Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing editor with REALTOR® Magazine.
2012-13 Cost vs. Value: Make the First Impression Count
Updating the outside of a home pays off, according to this year’s Cost vs. Value Report. Real estate professionals ranked exterior improvement projects as winning the buyers’ eye and providing sellers with the most return on investment.
January 31, 2013
If your clients are wondering what home improvement projects will give them the best return on the sale of their home, tell them to think “curb appeal.”
When buyers are shopping for a home, the exterior can make (or break) the first impression. According to the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, exterior replacement projects are among the most valuable home improvements that sellers can currently invest in, starting with the front door.
A steel entry door topped this year’s survey with an estimated 85.6 percent of the costs recouped at resale. The steel door replacement is also the least expensive of the 35 midrange and upscale remodeling projects included in the survey, costing $1,137 on average.
This is the 15th year that Remodeling magazine — in cooperation with REALTOR® Magazine — has released the Cost vs. Value Report. This year’s survey included more than 3,900 appraisers, sales agents, and brokers across the country who provided their opinions and estimates.
Exterior projects dominated the list with six of the top 10 most cost-effective midrange projects and eight of the top 10 upscale projects.
Top 10 Midrange Projects
1. Entry Door Replacement (steel)
2. Deck Addition (wood)
3. Garage Door Replacement
4. Minor Kitchen Remodel
5. Window Replacement (wood)
(tie) 6. Attic Bedroom Addition
(tie) 6. Siding Replacement (vinyl)
7. Window Replacement (vinyl)
8. Basement Remodel
9. Major Kitchen Remodel
10. Deck Addition (composite)
Top 10 Upscale Projects
1. Siding Replacement (fiber-cement)
2. Garage Door Replacement
3. Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl)
4. Window Replacement (vinyl)
5. Window Replacement (wood)
6. Grand Entrance (fiberglass)
7. Deck Addition (composite)
8. Major Kitchen Remodel
9. Bathroom Remodel
10. Roofing Replacement
Ending a six-year cost-value ratio decline, this year’s Cost vs. Value Report is good news for remodeling industry with a rise in the ratio by three percentage points to 60.6 percent. According to the report, lower construction costs and stabilizing house prices were the principal factors for the upturn.
While every region improved over last year’s survey, the Pacific region — Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington — had the highest average cost-to-value ratio overall at 71.2 percent, despite having the highest construction costs in the country.
Visit www.costvsvalue.com to find information from the 81 cities included in the survey and download free PDFs that include specific market data. Site registration is required. Also visit HouseLogic.com for a slideshow of the report’s results.
Construction cost estimates were generated by RemodelMAX. Cost vs. Value is a registered trademark of Hanley Wood, LLC.