Remodel or Not? 2017 Cost vs. Value Report

Remodeling magazine published the 2017 Cost vs. Value report which documents national and regional costs and return on investment (ROI) for popular home projects. 

The good news is that the reported improvements paid back 64.3 cents on the dollar for resale value. Finding the balance between updates and return isn't simple. Remodeling is as active as ever though the major factor contributing to return on investment is still about the location of your property.

The largest returns for remodel or improvement come from low-ticket improvements of under $2,000: attic insulation came in no. 1 at 107.7% and entry door replacement (steel) at 90.7%. Having said that, the exterior beats interior and replacements over remodels win this year. 

For instance, curb appeal improvements had larger returns that interior improvements. New windows (double-paned) at both levels and new siding were winners. Believe it or not, for the single family home, stone veneer showed a large return since it is authentic looking and a fraction of the cost of real stone.

Though you may feel more comfortable with one, the lowest return on a project was for a $12k+ backup power generator for only 54% ROI. The second national looser was a $51k+ backyard patio with 20X20 flagstone, sliding door, stone veneer surround outdoor kitchen, gas-powered fire pit, pergola and lighting...maybe it was the missing hot tub that brought the low return.

Kitchen remodels make the top 10 but a bath remodel, which could come near to the costs of a kitchen remodel, had a surprisingly low return. Since these rooms are so personal, one persons design aesthetic might not be what buyers are looking for. So many seniors are aging in place or living with extended family, that a growing category is the ADA bathrooms outfitted with walk-in shower, support bars, and wheelchair-accessible sink.

In San Francisco, 21 of the 29 projects provided a return of over 100%. Clientele in the Bay area are looking for homes with up-to-date fixtures, features and the latest remodels. Discuss with your Realtor which remodeling options should result in the kind of return on investment for the dollars you spend improving your property. It may be worth making a few well advised upgrades to attract the largest pool of buyers.

A takeaway - GREIGE: Painting your walls or home in gray-beige is a current popular choice that brings a healthy return for the effort.

For 35+ years, Patty Rogers, Broker Associate, BRE#00669968 at Abio Properties, has been previewing and matching stylish homes to satisfied Bay Area homebuyers and breaking sales records with her listings. She is known for finding and selling unique homes with a "Modicum of Charm" and is a shrewd negotiator who understands how to successfully orchestrate deals.