Remodeling Magazine‘s annual Cost vs. Value report has some powerful encouragement this year for homeowners ready to either do necessary maintenance or start remodeling projects this year.
The cost-to-value ratio improved for the first time in six years, which means the money you invest in your project will be recouped at a higher rate if you have to sell in the short term. See the full report here.
It’s some good peace of mind for homeowners thinking about remodeling, though return on investment is generally not a primary reason for considering improving your home. Improving your quality life, the way you enjoy your home, and how you spend time as a family are often primary considerations.
Getting a big ROI on a new bathroom may be almost irrelevant if you have 5 people in a home and only one bathroom. A project like that will pencil out in other ways.
If you follow the link to the report, you will see the numbers are drilled down by region and by major cities. In Seattle, the best return (in the 90% range) is for fiber-cement siding, new steel entry door, and minor kitchen remodel in the mid-range. The report also verifies that a mid-range full kitchen remodel is right around $60k, though the bathroom and basement remodels in the mid range may be on the low side.
In Seattle, the worst returns (in the 40% range) are for sunroom additions, home office remodels, and ironically, backup power generators. You may not get the ROI, but you sure will be comfy when the power goes out.
But even some of the projects with lower returns locally are still better percentage-wise than many of the averages nationally. There is only one project in the 80’s nationwide (steel entry door at 85.6% ROI), with everything else lower and the majority of projects in a range between 50% and 78% ROI.
Deciding whether your return on investment makes sense involves considering a number of things, from resale value to size and value of your neighborhood’s homes to what is most important for your family. If you live in a place that works for your family and you have great neighbors, it may make ample sense to invest in your home so that it works for you rather than look elsewhere.