Updated: Aug 4, 2022
Opinions are divided on whether or not remodeling is an investment into your property. Will you get your money back, or is it more just for personal comfort and enjoyment but less of a payback on the other side? Quite often, it comes down to the individual project and average return. Other factors that come into play like the surrounding neighborhood and choice of materials might also make a difference in your decision.
A quick perusal of 2018 national averages courtesy of Remodeling Magazine shows the percentage of return on several different home projects, and you can see that it fluctuates greatly depending on the project. Where a wood deck addition that costs around $10,000 is a solid investment netting over $9,000 in an 82% return, a much more expensive major kitchen remodel nets just under 60% return on an easy $60,000 expenditure. Yet, a minor kitchen remodel that cost a third of the price garners an 80% return. It seems like overall, the more you spend, the less return. Check Remodeling Magazine’s web page for a regional data breakdown of the entire country to get a good estimate of various remodeling projects.
The good folks at This Old House have a few ideas on the subject as well, sharing, “People buying a house look first at kitchens and baths,” from Kermit Baker, director of the remodeling futures program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Which translates as even though these rooms might cost a lot to redo, a minor remodel will fare well when it comes time to sell. They give us a heads up on swimming pools: Fun to spend time in during the summer (or pretty much year-round here in Florida), however typically buyers won’t spend extra on what is considered a maintenance burden. Same goes for home offices. Not everyone works from home.
REMODELING TO LAST Yeah you saw the trendy pinstripe bathroom motif and decided to use it in your remodel. Not so fast! Think it through. You love it, but will a buyer? You more than likely will be selling someday, so its best to consider the cost of a remodel for optimal sale value. The neighborhood is also something to consider. Are the people who would be interested in your domicile flocking to your hip corner of the world? Will they be in say, 10-15 years when you’re ready to sell? Do some research, say the real estate agents. You could easily do work worth $200,000 to satisfy your individual vision, but your house is in a $100,000 neighborhood. Keep your improvements in line with the value of your home, insists Seattle real estate agent Kay Rigley. A former client of hers, she recalls, spent over a half million dollars on a home worth $450,000 at most.
HIDDEN EXPENSES You never know when your home remodel budget might spin out of control. Hidden expense can spiral your project out of control before you know it. Things like those “extra” costs when a project takes longer than expected, or the fees you pay for asbestos testing, heat-loss calculations or monthly interest payments for a home-equity loan. Then when you’re finally done, there may be higher property taxes on your new and improved domicile. (This Old House). Ultimately, they say, most experts counsel against home improvement as an investment. Make your decisions based on what you want AND what you can afford.
GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES Since you can deduct mortgage interest from income taxes, the government can also make the cost of home improvement more manageable, and ultimately, a worthy investment, says Investopedia. Property owners who have accumulated decent equity in their homes can use financial instruments such as a cash-out refinance or home equity loan to finance their remodeling, making it a better investment. The principal will be repaid when the property is finally sold.
Is a remodel an investment? It can be, if you think it through, plan for the future and possible new owners. Discuss your remodeling vision with the experts at J. Sweet Construction, and get expert advice based on over 20 years in the business.