Remodeling: Cost vs Value

In the course of working as a Realtor, one of the common questions I am often asked is “What should I do to get my house ready to sell?” I have addressed this pretty extensively in previous posts, but today I want to be more specific about remodeling for the purpose of selling.

There is always a range of value when pricing a property and that range is based upon condition. The better the condition, the more the house is worth. But having said that, there is not a dollar for dollar return on remodeling.

Remodeling Magazine puts out a list for every region of the United States that gives the average cost of various projects and the amount of additional sales price you can expect from having done the project. It’s pretty surprising. Most projects give a return that is less than the actual cost. Here are some examples from our region on the 2019 list:

Job / Cost / Return/ % of Return

Backyard Patio/ $63,109/ $40,045/ 55.2%

Bathroom Remodel/ $23,548/ $17,728/ 75.3%

Kitchen Remodel/ $75,513/ $49,384/ 68.1%

Master Suite Addition/ $151,211/ $105,965/ 70.1%

New Garage Door/ $3785/ $4685/ 123.8%

There are many more items on the list. This is just a sample. For the complete list, click here.

On this year’s list, the only project that gave a better return than the cost was the replacement of garage doors. In past years I’ve also seen replacement of the front door being a similar good investment.

The bottom line is that if you are going to remodel, do it while you are still going to live in the house. This way you’ll get more out of it than the cost of the project, you’ll also get the enjoyment of the project.

My last bit of advice is that the most significant thing you can to do maximize the return on your real estate investment is to maintain it properly during the time that you own it and to really deep clean it before you list if for sale.

As always, thanks for reading the blotter.

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