For those thinking of making home improvements to increase their home’s selling value, a number of projects provide the most bang for the buck.
“First impressions are everything,” said Chris Anderson, president of the San Diego Association of Realtors (SDAR). “Making your home attractive on the outside is just as important — if not more so — as the inside. If the exterior doesn’t make a buyer want to look inside, you won’t get them to.”
What are some relatively simple projects that can really improve the curb appeal of a home? “Even just a new front door, a new garage door and some fresh paint will really make it pop,” said Anderson. “A home’s front door says a lot about it — whether it’s been rode hard or if there’s been a lot of pride of ownership.” And because of the drought, she explained, buyers are really interested in xeriscaping, which includes water-wise and California-native plants such as succulents, and fresh bark or gravel and paved patios in lieu of a lawn. “But no fake turf,” she advised.
As far as the interior goes, “Kitchen and bath remodels are high-cost but provide a great return,” Anderson advised. “Current buyers have no problem paying market value, as long as the home is worth it — and kitchen and bath remodels can accomplish that.” Anderson also explained that stainless-steel appliances are not as important a selling factor as they used to be, but darker color, high quality hardwood floors are important to many of today’s buyers.
Anderson recommended that sellers consult an interior designer before showing the home. “Let a professional tell you what’s on trend. It’s a great way to get a cost-effective analysis on what your home needs to maximize its sale.”
An immediate — and free — way to improve a home’s appearance for showing, said Anderson, is to depersonalize and declutter.
The most important advice, Anderson said, especially in Coronado’s market, is to avoid going with the cheapest options. “A lot of homeowners are tempted to cut corners — don’t do that! You won’t recoup as much cost, and it’s very obvious to buyers. Coronado buyers are very savvy — most are cash buyers and don’t need financing — so they’re looking for quality. When you avoid the cheap route, you’ll get a much better return — not just in price but in the time your home sits on the market.”
The following chart demonstrates the average cost of 36 popular home improvement projects and the value they retained at resale in the national market in 2014:
PROJECT JOB COST RESALE VALUE COST RECOUPED
Attic bedroom $49,438 $41,656 84.3%
Bathroom addition $38,186 $22,940 60.1%
Bathroom remodel $16,128 $11,688 72.5%
Deck addition (composite) $15,437 $11,476 74.3%
Deck addition (wood) $9,539 $8,334 87.4%
Entry door replacement (fiberglass) $2,822 $1,997 70.8%
Entry door replacement (steel) $1,162 $1,122 96.6%
Family room addition $80,765 $55,540 68.8%
Garage door replacement $1,534 $1,283 83.7%
Home office remodel $28,000 $13,697 48.9%
Major kitchen remodel $54,909 $40,732 74.2%
Minor kitchen remodel $18,856 $15,585 82.7%
Master suite addition $103,844 $70,121 67.5%
Roofing replacement $18,913 $12,777 67.6%
Siding replacement (vinyl) $11,475 $8,975 78.2%
Two-story addition $155,365 $111,579 71.8%
Window replacement (vinyl) $9,978 $7,857 78.7%
Window replacement (wood) $10,926 $8,662 79.3%
Info was obtained from The Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com).