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  • Writer's pictureKristin Bergunder

Home Improvement Return On Investment Misconception

I get asked this A LOT… much money am I going to get back if I remodel, or if I upgrade my kitchen counter tops and paint my cabinets, replace my flooring, etc.? A question I ALWAYS ask in my design consultations is what the foreseeable future looks like. Are we upgrading or modifying for you for 2 years, 5 years, 10 years? That has a definite impact on how we proceed. In real estate, I will work with clients many months in advance sometimes because the seller is curious where to allocate funds to take care of necessary repairs, deferred maintenance, and suggested updating. Education and conversation assists my clients in making choices they feel confident about.

The biggest misconception I see (reality TV home improvement shows have influenced this) is that homeowners expect to profit from their investment after upgrading or putting money in to their home. Obviously, that is the goal if you are flipping homes, but for homes that are owner occupied, if you spend $2500 on new counter tops, don’t expect that the value of your home has now increased by $5,000.

I wrote an article recently on the difference between upgrades and deferred maintenance. If you haven’t cleaned your carpets in well over a year, touched up your exterior trim paint that’s peeling, have a roof that’s 20 years old, or ever had your furnace professional serviced, the cost to take care of those first (considered more necessary) may impact what you have left to upgrade a bathroom, for example. What some folks may not realize is that taking care of needed repairs and possibly doing some updating may be what your home needs in order to put it more in line with the comparable homes around you so that it sells for a comparable price and much faster.

Our goal is to enhance your home whether it is for you or for the next homeowner, or a combination of the two. If selling, we want to attract as many buyers as possible while maximizing your home’s potential to appeal to each of those buyers.

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