Home Improvements With High Returns

According to a 2006 survey conducted by Remodeling Online the home improvement with the highest return nationwide is a mid-range siding replacement. Other top projects included Window Replacement (Wood), Minor Kitchen Remodel, Bathroom Remodel, Window Replacement (Vinyl), Two-Story Addition and a Major Kitchen Remodel. The survey included information gathered from nearly 2,200 real estate agents in 60 cities throughout the country. See below for specifics.

The survey was conducted in order to determine which home improvements provided the best return on investment, in other words, which improvement expenses were most easily recouped when it came time to sell the property.

As you can see from the survey results, the siding replacement provided the highest return recouping 87.2% of the actual cost, with all projects below recouping a minimum of 80% or their actual cost.

Home Improvement Job Cost Resale Value Cost Recouped
Siding Replacement (Vinyl) $9,134 $7,963 87.2%
Window Replacement (Wood) $11,040 $9,416 85.3%
Minor Kitchen Remodel $17,928 $15,278 85.2%
Bathroom Remodel $12,918 $10,970  84.9%
Window Replacement (Vinyl) $13,120 $11,109  84.7%
Two-Story Addition $105,297 $87,654 83.2%
Major Kitchen Remodel $54,241 $43,603 80.4%

 

Source of survey information: Remodeling Online/Hanley-Wood *The data above represents national averages of mid-range improvement projects.

This continues to show that you should make home improvements based on the value they will provide you personally while living in the home and not necessarily to increase the value of the property at the time of resale. The exception to this may be when there is a fatal flaw that is keeping the home from selling. In this case, making the necessary improvements may be the difference between selling or not selling.

Keep in mind also that the value of any improvements is dependant on the quality with which the work is done and may be limited by the value of surrounding properties. If the work is performed poorly it may reduce the overall value of the property and if it is too inconsistent with the surrounding properties it may not be considered valuable by prospective buyers and may not add any value to the property.