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Best (and Worst) Home Improvements in Today’s Housing Market [REPORT]

February 14th, 2011 · No Comments · Budgeting, Real Estate

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: February 26, 2018)

If you’re looking to resell your home in today’s housing market, the latest report on home improvements from Remodeling magazine suggests less is most definitely more. In fact, only one upgrade will pay for itself – a steel entry door replacement with an ROI of 102 percent. Nothing else comes close, with the next best ROI of just 84 percent for a mid-range garage door replacement. So think twice before budgeting for high-ticket home improvements.

Remodeling magazine collaborated with the National Association of Realtors to compile the 2011-2011 Cost vs. Value Report. As reported by Forbes‘ Morgan Brennan, the study reveals that today’s home improvement options shape up as follows:

Top 10 BEST Home Improvements for Your Money

  1. Steel entry door replacement
  2. Mid-range garage door replacement
  3. Fiber-cement siding replacement
  4. Minor kitchen remodeling
  5. Wood deck add-on
  6. Vinyl or foam-backed vinyl siding replacement
  7. Mid-range wood window replacement
  8. Attic bedroom add-on
  9. Mid-range vinyl window replacement
  10. Basement remodel

Top 10 WORST Home Improvements for Your Money

  1. Home office remodel
  2. Backup power generator
  3. Sun room add-on
  4. Bathroom add-on
  5. Mid-range to upscale garage add-on
  6. Mid-range to upscale roofing replacement
  7. Fiberglass entry door replacement
  8. Family room add-on
  9. Mid-range to upscale master suite add-on
  10. Mid-range to upscale bathroom add-on

Overall, exterior improvements offer the best ROI. And there are plenty of things you can do inside the home for nominal cost: “Forbes reported last year that sellers could improve their homes for buyers more efficiently – and more cheaply – by simply tidying up the rooms and slapping a fresh coat of paint on the walls,” writes Brennan. New carpet, neutral colors and improved lighting help too.

So it seems the best incentive for home remodels these days is not for potential buyers but for homeowners themselves. Instead of selling in today’s struggling housing market, consider replacements and add-ons that will make it feel like a brand new home to you. Give it a few years, then resell – improvements already in place (which you have thoroughly enjoyed) and the housing market in a better position to give you a healthier ROI.

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