Homeowners looking for the most return on their investment when it comes to remodeling should consider exterior replacement projects. According to the 2013 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, Realtors® rated exterior projects among the most valuable home improvement projects.
“Curb appeal projects offer great bang for your buck, because a home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see,” said National Association of Realtors® President Gary Thomas. “Projects such as siding, window and door replacements can recoup more than 70 percent of their cost at resale.
According to the report, Realtors® judged a steel entry door replacement as the project expected to return the most money, with an estimated 85.6 percent of costs recouped upon resale. The steel entry door replacement is the least expensive project in the report, costing little more than $1,100 on average. A majority of the top 10 most cost-effective projects nationally in terms of value recouped are exterior replacement projects; all of these are estimated to recoup more than 71 percent of costs.
Aesthetics on Cape Cod often call for something different from the national trends. A steel replacement door will look plain wrong on an "antique" home from the 1700's, and Cape Codders value the authenticity of the Cape "look".
On some antiques a simple door made of planks of wood and a wrought iron latch is what sets a property apart from the neighboring home. In other styles of Cape Cod homes, a wooden door, or a great fake for one is what attracts the buyers looking for our unique style. Front doors and garage doors of obvious steel construction tend to detract from desirable Cape Cod style.
Two interior remodeling projects in particular can recoup substantial value at resale. A minor kitchen remodel is ranked fifth and is expected to return 75.4 percent of costs. Nationally, the average cost for the project is just under $19,000, though construction costs on Cape Cod are somewhat higher than the national average.
The second interior remodeling project in the top 10 is the attic bedroom, which landed at number eight and tied with the vinyl siding replacement with 72.9 percent of costs recouped. With an average national cost of just under $48,000, the attic project adds a bedroom and bathroom within a home’s existing footprint. Of course, many homes on the Cape don't even have a full second floor, let alone an attic.
Also vinyl siding is not valued on the Cape and can often hinder resale value. People associate the Cape with the weathered gray cedar shingle siding, a building material well-suited for the damp Cape climate. Cedar shakes are weather and insect-resistant.
“A Realtor® is the best resource for helping homeowners decide what improvement projects will provide the most upon resale in their market,” said Thomas. “Each neighborhood is different, and the desirability and resale value of a particular remodeling project varies depending on where you live. When making a home remodeling decision, resale value is just one factor that homeowners should take into consideration. Consult a Realtor®to make sure you are making the best decision.” You can say that again, and that would be me.
Most regions followed the national trends; however the Pacific region, consisting of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington, once again led the nation with an average cost-value ratio of 71.2 percent, due mainly to strong resale values. The next best performing regions were West South Central, South Atlantic, and East South Central. These regions attribute their high ranking to construction costs that were lowest in the country. While still remaining below the national average, most remaining regions showed strong improvement over last year. These are Mountain, New England, East North Central, Middle Atlantic, and West North Central.