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July 26, 2014

2013-14 Cost vs. Value: Remodeling Pays Off Big Time

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2013-14 Cost vs. Value: Remodeling Pays Off Big Time

Home improvement projects across the board are giving home owners a greater return on their investment when it comes time to sell. Find out which projects “open the door” to buyers and where remodeling dollars stretch the furthest.

As existing-home sales and home prices make remarkable strides upward nationwide, remodeling projects are also continuing to make a comeback in a big way.

This is the second year in a row that all 35 projects in Remodelingmagazine’s Cost vs. Value Report saw more home improvement dollars recouped upon resale of a home than the previous year.

Existing-home sales reached 5.02 million in 2013, a 9.1 percent increase from 2012, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Home prices also rose in 2013: Existing homes commanded a median price of $197,100, up 11.5 percent from the 2012 median price of $176,800. This is the largest price gain since 2005.

Also for 2013, the cost-value ratio of remodeling projects nationwide averaged 66.1 percent, up 5.5 points over the previous year — which is, like median price, the largest increase since 2005.

Remodels That Payoff

The fan favorite in the 16th annual Cost vs. Value Report, which was released this month, was again the steel door entryway. Topping the list last year as well, this project is ideal for clients considering a quick update to the curb appeal of a home. The survey shows that a new steel door, with an average cost of $1,162, will recoup 96.6 percent of the remodeling cost at resale.

Making the biggest gain in percentage of recouped costs was the addition of a backup power generator. This project, averaging $11,742, jumped 28 percent in estimated resale value, recouping 67.5 percent of its cost in 2013. Usually at the bottom of the list, this project now ranks 25th out of the 35 projects. The increase is attributed in the report to 2013’s “unpredictable weather and multiple large storms.”

Regional Trends

The report also shows where remodeling dollars go the furthest.

Topping the list for remodeling costs recouped upon resale were Honolulu and San Francisco, at 110.8 percent and 109.4 percent, respectively. San Jose, Calif., came in third, with just shy of 100 percent of remodeling costs recouped on average. San Diego came in fourth, with 89.8 percent of costs recouped at resale; and fifth was Bridgeport, Conn., bringing in 85.9 percent of remodel costs at resale.

Also signifying distinct improvements over last year, seven of the country’s nine regions outperformed the nationwide cost-value average of 66.1 percent.  

Holding onto their positions as the top two regions for recouping remodeling costs were the Pacific (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington), with an 88 percent cost-value ratio, and West South Central (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas), with a 76.4 percent cost-value ratio.

The award for most improved region could go to New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), which moved from sixth to third this year with an overall cost-value ratio of 74.6 percent.

The two regions that held lower cost-value ratios than the national average were the Middle Atlantic (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) and West North Central (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota), with cost-value ratios of 63.2 percent and 57.3 percent, respectively.

Top Projects

If your clients are considering a home improvement project to boost the quality and appeal of their home, pass on this list of top 10 midrange and upscale projects from the 2013-14 Cost vs. Value Report:

Top 10 Midrange Projects

1. Entry Door Replacement (steel)
Job Cost: $1,162
Resale Value: $1,122
Cost Recouped: 96.6%

2. Deck Addition (wood)
Job Cost: $9,539
Resale Value: $8,334
Cost Recouped: 87.4%

3. Attic Bedroom
Job Cost: $49,438
Resale Value: $41,656
Cost Recouped: 84.3%

4. Garage Door Replacement
Job Cost: $1,534
Resale Value: $1,283
Cost Recouped: 83.7%

5. Minor Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $18,856
Resale Value: $15,585
Cost Recouped: 82.7%

6. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $10,926
Resale Value: $8,662
Cost Recouped: 79.3%

7. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $9,978
Resale Value: $7,857
Cost Recouped: 78.7%

8. Siding Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $11,475
Resale Value: $8,975
Cost Recouped: 78.2%

9. Basement Remodel
Job Cost: $62,834
Resale Value: $48,777
Cost Recouped: 77.6%

10. Deck Addition (composite)
Job Cost: $15,437
Resale Value: $11,476
Cost Recouped: 74.3%

Top 10 Upscale Projects

1. Siding Replacement (fiber-cement)
Job Cost: $13,378
Resale Value: $11,645
Cost Recouped: 87.0%

2. Garage Door Replacement
Job Cost: $2,791
Resale Value: $2,315
Cost Recouped: 82.9%

3. Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl)
Job Cost: $14,236
Resale Value: $11,124
Cost Recouped: 78.1%

4. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $13,385
Resale Value: $10,252
Cost Recouped: 76.6%

5. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $16,798
Resale Value: $12,438
Cost Recouped: 74.0%

6. Grand Entrance (fiberglass)
Job Cost: $7,305
Resale Value: $5,163
Cost Recouped: 70.7%

7. Deck Addition (composite)
Job Cost: $35,158
Resale Value: $22,881
Cost Recouped: 65.1%

8. (tie) Bathroom Remodel
Job Cost: $51,374
Resale Value: $32,660
Cost Recouped: 63.6%

(tie) Major Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $109,935
Resale Value: $69,973
Cost Recouped: 63.6%

9. Roofing Replacement
Job Cost: $34,495
Resale Value: $21,731
Cost Recouped: 63.0%

10. Bathroom Addition
Job Cost: $72,538
Resale Value: $43,936
Cost Recouped: 60.6%

The data used in the Cost vs. Value Report was collected with the help of REALTOR® Magazine in an online survey between August and October 2013. More than 4,500 NAR members participated from 101 U.S. cities, up from 81 cities included in last year’s survey.

Visit www.costvsvalue.com to find information from the 101 cities included in the survey and download free PDFs that include specific metro-area market data. (Site registration is required.) Also visit HouseLogic.com for a slide show of the report’s results.

Construction cost estimates were generated by RemodelMAX.

Remodeling Magazine's 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, Copyright 2014 by Hanley Wood, LLC. Republication or re-dissemination of the Report is expressly prohibited without written permission of Hanley Wood LLC. "Cost vs. Value" is a registered trademark of Hanley Wood, LLC.

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