Home & Family

Home Renovations – Yay or Nay?

renovationThere are numerous jobs people do to keep their homes in good shape, from touch-up painting the walls of well-traveled hallways to regrouting frequently used bathrooms. Decidedly, those small repairs which sometimes end up on a “Honey-do” list can have high visual impact and do great things such as ward off mold issues, respectively. Major renovations are a whole different game. Not only are they generally costly, but it also comes with risks. If done improperly, or if changes fail to add value, homeowners may lose money. That being said, the right improvements can significantly increase home values, and it’s about knowing which changes can deliver the highest yield.

When it comes to large remodels, it’s vital to weigh your options carefully before jumping in. Some important points to consider are the current market value in your neighborhood with and without the renovation, project costs and overages, and the length of time you plan to live in the home. It’s also wise to familiarize yourself with comparable sales in your neighborhood, and view statistics on which remodeling jobs can deliver the highest return. For example, CNN explains, per a 2020 article, with a full kitchen renovation, homeowners can recoup about 59% of the cost, and a new master suite will typically return 50% according to a study from the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. But they caution, that the highest returns come from less flashy projects, such as installing hardwood floors which return about 106% of your cost. Other beneficial improvements are replacing the HVAC system and insulation upgrades.

Any renovations that are being considered to “fix up” a house before moving should also be carefully considered. Even small changes require reflection. Tapping into the wisdom of someone who is familiar with the market and who understands the value of improvements, such as a realtor, is most advantageous to sellers. For example, a couple selling a home in New Jersey wanted to rip out their current wall to wall carpeting on their main level to replace it with newer carpeting. The realtor cautioned that unless they were upgrading to a more marketable type of flooring, such as hardwood, it was not worth the expense. Rather, she advised, that since the carpet was in good condition, they simply have the carpet professionally cleaned before showing the home. The realtor understood that there were no gains to be made in that specific case by going from carpet to carpet. She explained that the current trend for new buyers at that time was to remove carpeting altogether.

Changes that increase square footage, let in more natural sunlight, add needed features such as a second bathroom or dishwasher, or offer appeal as a new installation, such as a brand-new roof, finished basement, or new windows are generally perceived as positive changes. However, no matter what improvements you decide to do, it’s still important to understand whether the renovation is truly needed, cost-effective, or beneficial now and in the long-term. Nowadays, it is quite popular for people to watch a lot of tv shows that encourage home renovations and it’s easy to get swept away. It is wonderful to create your dream home, however, it is best to stay grounded and do the homework so that you can come out a winner every time.

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