Renovations with Best Returns

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One of the universal truths about home ownership is how we tend to put off renovation projects over and over until it’s time to sell the house, and so once we do make the improvements we’ve always wanted we don’t even get to enjoy them.

But if we can’t enjoy long-term the fruits of our efforts to get the house “show ready,” we can at least get some tangible benefit in the form of a recoup of some of the renovation costs through the sale of the home.

Of course, some renovation projects bring more “bang for the buck” than others when it comes time to sit down at the closing table and scribble your autograph 117 times.

We did a lot of research, and the same five or six projects kept coming up, so here is a list of some of the renovation projects that will give you the best return for your money.

1. Kitchen remodel

Renovations with Best Returns

Let’s face it; the kitchen is where the food is, and it’s where the drinks are, so it only takes a little bit of simple math to tell you that’s the room where the people want to be. The kitchen is also a room that can make or break a sale.

My wife and I have been looking at houses, and I can tell you that if we go through one in which the kitchen is outdated we don’t hang around too long to see much else.

A kitchen remodel will give a good return on your investment when it comes time to sell your home, as long as you don’t get too fancy and over-improve for the rest of the home and the neighborhood. As per HGTV, you can expect to recover anywhere between 60 and 120% of the cost of your kitchen remodel.

2. Adding a family room

This is another project that kept coming up in my research, even though putting an addition on your home for the sole purpose of selling it probably isn’t something that’s trending.
In fact, it’s probably more likely that you’re adding extra space so your cash-strapped, loan-burdened college graduate has a place to stay while looking for work. But maybe you anticipated that five years ago and built your addition with the future in mind.

If that’s the case, you’ll be happy to know you’ll at least recoup some of that investment through the sale of your home, and according to Bankrate.com you can expect about 70 % of it.

3. Basement remodel

Renovations with Best Returns

This is another thing my wife and I are looking for. If you have a full basement under your house you have no need to build an addition. You have all the space you need right under your feet. All you need is a check for about $70,000, the average cost of a basement remodel, according to Bankrate.com.

As it is, you have a place to go in case of a tornado or to store your canned vegetables, but a basement remodel will turn that damp, dark storage room into instant living space. Just think; you could be sitting in your new bar in your new family room watching your new flat screen TV the next time the tornado sirens start blowing.

And, according to Bankrate.com, once it’s time to sell your house, you can expect to get back about 70% of the original cost of the renovation. That’s what I call a home improvement.

4. Steel entry door replacement

Need a new front door on your house? Go out and buy one. Heck, get a good one – within reason, of course – and make the people who buy your house pay for it, seeing as how you’re going to get most, if not all, of the cost back at the closing table.

A shiny new front door with a brand-new deadbolt lock on it suggests security to prospective buyers, and few things are more important than that. If that door is the first thing they see when they walk up to your house, that is going to set a good tone for the rest of the showing.

The best news of all is that Realtor.com says that the average cost to replace your front door with a new steel one is about $1335 dollars, which is a pretty low cost improvement. And considering you’ll get about 91% of that back, you should be on your way to Lowe’s right now.

5. New attic insulation

Renovations with Best Returns

Okay, so it’s not the sexiest sounding home improvement project, and it certainly doesn’t qualify for interesting or exciting.

It is, however, the one home renovation project that kept creeping up over and over in my research. It makes sense; what good is a new furnace and central air if your home isn’t sufficiently insulated against the elements?

Like a new front door, adding insulation to your attic will cost you less than $2,000 on average says Realtor.com, so it’s another inexpensive way to add value to your home, and when you sell it you’ll get back about 95% of the cost.

6. Upgraded Landscaping

If the front door is the first thing a person sees walking up to your house, then your home’s “curb appeal” is what they’ll see when they first drive up, and a professional landscape upgrade can really boost that appeal while building instant equity as well.

A few flowering shrubs, some mulch and a stone path can go a very long way toward dressing up the outside of your home, and Houselogic.com says that you’ll get about 105% of the roughly $5,000 you’re likely to spend.

New siding, new shingles and a new garage door are a few other ways to increase your curb appeal, but if you want top dollar returns when the time comes to sell your house, you could do a lot worse than these six renovation projects.

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