It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived in your home for 15 years or 15 minutes, there’s something about it you want to change. Maybe you want new appliances in the kitchen, or perhaps you dream of a 1,000-square-foot addition. Whatever your remodeling fantasy, certain projects offer bigger payoffs when you sell your home. You may not think you’re selling any time soon, but who can say how your life will change in a few years? Here are some things to consider when planning your home improvements.
Remodeling magazine publishes an annual “Cost vs. Value Report,” which compares the cost for popular remodeling projects to the value those projects retain when homes are sold. Keep in mind that almost all remodeling projects offer less than a 100-percent return; however, some improvements come closer to paying for themselves than others.
Don’t go for sexy
By far, the projects that retained the most value in Texas in 2012 were replacing entry doors (116 percent) and garage doors (99 percent). While those may not fit your idea of an exciting remodel, they are projects that hold their value at resale. Replacing a home’s siding also scored high (83 percent for fiber-cement, 76 percent for vinyl), as did replacing windows (75 percent).
Keep the budget down
Generally, low- and midrange projects hold their value better than upscale remodels. For example, an upscale, major kitchen remodel (with an estimated cost of more than $100,000) returned only 65 percent in the “Cost vs. Value Report,” while a $15,000 minor kitchen remodel returned 75 percent.
Space is in the eye of the beholder
I’ve never heard of someone remodeling his house in order to decrease its square footage. However, when contemplating a project, consider how it will affect the perceived amount of space. Taking part of a large bedroom to create a home office may work for you, but will it make both rooms seem small?
Don’t be odd
The value of improvements can vary from city to city and even neighborhood to neighborhood. One constant, however, is that odd projects won’t ever increase your home’s appeal in the minds of most buyers. If you plan to stay in the same house for years to come, go ahead and turn your living room into a replica of Kyle Field. Be aware, however, that if you do have to sell, many potential buyers — even Aggies — will see that as a drawback.
There isn’t one right answer
Sure, the data says that you won’t get much return on your investment from adding a sunroom (53 percent), but what if you really want a sunroom. Or what if most homes in your subdivision have sunrooms, and you think you’ll be at a disadvantage competing against them if you sell?
The report from Remodeling magazine is a good place to start, but for specific advice about how a room addition or other improvement may affect the resale value of your home, ask a Texas Realtor®. If you’re already planning a move, a Texas Realtor® can even help you choose projects that might help your home sell faster. To learn more about selling and owning homes in Texas, visit TexasRealEstate.com.
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