In recent years, homeowners were having trouble getting the most money out of their home improvements. Now, it appears that trend has shifted in the other direction, according to the 2013 Cost vs. Value report from Remodeling magazine.
Not all remodels are created equal, however, and residents should take steps to ensure that they are choosing the best upgrades for their home, neighborhood and budget. A property inspection is a perfect way to figure out where changes should take place, as well as double check to see if all improvements were completed correctly.
Smart home renovation projects
It has been a while since the cost-value ratio improved, according to Remodeling magazine. For the 2013 survey, the average was 2.9 points higher than the previous year, hitting 60.6 percent. Replacement projects were popular, mostly due to the fact that they are typically more cost-effective and affordable, making those choices attractive given the current economy.
Before buying or selling property, a home inspection could point out where owners should focus their attention. Additionally, the Remodeling magazine survey found that the best upgrades depended on location. The Pacific region performed the best, thanks to high construction costs and resale values, while close behind were West South Central, South Atlantic and East South Central.
Some of the best projects homeowners could choose include siding replacements, windows, entry doors and garage doors. All of these options create a cost-value ratio of around 74 percent, which is higher than the average. If a property inspection notices any flaws with these home components, odds are fixes will generate a large return on investment.
Even some expensive projects are able to get most of those expenses back for homeowners, the survey reported. For example, an attic bedroom conversion costs on average $47,919. While that is a significant investment, the resale value averages more than $34,000, meaning that roughly 72 percent of the costs are recouped. A basement remodel had similar figures, as did a family room addition. The price is large up front, but the added living space these projects provide make them attractive to both current residents and buyers when the home is resold.
Kitchen upgrades make a solid choice
A property inspection could find problems or hazards in a kitchen, one of the most used rooms in a home. If this is the case, there is a good chance that the homeowners will be able to see a big return on investment for any upgrades.
Modest kitchen remodels are some of the smartest decisions homeowners could make, given the relatively low expense and high level of money earned back. Smaller upgrades to this area cost on average $18,527, and recouped 75.4 percent of that, according to Remodeling magazine.
In order for residents to get the most out of their project, a few simple tips should be followed. The layout is critical to crafting an ideal kitchen, This Old House noted. The design should be based around plumbing and electrical, and choices from there might be related to the goals current homeowners have for their space.
Moreover, an open floor plan is ideal, recommended Better Homes and Gardens. Wide walkways are intended to help people move around and cook easier. Any changes to the layout might also benefit from making it kid-friendly, especially if the home is in a family neighborhood. The fridge shouldn't be too close to the stove, so children are less likely to bump into any hot surfaces. Functional cabinets and countertops are a must, and the easier a kitchen is to use, the better the resale value may be.
When planning for any remodel, homeowners should have a home inspection completed. This step should help figure out where any upgrades should place place, as well as make sure the entire house is safe.