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Posted by Chris Burk on July 18, 2018
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Which Home Improvement Projects Net the Biggest Return for Your Investment?

As a realtor and personal investor in multifamily rentals, I am concerned with costs of renovation and the best changes needed to get the most bang for my buck(s). So I did some research to find out which projects make the biggest impact in resale.  This is what I found out, and I wanted to pass it on to you.

Realtors, contractors and architects say that basic maintenance is most important, i.e., if the roof is leaking, buyers won’t get beyond that.  Buyers assume the roof doesn’t leak and the air conditioning and plumbing work. And be assured that if you use a good home inspector, those defects are going to be discovered!

According to Remodeling Magazine (, you may be less likely to recoup your investment in a major kitchen or bathroom remodel than you are to get back what you spend on basic home maintenance such as new siding. Only minor kitchen remodels return more at resale than siding replacement.  Replacing roofs and windows is also high on the list.  However, kitchen and bathroom remodels continue to be two of the best investments you can make in your house.

Some common home improvement projects will protect your dollars more than others, especially if you’re planning to sell in a few years.  The National Association of Realtors®’ Modeling Impact Report states that these projects should be:

  • Low maintenance
  • Good, but not necessarily the highest quality
  • Energy efficient
  • Not too costly

The best long-term remodeling investments you can make include:Curb Appeal

  • Replacing Front Door (creates curb appeal and is energy efficient and low cost)
  • Installing New Siding (vinyl or fiber cement—fiber cement is preferred for perception of quality)
  • Upgrading kitchen (minor remodels reduces costs—reface cabinets and install new flooring and modestly priced appliances)
  • Adding Decks and Patios (encourages outdoor living—low cost compared to new additions)
  • Turning an Attic into a Bedroom (gains living space, adds to home footprint, keeps costs under control)
  • Replacing Garage Door (creates curb appeal and gives your doors bankable personality)curb appeal

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