Your best home improvement bets of the year

Blog image 23.9.15
First impressions definitely count among homebuyers, which is why prospective sellers often feel the need to make some improvements before their properties go on show.

However, they do need to know that while these improvements may well add to the appeal of the property, most will not add as much to the sale price as they cost to complete, according to the 2015 Cost v Value Report* just released by Remodeling magazine.

The report is based on a survey conducted among thousands of estate agents in which they are asked to estimate the resale return that homeowners are likely to achieve on the year’s most 36 most popular home improvement projects.

And more often than not, according to Remodeling Editor-in-Chief Craig Webb, the simpler and less expensive the project, the higher its cost-to-value ratio – although only one will currently deliver a resale return of 100% or more. This is the replacement of a standard wooden front door with a steel door to improve security.

In the mid-price range, the next most worthwhile projects that SA homeowners might consider are:

  • Garage door replacement (88,4%);
  • Addition of a wooden deck (80,5%);
  • Minor kitchen remodel (79,3%); and
  • Window replacement with wooden windows (78,8%).

Other popular choices, such as the addition of an extra bathroom, or even the installation of a back-up generator to cope with loadshedding, will give homeowners a resale return of less than 60% – so it is fair to say that they are not really worth doing unless you are going to stay on in your home to enjoy them yourself.

In the high-price category, the only improvement project likely to deliver a resale return of more than 80% this year as a luxury garage door upgrade.

In short, homeowners who are planning to sell should really think twice before embarking on any major additions or alternations in order to entice potential buyers.

They may well be better off just making sure that the property as it stands is in excellent condition – and putting their renovation money towards the deposit on their new home.



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