FEATUREBy Brian KeagyRenovation ROI
Five home renovations (plus a few others to avoid) that will help fashion your dream house or prep for a profitable sale.As homeowners sheltered during the worldwide pandemic, one byproduct that has emerged was a pronounced remodeling boom. According to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released in April 2021 by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, robust mid-single-digit gains in annual home renovation projects were forecast through 2021, with 4.8 percent growth projected by the first quarter of 2022. But whether the reasons for this surge are to create that dream home or pump up a property’s sale value, the truth is that smart, strategic renovations that create a return on your investment or meet an immediate need have never gone out of style.

According to Zonda Media’s 2021 Cost vs. Value Report on home renovations, these five current projects offer aesthetic appeal and add value to ensure the effort and expense pay off.
   Discover more details here     Create curb appeal
  •  Smartly spending money on “first impressions” is always en vogue. Exterior improvement projects currently top the report’s list: a manufactured stone veneer (avg. cost: $10,386), fiber-cement siding replacement ($19,626) and vinyl siding replacement ($16,576) deliver recouped costs of 92.1%, 69.4% and 68.3%, respectively.
  • Renovating doors and windows also provides tremendous value, including a garage door replacement ($3,907) topping the list with 93.8% costs recouped, while vinyl window replacement ($19,385, 68.6%) and wood window replacement ($23,219, 67.4%) additionally rated highly. Costing just $2,082, a steel entry door replacement recoups 65%.

Attention to the kitchen
  • The only interior improvement to rate near the top of the list, a minor kitchen remodel-midrange includes replacing wood panels and drawer fronts, countertops, sink and faucet, flooring, a cooktop/oven range, and slide-in refrigerator, plus repainting. The job cost of $26,214 conveys a 72.2% return.

Hit the deck
  • Outdoor decks add space to a property, create an attractive area for friends and family to gather, and make up another source of added value. Wood ($16,766) and composite ($22,426) deck additions recoup renovations costs at 65.8% and 63.2%, respectively.

Boost your bath
  • A priority renovation for many, midrange ($24,424) and universal design ($38,813) bathroom remodels – while landing decidedly middle of the road on the list – can add immediate beauty, functionality and future value to your home. A more modest project returns 60.1%, while a more extensive redesign will give back 57.9%.

Consider the cost
Before starting any costly renovation, it’s important to ensure that the project actually fits your needs and will provide even a modicum of financial return. Here are three home improvements that could prove costly down the road.
  • High-end bathroom ($75,692) and kitchen ($149,079) renovations can be prohibitively expensive, yet recoup their costs during home resale at 54.8 and 53.9 percent respectively. Focus on more modest cosmetic improvements to areas in these rooms that most need it.
  • With more people working from their houses, a home office conversion may be tempting. But with potential electrical, telecommunication and hardware additions potentially reaching into the thousands, the possibility a future buyer may prefer an extra bedroom to this renovation makes it a shaky investment.
  • Rising material and labor costs during the pandemic may make a DIY renovation more tempting, but understanding what you’re getting into is vital. Shoddy work can be easily recognizable by potential new owners and could lead to doubling up on costs if you have to bring in a professional to fix your mistakes.
Make a HELOC work for you
Whether the goal is to fund a home renovation, pay off student debt, finance a medical procedure or stake a business venture, engaging a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) loan may be the wisest choice. Secured by your home’s equity, it acts like a credit card, starts with a lower interest rate and is only tapped into when needed. (fee free?) American Airlines Federal Credit Union offers both fixed and variable rates depending on your needs and financial situation. To learn more or apply now.
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