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Home Upgrades, Yay or Nay?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


Remodel, upgrade, update your Carroll County, Md home


     Which home upgrades are worth it, which ones offer the greatest return on investment? Spring is officially upon us, and one of the questions I have been receiving regards upgrades to the home. Homeowners in Carroll County, MD are starting to think about upgrading features of their homes, and want their "projects" to be a worthwhile investment of their time and money. Before beginning an upgrade of remodeling project, a homeowner should ask themselves several questions. Some questions to ask are: What is my budget? What is my timeframe? What is my goal? What will the project cost? Will the project add value to my home? Is the project practical? Will the project make it easier or harder to sell my home in the future? If you are planning on living in your home for awhile and enjoying the end result of the project, then you should probably go ahead and start planning. However, if you are considering upgrades and/or renovations in order to list your Carroll County, MD home for sale, know that the money you spend will not be recouped 100% in your home sale. 


     According to the 2016 Cost vs Value Report, the greatest return on investment in the Baltimore area is adding fiberglass insulation in the attic space. A homeowner can expect to recoup approximately 104% of the cost.


     Replacing the front door with a steel door adds extra security in addition to an approximate 89% return on investment. Choose a color that complements the front of the house, as well as the entryway, and don't forget to include a new lockset in a popular finish.


     If you have a garage, replacing the door and tracks will allow you to recoup approximately 88% of the cost. There are a variety of attractive garage doors available for your upgrade. Choose one that is stylish and complements your home, especially if the garage is attached. If you have a homeowner's association, make sure the new door is acceptable. Continue to use your existing motorized door opener, however.  


     Kitchens are one of the rooms in which we spend a fair amount of time, and most people appreciate nice kitchens. When buyers are house-hunting, the kitchen can make or break the possibility of writing an offer. The size, appliances, flooring, counter-tops and cabinets are some of the key factors in a kitchen. A minor kitchen remodel is perfect when the kitchen needs a cosmetic update. Projects include: painting or refacing cabinets and doors, replacing appliances with energy-efficient models of a popular style, replacing laminate counter-tops, replacing the flooring, and adding recessed lighting to illuminate the counter-tops. The 2016 Cost vs Value Report estimates a minor kitchen remodel will yield 71% return on investment in the Baltimore area. A major kitchen remodel will yield an approximate 62.% return on investment.


     Bathrooms are another room in which many people are choosy. Size, flooring, walls and fixtures are the common features that people notice when they walk in your bathroom. A minor remodel is great when the bathroom could use some updating. Ways to update a bathroom include: replacing the tub (if it's in good shape, just recaulk and re-glaze for a like-new finish); replacing the toilet, sink, vanity and hardware; removing any dated wallcoverings (wallpaper, for example) and painting the walls a light color; replacing old shower doors (if you have them), and instaling an adjustable shower head. A minor bathroom remodel can yield a return of approximately 65%, whereas a  major remodel will yield around 48%. A bathroom addition will only offer a return of approximately 49% in the Baltimore area. 


     What about other popular types of remodeling projects? A basement remodel can yield up to 66%. The addition of a wood deck can offer a return of approximately 71%, whereas a composite deck can yield around 62%. Expect to recoup approximately 51% on a master suite addition. 


     There's nothing better than the enjoying an upgrade or remodel after the project is completed. Do your homework, ask yourself questions, and make the decisions that are best for you and your situation. All returns on investment referenced above are based on the Baltimore, Md area. While Carroll County, MD is on the fringe of the Baltimore area, the exact percentages may be somewhat lower. If you are thinking about selling your home, contact a real estate professional who best knows your neighborhood for further guidance and advice regarding upgrades and remodeling projects.


If you are thinking about selling in the areas of Manchester, Hampstead, or Westminster,  contact me for your guidance!







Posted by

Melissa Spittel, Carroll County Maryland real estate agent 



Comments (5)

Rosemarie Heindel
Harry Norman Realtors - Big Canoe, GA
Rosemarie Heindel

Melissa...I grew up in Howard County Maryland and I still have family there.  The value on those homes have gone through the roof.  Any remodeling at this point will yield a great return for those who have held onto their homes for years.  If you are in a HOT area, they will sell.  Good luck and have a wonderful week filled with blessings.

Mar 28, 2016 12:04 AM
Melissa Spittel

Rosemarie Heindel You are sooo right! Howard County home values are up there. A lot of people who work in Howard County live in Carroll County because the homes are more affordable. My husband is getting ready to retire from Howard. Small world! I hope you have a blessed week as well!

Mar 28, 2016 05:29 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

yes to being smart and making the right moves. Good post and hostess here

Mar 28, 2016 12:28 AM
Melissa Spittel

Thanks Richie Alan Naggar 

Mar 28, 2016 05:31 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Melissa, this is a constant question from homeowners, and where will their dollar be best put?  Great list to see some return on remodeling dollars! 

Mar 28, 2016 12:33 AM
Melissa Spittel

Thank you Joan Cox

Mar 28, 2016 05:32 AM
Certified Mobile Notary Signing Agent - Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Highest Ranked Certified Mobile Notary in Virginia

Upgrades at the time of sale are both costly and you don't get to enjoy them; the buyer does.   But to get top dollar, you are right Melissa E. Spittel, Realtor , you have to spend a little to get the desired return.

Mar 28, 2016 09:11 PM
Pamela Cendejas
Second Self Virtual Assistance - Kingman, AZ
Second Self Virtual Assistance (928) 692-3235

Melissa E. Spittel, Realtor - This is good information to help people know the best ways to get the greatest ROI on their home.

Mar 31, 2016 06:28 AM