Homeowners often wonder which remodel and home-improvement projects yield the highest return. Of course, resale always is a consideration, but the beauty of home improvements is the ability to enjoy them before selling a home.
Some standards apply across the country; others are more pertinent to the Durango area.
Here, we see significant remodeling and renovation in many older neighborhoods, including Riverview, Crestview and the historic districts.
The values for in-town homes support the cost of major remodeling or additions, and many homeowners are willing to build on to their homes to provide additional functional space.
These additions often include true master bedrooms, beautiful bathrooms, larger kitchens, living rooms, storage and garage bays.
A lot of Crestview and Riverview-area homes originally had three bedrooms, one bath and a one-car garage. They were built in the 1950s and ’60s. Converting the one-car garage into a bathroom and additional living space will get a house to the coveted three-bedroom, two-bath level while increasing square footage at the same time.
Buyers now are looking for a more open floor plan. Homes in these areas also have walls sectioning off the kitchen from the rest of the house. Finding a way to open up the kitchen by knocking down a wall or putting in a bar can make a smaller home live and feel bigger. Adding another story to these homes also is common.
“Popping the top,” as is it called, is a great way to add significant square footage and a master suite. Given the high demand for in-town properties and rising values, putting $100,000 into a home in these areas to add square footage is a solid investment.
Painting is one of the most effective and least expensive improvements to a property. Using color and accent walls can make a big difference in how large the space may look and how appealing it is.
Historically, kitchens and bathrooms have been the most popular remodels. According to the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodeling Market Index, the most popular remodels in 2013 were bathrooms. The association indicates residential remodeling in single-family homes will increase 2.5 percent this year from 2013.
Although the bathrooms and kitchens tend to be most popular, the 2014 Cost vs. Value report indicates that a front door yields the most return, at 96.6 percent of the value spent returned. The report shows minor kitchen projects return more than bathrooms, with 82.7 percent back to the home.
Other top national projects include decks, garage doors and attic bedrooms. These improvements add value to the home and create a more enjoyable living experience.
Consider using experts in their fields to help you plan a project.
Don Ricedorff is a Realtor at The Wells Group in Durango, and a past president of the Durango Area Association of Realtors. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.