Some home renovations pay off at a much better rate than others, according to a report from ISoldMyHouse.com, a for-sale-by-owner website.
"Projects geared toward the homeowner's particular tastes, like the addition of a home music studio, have the least positive effect on asking price," says Owen Gilman, President of ISoldMyHouse.com. "Projects that most anyone can appreciate, such as a revamped bathroom, tend to boost sales price the most."
[Planning to remodeling your bathroom? Click to compare rates now.]
Bryan Laing, director of brand strategy at the marketing firm Crack, invested $100,000 revamping his 1928 bungalow in Portland, OR, last year. "The sexy stuff," says Laing, was the new kitchen, bathroom, refinished hardwood floors, repainted interior, new patio and landscaping.
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Laing purchased the house for $270,000 in 2009, and he reports it was recently assessed by a realtor at $460,000.
He says the best money he spent was the $1,000 to 2,000 it took to hire an interior designer/architect to help with planning before starting renovations.
"Our designer helped us 'do the house right, and make it completely timeless in its design' according to the realtor who just assessed our house," Laing said. "We see so many older homes [that] have an '80's kitchen – which makes it really hard [to sell]. It's all in the planning."
Most everyone agrees that home improvements add value both for the present owners and for when it's time to sell. In a survey from Sherwin-Williams and National Association of The Remodeling Industry (NARI), more than a third of homeowners (35 percent) view remodeling as the most efficient means of increasing home value.
[Want to remodel your home? Click to find the right contractor now.]
But which upgrades make the biggest difference? Let's look at those top fixes as ranked by ISoldMyHouse.com.