Is Remodeling Your Home Worth The Cost?

Home remodeling projects can come up for many different reasons. Your spouse got a new job and could use a home office. Your kitchen hasn’t been updated since 1973. You’ve heard if the right homebuyer were to come along, a hot tub could equal bonus bucks in your pocket.
When considering a remodeling project, how do you decide what will make your life better while possibly adding to your home’s resale value?
Ask These Questions for Your Home Makeover
Understanding your intentions for your house can go a long way toward shaping your remodeling plans. These are some questions to consider:
  • How long do you plan to live in your current home?
  • Will you get to enjoy the results of your remodeling project?
  • Will the remodel meet an immediate but temporary need? Or be an investment in your lifestyle?
  • How old are you? What kind of income do you anticipate in the years ahead?
  • If you are close to retirement, is now the time to invest in home improvements?
  • How much chaos can you live with during the renovation process?
  • Does your house—the floor plan, the garden, the bathrooms, everything—work for you?
  • Will your home need a lot of updates? Will there be simple ways to update things like energy usage?
Remodeling and the Bottom Line
Can you get your money back when you sell?
The truth is you likely won’t get back the full amount. But there are moves you can make to ensure you invest smartly:
  • Hire an appraiser to find out how much your home is currently worth.
  • Research other nearby renovation projects and how those homes sold after project completion.
  • Design around your home’s architecture and character. Vinyl siding on a
  • Queen Anne Victorian house will reduce its value. A three-season porch too hot to use in a Texas summer might not help the bottom line.
  • Consider your timeframe. If you’re only going to stay in your home another year or two, it’s probably not worth living with months of construction headaches.
  • Home Improvement Projects Worth Your Money
If you want to maximize your remodel for resale, think exterior: safer doors, better windows, or easy-care siding. Data from the latest remodeling reports shows those types of projects can recoup more than 80% of the investment. Extra bedrooms and updated master bedrooms sell well, too.
Your high-end kitchen update with custom cabinetry may not sell itself, but it will help if your current kitchen could double for your grandmother’s old set-up. An extra bathroom, especially if your house only has one, can be a solid choice over the long term—or finishing the attic. Smart homebuyers will appreciate any moves you make to reduce utility usage, such as energy-efficient window casings or new water heaters.
Some values depend on geography. A home office is not something every buyer would use, so it could recover less of the funds you invest, unless you live in an area with high real estate costs and plentiful telecommunication options. Pools are all about your pleasure, not the selling price—many buyers don’t want the headache of caring for one. But in some communities a pool may feel almost standard.
Why Remodel?
Your home is your castle. You deserve to enjoy it. If a remodel makes your home more livable and serves the changing needs of your family—more bedrooms, more bathrooms, or a more functional kitchen—it will be a big win if you can also recover at least some of the cost.
Depending on your real estate market, your finances, the schools you want for your kids, it might be smarter for your current needs to remodel rather than trying to sell and buy anew.
-Anne Miller, Realtor.com
Read the rest of the Remodeling Guide:
Step 2: Set Your Budget
Step 3: Plan Your Perfect Project
Step 4: Choose Your Team
Step 5: Map Out Your Schedule
Step 6: Get Your Paperwork in Order
Step 7: Plan for Problems
Step 8: Keep Your Project On Track

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