Have you been wanting to add a room, turn a closet into a bathroom, revamp and modernize your kitchen, replace appliances, or retile the floor? Remodeling projects can really add to the usefulness and space of your home, but some will add more (and in some cases a lot more) value to your home. Here is what some of the best real estate experts are recommending:
1) Keep within the bounds of your neighborhood - a $50,000 home theatre is neat to have, but if you live in a $100K-$200K neighborhood this will not add much to your resale value or can make it very hard to sell for what you want. You would be out pacing and outpricing your neighborhood. If you are going to stay in your house for ever this is fine (you can do whatever you like then). Look at what your neighbors have or are doing and look at recent sales prices and trends for your neighborhood. A good, seasoned, local realtor can be a big help here. They know what adds value and will help sell for top dollar.
2) Kitchens and bathrooms are key! In every area of the country these remodeling projects are the best at recouping their cost and actually adding to the resale value of your house. Average return on investment 100 - 105%. Energy efficient appliances, stainless steel, new countertops, new sink, paint, flooring, crown molding will do wonders for the kitchen. Only go for granite if some of your neighboring houses have it, else you are again out pricing your house. New fixtures, tub, double instead of single sink, recessed lighting, flooring and paint for the bathroom will catch a buyers eye - less they will have to do to make it home. Tip - when painting go with neutral tones and, if possible, use a expert for tips on colors.
3) Decks, fences, bathroom addition (not remodel). Average return on investment 80 - 90%. These projects can be costly when comparing cost versus value, but recoup enough and add functionality so they are still good ideas. Be sure to use experts for any addition projects as you may have code issues and zoning requirements an expert is better able to meet.
4) Home office, screened porches, refurbished basement, attic bedroom, home office. These projects are a little lower on the average return on investment, 70 - 85%, but they should not be overlooked as they can make your house sell quicker. A screened porch is a must in some neighborhoods and many buyers have now come to desire or even require a home office as current trends show an increase in home offices and the self employed. Also, a home office may be partially tax deductible. Again, the rule is stick with tradition, look at your local furniture stores to see what people like their rooms to look like. Large furniture manufacturers spend millions to find what people want in home offices and such and place their furniture and room settings with this in mind. Don't go to modern or try something unique, tradition sells. The more unique you make your home the harder it will be to sell it.
5) Game rooms, saunas, pools, bars, upgraded windows, etc... These are projects that are good if you are planning on staying in the home for a long time and don't care too much about resale value. These projects generally have much lower resale values and will only result in a loss of money. Again, it is best to ask a local realtor what works and what does not.
There you have it - what works and what does not. Keep in mind there are some communities where the norm can be different and it is always best to consult an expert for their opinion. Besides it is free to consult the best experts - real estate professionals.