sale every year. This report is called the Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report and it compares construction costs with resale values.

The 2011-2011 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report indicates that, nationally, replacing the front door of a home results in a 102 percent profit over the cost of replacing the door, on average. In other words, one can expect to recoup $102 dollar for every $100 spent on a new door, on average nationally. Similarly, replacing a garage door results in an 84 percent recovery of cost. Replacing siding results in a national average of 80 percent recovery of cost.

Deck Adding a 16 by 20 foot deck using pressure treated joists and including a built in bench and planter with stairs and railings returns about 73 percent of cost nationally.(Source:

According to the 2010-2011 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, remodeling a minor mid-range kitchen returns about 73 percent of its investment but a major remodeling recovers about 60 percent.(Source:

Whatever you decide to do, remember that poorly done construction decreases a home’s value rather than increases it!

Good luck!

-          TZ

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~ Wayne & Jean 

Union County, NJ - a great place to live and work!

If you're looking to buy or sell a property in Union County, call us at 908-917-4189 or email


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All opinions, information and data provided is deemed reliable but is subject to errors and omissions. Not intended to solicit other Brokers' clients. We cooperate with them fully. 

Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

TZ, I've found over the years that almost any upgrading you do is going to be a wash at best. I love the idea about putting in a new front door, even if you don't really make any extra money. The front door makes things "pop" a little more from the street and as you walk up. Also, a new mailbox would be inexpensive if you have one attached to your house.

Mar 31, 2012 10:13 AM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Wayne & Jean - Thank you for sharing detailed quality information on dear TZ, which home improvements give me the most return on my investment.


Mar 31, 2012 10:31 AM
Beth and Richard Witt
New York, NY
The best Retired Brokers !!!!

Another great post... You guys rock!!!

Jul 03, 2013 12:37 AM