If you want to recoup your renovation dollars when you sell, be sure to repair that leaky roof before springing for a fabulous new kitchen. While a new kitchen may sound seductive, simply upgrading it is likely all you’ll need to do to attract prospective buyers. Today’s buyers are purchasing the basics, and they want them in good shape.
According to Barbara Pronin in a recent RIS Media’s Housecall blog, there are eight home remodeling projects that will pay you back. Mind you, Pronin doesn’t claim you’ll recover your total investment, but she does suggest you’ll recoup 80 percent or better, quite simply because “they increase the value of the property.” Pronin lists the following as the key payback projects:
• New garage doors
• A wood deck
• Exterior siding
• Attic conversions
• Kitchen updates
• New energy-efficient windows
• Basement remodel
• Backup power generator.
Kathy McCleary agrees. In HGTV’s online Remodeling magazine, McCleary writes, “Basic maintenance, such as the roof and exterior painting, are frequently more important than an awesome kitchen.” She quotes Sal Alfano, Remodeling’s editorial director. “Buyers want to take the basic systems for granted…Maintenance can chew up a lot of cash quickly, and people are afraid of that.”
Hot urban markets may be the exception. Says McCleary, “In the hottest housing markets, springing for a kitchen or bath remodel is a surefire investment, often returning more than 100 percent of the cost.”