Remodeling Projects That Pay You Back: The Real Truth

Stop! Before you install that trophy bathroom or that state-of-the -art gourmet kitchen take a look at this new data that explains what really sells a house in today’s market.

Can you guess what must-have item will add approximately $900 in value to your home and should be in every remodeling plan?

Forget about spas and granite-top counters, the feature that will give your home the edge in today’s resale market is a new steel entry door. As we’ve experienced leaner times, luxury and glamour have taken a back seat to practicality. To sell a home, highlight curb appeal, energy efficiency and durability.

You can find proof of this new market direction in a recent survey conducted by Remodeling Magazine. The survey compared the average cost for 35 popular remodeling projects in 81 cities with the value those projects retained at resale. They found that that luxury items like bathroom spas did not enhance a home’s resale value nearly as much as practical, money-saving features such as metal doors and fiber-cement siding.

Homeowners who install a steel front door recoup on average nearly 86% percent of the project’s cost when they sell the home. There are several reasons why steel entry doors rank so highly. A new door enhances a home’s curb appeal and steel doors are inexpensive, durable and energy efficient.

Curb appeal is a priority with projects such as new exterior doors, fiber-cement siding and decks adding the most value at resale. HGTV and other real estate networks have educated buyers on formerly esoteric topics such as the superiority of fiber-cement siding to vinyl siding. Fiber-cement siding is more fade and fire resistant and durable than vinyl siding. It also looks more like natural wood. Homeowners who replace their vinyl siding recoup on average nearly 80 percent of the project’s cost when they sell the home, according to the report. While replacing old siding with vinyl yields an average return of 72.9%, the average return on replacing old siding with fiber-cement is 79.3%.

Space is another priority. Since families have less money for going out and since grown children and elderly parents are more likely to be members of the household, renovations that enhance living space are very desirable. Adding a wood deck is a low-cost living space enhancement that brings a return of 77.3%. Adding an attic bedroom is a more substantial project that brings an average return of almost 73%. This is one of the cheapest ways to gain indoor living space because you are building up and not out, so you don’t have to modify the existing foundation.

The home projects that yield the lowest returns are the darlings of a few years ago such as adding a home office (only a 43% return), adding a new bathroom (55% return), sunroom (46.5%) or master suite (52% return).

The lesson to be learned from the survey is simple: don’t spend money making improvements that potential buyers don’t care about.

Most real estate agents will repeat old mantras that were true a generation or a decade or even a couple months ago and may not be true in our volatile real estate market such as:

  • A state-of-the-art kitchen sells a house.
  • A luxurious master bath sells a house.
  • A spacious master suite sells a house.

At Linton Hall Realtors, we keep our ears to the ground so we know what will sell RIGHT NOW, not last year. We use our up-to-the-instant knowledge of the marketplace to get you the best possible price for your house. We are the home selling experts of Prince William County. We sell a house every single day of the year.

Time is money, so don’t waste either! Call Linton Hall Realtors, the home selling experts, at (703) 485-4663, or e-mail: [email protected].

About Ashley Leigh

Ashley Leigh is one of the most successful real estate agents in the United States and founder of Linton Hall, Realtors®, the premier real estate company in Prince William County, Virginia. In his book Billion Dollar Agents, Steve Kantor featured Ashley for individually producing well over $2 Billion in career sales selling thousands of homes. Ashley Leigh's innovative marketing programs have been have been written about in Fortune magazine. Additionally, Ashley has been profiled in RISMedia’s Real Estate Magazine and Power Team Report and has been recognized by REALTOR Magazine as one of the Top Sales Agents in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal ranked Ashley as one of America’s Top 20 Realtors in the Nation for his sales production for several years. Connect with Ashley on Google+

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