Edward "Ed" Hammond
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Home Improvements With the Best ROI

by Edward Hammond 09/22/2019

Each year, Remodeling Magazine gathers data from nearly 150 markets on the average cost for 21 of the most popular home improvement or remodeling projects. Along with the expenses, they tally the resale amounts of those home in 100 markets in the United States to compare the cost versus the resale value of those improvements.

Each year, as compiled in the Remodeling 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, the researchers share the mid-range and upscale trends from the prior year, and which gave the most return on investment (ROI) for the homeowner.

Here are the highlights from 2018

Top prize for ROI goes to the upscale garage door replacement with nearly 100 percent return for most regions. Other items appearing near the top of the list include mid-range steel entry-door replacements and adding a manufactured stone veneer to your exterior. Farther down the list are the usual suspects, with a minor kitchen remodel and wood deck addition (mid-range) in the lower eighties.

While updating a bath continues to be promoted as a big-seller with a mid-range remodel just over 70 percent, both a mid-range and major upscale kitchen remodels net just above half of the cost and as do bathroom additions in both categories.

View the charts at Remodeling to review region-specific information where the contenders resort according to the local region and city-specific data. Regional price differences in both materials and labor costs; and home sales pricing affect the percentages of return, so the top three or four may change positions in your region. 

The idea that a remodel or upgrade ROI never tops 100 percent may be shocking for home-sellers looking to recoup their expenditures. Remember, however, that what constitutes a dollar for dollar return does not factor in what can mean a higher return for you. If your remodeled bathroom or new artistic garage door speeds up the sale time so that you're not trying to make two mortgage payments while you wait for a home to sell, your personal return is more valuable to you than just the selling price over remodeling cost. And, if you've lived in the house after the remodel and enjoyed its benefits personally, the ROI is incalculable by statistical standards.

If you plan to place your home on the market, review the Cost vs. Value Report for your region and city before undertaking significant additions or improvements. Then, consult a realtor specializing in your neighborhood to see what trends may improve the bottom line for your home.

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