This week, we looked at the Top 10 Projects on the Cost vs. Value Report for Richmond, VA. I think there’s more to learn from the list than just a list of 10 items.
First, take a look at the 6 highest ranking items:
- Entry Door Replacement
- Garage Door Replacement
- Basement Remodel
- Deck Addition
- Window Replacement (vinyl)
- Siding Replacement
With the exception of #3, they are all exterior projects.
The Takeaway: Don’t ignore the value of curb appeal when you sell your home.
#3 is a basement remodel. After the top 6 exterior lineup, we follow up with a finished attic for #7.
The Takeaway: Increased (finished) sq. footage is one of the best ways to add value to your home.
Coming in at #’s 8 and 10, the minor/major kitchen remodel is not the silver bullet we usually think it is when you sell your home.
The Takeaway: In the current market, a lot of buyers are looking for a deal; a fixer upper. I’ve seen a lot of sellers who throw in some granite counters and stainless steel appliances and think that it’s going to make every buyer swoon.
It won’t. It doesn’t.
Buyers know that they’re paying for that granite and those appliances, and most of the time, they’d rather spend their money designing their own kitchen rather than have you do it. A blank slate and a fair price is more attractive to buyers than some
half-assed uninspired kitchen renovation. Renovate your kitchen because you want to renovate it- not for a buyer.
Here’s the last thing. With the exception of project #1- a new entry door- none of these projects ended up putting money back into your pocket. Check it out:
Job Description Job Cost Value Added Cost Recouped
- Entry Door $1098 $1488 135.5%
- Garage Door $1178 $1079 91.6%
- Basement Remodel $57,627 $45,757 79.4%
- Deck Addition $9,916 $7,670 77.3%
- Windows (vinyl) $9,965 $7,705 77.3%
- Siding (vinyl) $10,347 $7,917 76.5%
- Finished Attic $45,591 $33,921 74.4%
- Minor Kitchen Remodel $20,762 $15,358 74%
- Windows (wood) $10,873 $8,011 73.7%
- Major Kitchen Remodel $55,004 $38,713 70.4%
The Takeaway: Unless your cost recouped is over 100%, you are losing money. That’s right. Only one project of the top 10 meets that criteria. In the current market, if you want to make money by doing improvements before you sell, you’ll have to do them yourself. Doing it yourself means dramatically slashing your job costs, which means increasing your cost recouped.