Thursday, March 19, 2015

WAIT! Before You Renovate

Conventional wisdom says that any home renovation is good when planning to put a house on the market. But in a market where renovation costs are rising steadily while house values are only inching up, what should the smart homeowner choose?

Studies show that some remodeling projects are a better investment than others, depending on where you live and what is trending. According to Remodeling Magazine's 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, there are five replacement projects which make the greatest percentage impact on the value of your home this year.


Roof replacement tops this year’s list at 5.9% as compared to 2014 values at an average cost of approximately $8,000. Typically roof replacement includes removal of the old roof and installing new shingles with underlayment, flashing, galvanized drip edges and trim. Tile roofs are generally double the price.

Your actual costs may vary, depending on where you live. For example, if you are in the Pacific region (CA, OR, WA, AK), you will pay 18% more than the National Average. If you are in the West South Central (TX, LA, OK, AK), you will pay 16% less than the National Average. 

Informed buyers probably look at the roof before anything else. A roof protects the house from ice, snow, rain, and other weather elements. Buyers know that a leaking roof will cause damage to the inside of the house.

Garage Doors

The garage door is one of the largest elements easily visible on a house and is usually one of the first things a buyer will see. It is an important element for curb appeal and can be a beautiful accent to your house.

Garage doors come in four basic types: They may roll up, swing out, swing up, or slide to the side. The cost to install a new garage door will vary depending on style and material, but average around $1,150. This cost generally includes the new door, galvanized steel tracks, rollers or hinges, and removal and disposal of the existing door and tracks. 

A quick tip: if you are replacing a damaged door with the same style, you may wish to keep undamaged panels to offer as replacement parts to your buyers.

Steel Entry Door

Third on the list and least expensive of this year’s top five is the 20 gauge steel door. As more people become concerned about security, this feature will be a good selling point. This cost-to-value project has an average price of $900 depending on the style (sidelites not included), but surprisingly has the highest resale rating. This project includes the new door unit, jambs and threshold with composite stop.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding replacement is one of the more expensive home renovations. However, new siding and trim can transform a house from disaster to a dream. It will increase resale value both through visual appeal, as well as through improved weatherproofing and energy efficiency. Depending on your location and size of your house, siding installation usually costs somewhere between $5,600 and $8,000.

Fiberglass Entry Door

A fiberglass door would be another good option to update the look of the entry.  They are durable - resisting denting, splitting, cracking and warping.  At a cost of about $600 to $1000 for a door without sidelites, replacing an entry door with a fiberglass door increases value of 72% over 2014. The replacement process involves removing the existing door and jambs and mounting the new door unit and jambs along with exterior trim.

Projects to Avoid in 2015

The trends for desired renovation projects change from year to year. It is important to focus on the changes buyers want. According to the recent study, the following should not be done in an attempt to increase a house’s value.

Installing a Back-Up Generator

Popular after severe winters, hurricanes or other natural disasters, last year's biggest cost-to-value item is now at the bottom of the list at -11.3%.

Second Story Addition

Some property owners add a second story to their house. It is hard to imagine that this expensive addition was ever popular to increase cost to value since two story houses generally take longer to sell! It now has an 11% drop in its cost-to-value ratio.

Composite Deck Addition

The popularity of this wood-alternative decking has also fallen in cost to value by 9.5%.

If you are moving into a new house, any of these projects might be a worthy choice given the right home and the right conditions. However, if you are renovating to get the most money out of your house, compare other houses in your neighborhood and consider the top five trending projects.

Remember, if you don’t have the money to renovate, or you need to sell your house fast, none of this work is necessary! You can still sell your house as it is.

Next week we will take a look at the spring market.

So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can Turn Your House To $OLD!

Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.

Linda  623-335-2662

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Lynda Bathory