“The best real estate value in Sapphire!” is certainly a little bit over-the-top when it’s used in a listing, but in truth, that’s pretty much what most prospective homebuyers in every price range actually hope to find. For homeowners planning to list their own Sapphire homes, it’s good to keep in mind. When home improvement projects are going to be part of the preparations, adding real estate value without inflating the asking price is a goal worth pursuing.
Since there are so many improvements that could add to a Sapphire property’s real estate value, comparing how they have fared recently when it comes to the bottom line is worth doing.
The Home Office: Myth?
Home office conversions haven’t appeared near the top of major Return On Investment (ROI) analysis lists for very long, so their performance is ambiguous. According to the yearly “Cost vs. Value Report” by Remodeling magazine, home office remodel projects don’t even break the 50% ROI mark. That’s a precipitous fall from earlier projections. I would guess the reason is that the analysts pegged the average cost at $28,000—but with the proliferation of laptops, tablets, and home Wi-Fi, why should a home office cost that much? (As a side note, it’s probably a reasonable guess that the same technological progress has incrementally lessened consumer demand for designated home offices).
Cost Matters in the Kitchen
The kitchen remodel is what most people picture when they think of big home improvement projects, and rightly so. But it’s here that planning pays off: not all kitchen upgrades register as equally good real estate value boosters. The kitchen is already the most complex room in your home, and it’s also a place where you can spend a fortune on fancy appliances and sleek cabinet replacements. The numbers don’t lie: when it comes to kitchens, your best ROI comes through limited budget-conscious projects. Leaders in cost recouping: new sinks, replacement counters, and highly targeted improvements like backsplashes.
Energy-Saving Doors = High Value
Replacing the front door with an attractive, energy-saving variety remains the top dollar-for-dollar investment. It makes sense when you remember how important curb appeal is. A properly insulated and sealed door will also save money by cutting down heating and cooling bills—savings that show up in utility bill receipts when you’re queried on the cost of running your home.
Before you hit the hardware store or call a contractor, remember that maximizing the real estate value return is the ultimate goal. Some home improvement projects won’t add as much value as one might assume, which is why I keep an eye on the latest cost vs. value reports—and share them with my clients!