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Top 10 Remodeling Projects With Biggest Returns

February 28, 2013

Hello soon-to-be home seller!  You're readying your home for sale and you're wondering if there are certain remodeling/updating projects for your home that will give you the best ROI (Return On Investment).  It just so happens that the folks over at National Association of Realtors' REALTOR® Magazine sorted through a hefty amount of compiled data on this topic and came up with these list of Midrange and Upscale Top 10 Remodeling Projects That Offer the Biggest Returns:

Top 10 Midrange Projects

1. Entry Door Replacement (steel) 
Job Cost: $1,137
Resale Value: $974
Cost Recouped: 85.6 percent

2. Deck Addition (wood)
Job Cost: $9,327
Resale Value: $7,213
Cost Recouped: 77.3 percent

3. Garage Door Replacement 
Job Cost: $1,496
Resale Value: $1,132
Cost Recouped: 75.7 percent

4. Minor Kitchen Remodel 
Job Cost: $18,527
Resale Value: $13,977
Cost Recouped: 75.4 percent

5. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $10,708
Resale Value: $7,852
Cost Recouped: 73.3 percent

(tie) 6. Attic Bedroom Addition 
Job Cost: $47,919
Resale Value: $34,916
Cost Recouped: 72.9 percent

(tie) 6. Siding Replacement (vinyl) 
Job Cost: $11,192
Resale Value: $8,154
Cost Recouped: 72.9 percent

7. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $9,770
Resale Value: $6,961
Cost Recouped: 71.2 percent

8. Basement Remodel 
Job Cost: $61,303
Resale Value: $43,095
Cost Recouped: 70.3 percent

9. Major Kitchen Remodel 
Job Cost: $53,931
Resale Value: $37,139
Cost Recouped: 68.9 percent

10. Deck Addition (composite) 
Job Cost: $15,084
Resale Value: $10,184
Cost Recouped: 67.5 percent

Top 10 Upscale Projects

1. Siding Replacement (fiber-cement)
Job Cost: $13,083
Resale Value: $10,379
Cost Recouped: 79.3 percent

2. Garage Door Replacement
Job Cost: $2,720
Resale Value: $2,046
Cost Recouped: 75.2 percent

3. Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl)
Job Cost: $13,818
Resale Value: $9,926
Cost Recouped: 71.8 percent

4. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $13,055
Resale Value: $9,295
Cost Recouped: 71.2 percent

5. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $16,361
Resale Value: $11,194
Cost Recouped: 68.4 percent

6. Grand Entrance (fiberglass)
Job Cost: $7,088
Resale Value: $4,528
Cost Recouped: 63.9 percent

7. Deck Addition (composite)
Job Cost: $34,403
Resale Value: $20,532
Cost Recouped: 59.7 percent

8. Major Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $107,406
Resale Value: $64,113
Cost Recouped: 59.7 percent

9. Bathroom Remodel
Job Cost: $50,007
Resale Value: $29,162
Cost Recouped: 58.3 percent

10. Roofing Replacement
Job Cost: $33,880
Resale Value: $19,194
Cost Recouped: 56.7 percent

Several of these projects have a sizable price tag.  And, let's be honest, if you're adding a new deck on your home or replacing drafty windows, you may fall into the "Love It or List It" trap where you complete a great remodel or renovation and then you don't want to move!   For some smaller and less expensive options to get your home ready to sell with a fresh look, check out an earlier post we wrote with other tips to sell your home:  Top 8 Home Selling Strategies.

The data come from the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, a report created each year by Remodeling Magazine and REALTOR(R) Magazine.  We looked at the sub-report for the Pacific region which is a combination of San Francisco, L.A, Anchorage and Honolulu, just to name a few of the included cities. The numbers may not be 100% spot-on for San Francisco real estate but the information is definitely worth a look. (Full disclosure: There is a downloadable report for San Francisco and it required submitting more information than we felt was necessary so we skipped it.)

One chart in the Trends report is interesting because it shows that the Pacific region has the highest overall percentage of costs recouped - not really surprising given higher construction costs and higher home sales prices in this part of the country.  And then there is this category, "Number of Projects with ROI Above an Historical Average of 86.7%", in which San Francisco has a strong showing:

Cities with high ROI Projects

Even in a seller's market like the one we are seeing in San Francisco,  present your home in the best possible light and a strong sales price will be your reward.

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