August 15, 2013
We will get it back when we sell
How much value does a pool add to your property? Hint: What is valuable to you, may not hold the same value for future buyers
I have been around the block more times than anyone in my family wishes to remember when it comes to buying, renovating and selling homes. Every time we move, I swear and believe that “this is the LAST time we will move” and I tell friends with a sincere heart to “ink this address because we are not moving”, only to have our holiday cards do double duty as new address announcements. So when it comes to understanding renovation costs and what gets you a return for your investment, 25 years of renovations, experience as a Greenwich realtor and good old fashioned research utilizing studies from Remodeling Magazine, Bankrate Inc. and the National Association of Realtors research department are the basis for the following results.
First off, hopefully you do think of your property as more than just an investment. It is where you spend time and create a home life. At the same time, it may also be the largest single place where you have placed your assets, and that can’t be forgotten either. As you think about what you would like to do to make your home more comfortable for you and your family, keep in mind that most changes may still be in place when you go to sell your home, and they can turn out to help or hurt the sale.
Remodeling Magazine finds that upkeep is more popular than upgrades at the current time. In our market, the majority of buyers are not interested in taking on large scale construction projects. The trend is towards purchasing homes that require minimum work and have been well cared for. In the magazine’s Cost Vs. Value Report 2013, replacement projects outperformed discretionary remodeling projects. Included in the list of good cost/value remodeling projects are:
According to the 2013 study, some of the projects that return less than 50 cents on the dollar include the following. These numbers are national averages and based upon a national study of cities and will vary, given our local market particularities.
Originally a maid’s room off the kitchen, this space is now a lady’s office. Courtesy: Ellsworth Ford Or for that matter your back patio. Tricking out a home office with expensive built in storage and fancy wiring may fit your needs, but that same room may be envisioned as a home gym, extra bedroom or hobby room by the next guy. If your heart is set on a home office, keep the space flexible so that the next owner sees it is a multipurpose room and can be changed up into whatever it is that they need it to be.
That age old phrase, “We will get it back when we sell” isn’t always the case. Balancing what will make a real difference to your enjoyment of your home against what you are comfortable spending if you don’t, in fact, recoup it when you sell, is an important and honest discussion to be had before you embark on any home improvement project.