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NAR's 2007 Remodeling Cost VS. Value Report Is A Guide, Not Fact

Information for Sellers

Since 80 percent of housing inventory was built before 1980, it's useful to know regional attitudes toward remodeling.

The Hanley Wood LLC/Remodeling Magazine 2007 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, compares construction costs with resale values for 29 midrange and upscale remodeling projects comprising additions, remodels and replacements in 60 markets across the country.

Editor's note: "The National Association of Realtors is a partner in this research and publishes a feature story each year in Realtor Magazine. The Cost vs. Value Report is copyrighted by Hanley Wood LLC via Remodeling magazine.

But, what's desirable in Dallas may be a waste in Washington.

With buyers driving by homes for sale, this year it's all about curb appeal. Three of the four projects that returned the highest amount at resale were exterior upgrades:

  • Upscale siding replacement - recoups 88 percent of costs at resale


  • Wood decks - 85 percent


  • Wood windows - 81 percent

The least profitable projects were a back-up power generator, sunroom addition, and home office remodel.

Before homeowners commit to a remodeling project, they should consider the following:

  1. Evaluate your home's current condition - how much work is structural VS. cosmetic?


  2. How will your project change the existing space - will the space feel larger or smaller? Will the project cure an obsolete feature?


  3. How will your home compare to other nearby homes - new, rebuilt, and remodeled? Are buyers getting more or less for their money if they choose your home?

Homebuyers should improve what's important to them and what makes the home more functional, but they also should consider what's important to homebuyers. Before you put in that swimming pool, consider that the next buyer may not want the upkeep.

Updates are necessary, but choosing the right projects may make the difference in whether your home sells at all.

By Blanche Evans
December 4, 2007

Copyright © 2007 Realty Times. All Rights Reserved.