One of the most common questions I get is, “What improvement projects will add to my home’s value?” I often refer to the National Association of Realtors annual survey of cost vs. value. Over 3000 Realtors are surveyed across the country and their information is broken down into regions and cities.
The Los Angeles regional report shows the impact of 35 different projects on the value of a home in today’s market. Let’s go through the top 5.
Replacing the entry door (with a steel unit) comes in as the top project on the list, and the only one that turns a profit, returning 112.1% to the value of the home. While I am not sure a steel door is the right thing to do with our character homes, I can say that a great entry has a huge positive impact on the buyer.
Most of us ignore the garage door. It’s there, it shields the car and our piles (or mountains) of stuff and, if it opens and closes, we’re good. A buyer, however, sees a huge architectural element that speaks volumes to the general care and condition of the home. Replacing the old, water logged garage door returns 96.4% of it’s cost and comes in as the 2nd best project.
New Wood Deck
Now this should not surprise any denizen of sunny, mild California. We live for our outdoor time and a deck makes entertaining and living under the clear blue sky all the more pleasant. Adding a deck is almost like adding more living space so, despite it’s nearly $14,000 cost estimate, it returns 86.5% of it’s cost to the value of a home. Plus you get all those barbecues while you live with it. Score!
Minor Kitchen Remodel
I think this will surprise many of you. Almost everyone who is willing to undergo a remodel to increase the value of their home thinks the best project must be a kitchen remodel! However, at 84.1% return on the investment, it clocks in at number 4 on our list. A minor remodel involves refacing existing cabinets and replacing fixtures, appliances, counters and floors. (I know! Not so very minor).
This will certainly bring controversy- especially in Northwest Glendale and the Rossmoyne. Vinyl window replacement is the fifth best home improvement project, bringing 80.3% of it’s cost to the value of the home. I can’t help but comment that this does NOT apply to a lovely character home. Replacing authentic wood windows in decent shape with vinyl will certainly decrease the home’s value.
There you have it- your summer list of “do Its”. If you would like to look at the entire report you can find it HERE.