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WHICH UPDATES ADD VALUE AT RESALE TIME?

Thinking of remodeling or enlarging your home? The important question is: 'Which items will add value to your home and help with resale when the time comes to sell?' The answer is: 'Only the ones that future buyers will also want and be willing to pay for.'

As a general rule, choosing the functional over the merely cosmetic and choosing neutral over unusual or exotic will pay at resale. Taste and current trends can also affect the value of an update. Unusual colors have a limited appeal.

Which updates will add the most value to your home?

  • Updates that increase usable space (an extra bathroom, larger and/or upgraded kitchen, master bedroom suite, more closet space, conversion of unused space to a home office).

  • Updates that will lighten and brighten your rooms (white or light color paint and floor coverings, light woods, skylights, larger windows, French doors).

  • Updates that will open your home to the outdoors for fresh air and entertaining (French doors to the patio or garden).

  • Updates that will increase privacy and security (fencing, landscaping).

The November, 1998, issue of Realtor Magazine 'Cost vs Value Report' says, "Chosen carefully, with an eye to local market conditions, home improvements can add most of their cost to the resale value of a home immediately. And rather than depreciate with time and use, well-maintained improvements hold their value, appreciating along with property values". They summarized the report with the following table:

PUTTING YOUR MONEY WHERE IT PAYS ... predictions based on resale value within one year of project completion (cost recouped, national average).

Minor kitchen remodel
Bathroom addition
Major kitchen remodel
Family room addition
Two-story addition
Attic bedroom
Master suite
Bathroom remodel
Siding replacement
Deck addition
Window replacement
Home office

    

94%
89%
87%
84%
84%
83%
82%
73%
71%
70%
68%
64%

If an option will significantly enhance your enjoyment of the house while you live in it - after a hard day, a soak in the whirlpool really hits the spot - then it may be a good investment for you even though the next buyer may not fully pay for it.

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