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Exterior Improvements Give You More Bang for Your Buck
Smaller remodeling projects mean more return when you sell
When it comes to remodeling your home and getting the best bang for your buck, improving the exterior of your house may be your surest bet for recouping your money when you sell.
Six out of the top 10 remodeling projects listed in Remodeling Magazine’s 2009-10 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report are all related to outside improvements. National Association of REALTORS® President Vicki Cox Golder says the results of the national survey highlight “the importance of a home’s first impression.”
According to the report, which surveys Realtors across the country, an improvement as simple and inexpensive as replacing a steel entry door for about $1200 can bring you back nearly 129 percent of your investment when you sell.
An attic bedroom costing $49,350 returned $40,990, a roughly 83 percent cost recoup, while a deck addition returned a little more than 80 percent of the average $10,635 spent on it.
One reason cited for the dominance in outdoor projects is cost. In a down economy, homeowners are eyeing their bottom line and each of the exterior improvements comes in at less than $15,000. And exterior improvements mean enhanced curb appeal, something any real estate agent would say is key to a home’s appeal to buyers.
Midrange outdoor projects in the report’s top 10 are a deck addition, vinyl siding replacement, wood and vinyl window replacements and steel and fiberglass door replacements.
Another factor for outdoor improvements is energy efficiency. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, homeowners can receive tax credits for weatherizing their houses, which includes upgrading windows, roofs and siding. Those upgrades save money for homeowners while also making their homes more attractive to buyers.
You can still make a good percentage of your money back by remodeling kitchens and baths but don’t go overboard. A minor kitchen remodel in a midrange house priced at $21,410 gives you back about $16,775 or about 78 percent of its cost when you sell. A major remodel at $57,215 returns $41,260 or 72 percent. In an upscale home, a major kitchen remodel at $111,800 gives you about 63 percent of your investment while a bathroom costing $52,300 would give you a little more than 61 percent.
Home offices and sunroom additions only add about half of their construction costs when you sell.
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