Thursday, August 28, 2014

Making the most of the 2013-2014 Cost vs. Value Report

So your house is feeling a little outdated, you want something new and you have saved some money to get those projects done!! 

We all want to know our hard earned, hard saved money is going to a project that will add value to our home and give us a good return on our money if we sell. 

The Cost vs. Value report published annually can help you decide which projects are going to give you the most bang for your buck, and the projects you might want to take a pass on unless you absolutely love them....

This information is courtesy of the National Association of REALTORS®
  and is taken from the 2013-2014 Cost vs. Value Report. For more detailed information you can visit the site and look at specific regions at

Not surprisingly over half of the top 10 Mid-range Projects highlighted in the report are centered around "curb appeal" type enhancements. 

#1 Entry Door Replacement (steel) 

#2 Deck Addition (wood) 

#4 Garage Door Replacement

#6 Window Replacement (wood) 

#7 Window Replacement (vinyl) 

#8 Siding Replacement (vinyl)

#10 Deck Addition (composite)

I decided to take a look at some of these more exterior curb appeal projects this week. As summer draws to a close these may be projects that homeowners want to tackle before the snow flies. Particularly those homeowners considering putting their home on the market in the latter part of this year and those looking to maximize their investment. 

#1 Entry Door Replacement (steel) 

This one will not be surprising to many. Even a fresh coat of paint on a door can significantly add to a home's curb appeal. We have all seen trends come and front doors, brightly colored, or neutral tones. Front door trends are frequently changing. 

Due to front door trends coming and going updating your front door can significantly add to curb appeal and give your home a fresh modern feel. 

The report listed the job cost of a steel entry door replacement at $1162 with a reported resale value of $1122 leaving the percentage of project cost recouped at 96.6%

Of course none of these investments are guaranteed or are going to produce the exact same results for everyone in every market...but it is a good indicator of generally what a homeowner and consumer might expect and can be used as a tool in decision making. 

#2 Deck Addition (wood) and #10 Deck Addition (composite) 

Sitting on a  backyard deck is one of the most pleasant experiences for many people on a summer night, or any time of the year for that matter. 

Particularly in Utah there are so many homes with wonderful views. Enjoying the scenery and beauty of the outdoors is something that can be appreciated regardless of where you live.  

A deck can be staged just like a home. It is an extension of the home and can add significantly to a homes appeal for the majority of home buyers. 

The Cost vs. Value report indicates that you can expect to recoup approximately 13% more of your investment building a wood deck vs. a composite deck and the average initial investment is approximately $5800 less. This is a consideration if you are planning on moving nearly immediately and if you are in a market with more temperate or extreme climates. There are obvious advantages to a composite deck which can potentially outweigh the initial output for composite decking and the slightly reduced return on investment.  

In a market with many new construction entry or mid-range homes, most of which are built with a small standard concrete pad and a less than average deck as a standard feature a deck is an investment homeowners often desire. 

It is good to know that if this is something you desire it is one of the top home improvement projects you can do and hope to recoup some of your money. 

Furthermore if you currently have a deck make sure you are utilizing it to its fullest and highlighting how it can be used to potential buyers. A stain and a little attention will significantly add to your homes appeal. Some potted pots and a little patio set may be all you need!

I haven't personally used Rust-Oleum Restore 10x (shown above) but it does seem like something you might want to consider if you want to restore or refinish your pre-existing deck. 

#4 Garage Door Replacement

This one is very similar to the entry door replacement. I feel there is an opportunity to save a little more money if you are willing or want to paint and update the color and accents on your current garage door. Of course if you aren't up to the task a garage door replacement is not an enormous investment and an estimated recoup of cost at 83.7% may be worth it for you. 

This can be very beneficial if you have an extremely outdated garage door, or if you may have had a vehicular mishap and dented and dinged the door over the years. To buyers a garage door is a very large part of what they notice when they drive by or are looking at prospective home. 

You don't get a second chance at a first impression 
this goes for your house as well.

 The garage door is one of the largest aspects of a home's first impression. 

Personally I have a Martin Garage Door and Opener. It is the quietest garage door opener I have heard (or NOT heard rather) This is personally the company I would look at if I were replacing a garage door and opener.

#6 Window Replacement (wood) #7 Window Replacement (vinyl)

 Window replacement has multiple benefits if your current windows are outdated. Not only is there a curb appeal aspect we have been discussing. Additionally there is a significant  opportunity to save on heating and cooling costs if your current windows aren't cutting it. 

There are often incentives and programs available through utility companies or through window replacement companies. Just ask around and see if your home is eligible for any of these programs. Rocky Mountain Power is currently offering an rebate of up to $300 on qualifying window replacements. For more information click here.

Consumers are increasingly concerned when they see older single pane metal frame windows. Often the first thing they think is MONEY...these are going to cost me money to replace or money will be going out the window when heating and cooling escapes through these outdated things.

If you are selling your home a potential buyer is likely going to take notice. You aren't getting away with them overlooking this one. So if you have the means you could be money ahead by being proactive and updating some of these energy sucking items when preparing to sale. You could end up getting a good return on your investment and have less of a headache negotiating prices when a home inspection is done. 

 #8 Siding Replacement (vinyl) 

This is a big one as far as curb appeal goes. 
We all know what outdated aluminum siding looks like, in decades old color pallets. I'm personally not knocking this. BUT A LOT of potential home buyers are going to. Just being honest. 

Even if siding isn't a favorite exterior finish for a home buyer, the chances it is going to stand out as a negative to them is greatly reduced if it is a modern cohesive color scheme. They likely will not even be bothered by it unless it stands out as an outdated eyesore. 

The Cost vs. Value Report estimates a vinyl siding replacement averages $11,475 with an approximate resale value of $8,975 Recouping 78.7% of the investment. 


So there you have it. The top exterior curb appeal projects that are going to pay off to the greatest extent according to the 2013-2014 Cost vs. Value Report. 

Another thing I would like to mention before I close this topic down....I know not everyone has $10,000 laying around to update their home, particularly if it is only to prepare for sale. Heck some people don't even have the $1,200 for minor remodel and refurbish projects. 

With that being said my personal opinion on it is do what you can. If you are selling your home this is likely the single largest investment of time and income you have ever made. So when it comes time to sale it, as tedious as it may seem I would take some time get it in tip top shape. I understand if you don't like painting or this isn't your thing, but to me it is worth a little effort on the front end to get more money in your pocket from the sale, or even just a smoother and faster transition for you as you change your living situation. 

I have nothing but respect for anyone looking to sale their home. Particularly in the profession I am in I want you to have the best experience possible. 

If a replacement or addition isn't in your budget you could still keep these tips in mind and try and maximize things you do have. 

Make an existing deck have a little more appeal, get your Pinterest on and look at what other homeowners have done for inexpensive curb appeal projects. Ask your REALTOR® their opinion and solicit their advice on where your time and money will be best spent.

I hope everyone is having a great end of the month. 

Until the next time.... 

No comments:

Post a Comment