Some home improvement ideas pay big dividends; others, however, are best done only if your enjoyment of the property would be severely diminished without them. Adding lasting value and increasing the chance of recouping money spent is a personal decision, but there are statistics which will guide you to spending dollars wisely.
In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, return on remodel investment dollars is generally higher than in many other parts of the country. There are certain home projects that consistently return upwards of 70 percent of cost to the seller.
Homebuyers love the following interior features, and local real estate professionals and builders also regularly recommend the following updates:
- stainless steel kitchen appliances
- hardwood floors (distressed, dark, and bamboo)
- granite kitchen and bath countertops
- a kitchen island
- a large master suite with a spa bathroom
- large closets
Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report had some interesting statistics:
Replacing an entry door with a metal model scored higher on the list than any other project, with an estimated ROI of 83.8 percent. The compilation was for the West South Central Region, which includes Texas; some of the other categories bringing high returns in the region, however, are not pertinent to this area. Since basements are rare here, refinishishing a basement has little relevance.
Kitchen and Bath Updates
If you are thinking of remodeling or updating, think about improvements that will return dollars to your pocket should you decide to sell. Construction professionals—and good sense—recommend that you aim for at least the national percentage of ROI when you consider a project. Nonetheless, local preferences govern, and what is popular in one area may not fly in Dallas-Fort Worth. Ask your real estate agent or lender for guidance.
Generally, kitchen and appliance updates are always a good investment, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
Bathroom updates (water-saving toilets in basic white) with shiny new faucets can return as much as 85 to 90 percent of the cost. Again, new granite counters are the look of choice. Storage is important. As stylish as a pedestal lavatory sink may be, a vanity cabinet in which to store supplies is a better choice.
When it comes to master bathrooms, one of the most recommended home improvement ideas has double vanities and a separate tub and shower. In addition, it has that elusive quality that European baths exude—part understated elegance, part rejuvenation spa with a shiny, easy-to-clean sparkle. If you can pull off that look with, for example, marble and polished nickel, stone floors, a towel warmer, and lots of mirrors, you will have a winner.
Aim for Best ROI
Few families these days stay in a home long enough to “burn the mortgage papers.” If there are improvements you are considering, it might be wise to consider the expected ROI before shelling out cash. According to the National Association of Home Builders, of the more than $200 billion spent each year on improvements, kitchen and bath projects lead the list and typically can return 70–75 percent of cost. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, there are other renovations which are popular and cost effective—namely, the addition of wood flooring in living areas and the replacement of outdated counters with granite (a universal favorite among Metroplex buyers).
Updates that are not glamorous but that consistently add value include new energy-efficient windows. Other green and environmentally smart updates include tankless water heaters, new plumbing fixtures and faucets, and new kitchen appliances. Interestingly, replacing a garage door yields consistently high returns.
Photo Source: Carrie Qualters