ORLANDO, Fla. – What do potential buyers notice first when they visit a home? The exterior, which makes a home’s curb appeal crucial, according to the 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Exterior projects were among the most valuable home improvement projects cited.
“Deciding what remodeling projects to undertake can be difficult for homeowners because there are so many things to consider, including costs and time involved in the project,” says 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages. “Realtors know what home features are important to buyers in their area, but a home’s curb appeal is always important since it’s the first impression for buyers.”
Exterior replacement projects offer the greatest bang for the buck, the report found. Projects such as entry door, siding and window replacements can recoup homeowners more than 78 percent of costs upon resale. In fact, eight of the top 10 most cost-effective projects nationally, in terms of value recouped, are exterior projects.
A steel entry door replacement is expected to return the most money, with about 96.6 percent of costs recouped upon resale, according to the report’s findings. The steel entry door replacement is consistently the least expensive project in the annual Cost vs. Value Report, costing little more than $1,100 on average.
A wood deck addition came in second with about 87.4 percent of costs recouped upon resale. Two different siding replacement projects also landed in the top 10, including fiber-cement siding, expected to return 87 percent of costs, and vinyl siding, expected to return 78.2 percent of costs.
Two garage door replacements were also in the top 10; a midrange garage door replacement is expected to return 83.7 percent while an upscale garage door replacement follows closely at 82.9 percent of costs recouped. Rounding out the top exterior remodeling projects were two window replacements: A wood window replacement is estimated to recoup 79.3 percent of costs and a vinyl window replacement is estimated to recoup 78.7 percent of costs.
Turning to the inside of the house, two interior remodeling projects in particular can recoup substantial value at resale, according to the report.
An attic bedroom is ranked fourth and is expected to return 84.3 percent of costs; nationally, the average cost for the project is just above $49,000. The second interior remodeling project in the top 10 is the minor kitchen remodel. The project landed at No. 7 and is estimated to recoup 82.7 percent of costs. Nationally, the average cost for the project is just under $19,000. The improvement project likely to return the least is the home office remodel, estimated to recoup 48.9 percent.
For the second year in a row, Cost vs. Value data shows that the value of remodeling is up for all 35 projects included in the survey. To read the full project descriptions and access national and regional project data, visit www.costvsvalue.com.
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ORLANDO, Fla. — When prospective buyers tour a home, they like to look at all the details and “test drive” the features. Of course, if there’s one faucet that doesn’t work, that’s the one they’ll turn. If there’s one torn screen, that’s the one they’ll notice.
“Perception is reality. If someone sees a crooked chandelier or a light bulb that’s out, they may think it’s broken and cannot be repaired. This can taint the overall image of the property,” says Realtor® Mark Palace, founder and CEO of Palace Properties International Inc. in Satellite Beach, Fla.
Making a checklist is the easiest way to make sure your home is in top condition and ready to be inspected by buyers. Here is a list of 40 things that Palace and other Florida real estate experts suggest you review and fix before putting your home on the market.
- Keys work easily in locks
- Dead-bolt locks are aligned correctly so they are easy to open and close
- Home security system
- Security pad
- Garage door openers operate, both handhelds and built-ins
- Screens and window frames are clean
- Windows open easily
- Interior and exterior doors open and close quietly, without squeaking
- Pocket doors and sliding doors move easily in their tracks
- All interior light bulbs, switches and fixtures
- Porch lights, carriage lights, security lights
- Pool, spa and patio lights
- Oven light and timer
- Oven clock shows correct time
- Built-in microwave shows correct time and operates
- Garbage disposal operates and smells fresh
- Trash compactor
- Range hood light and exhaust fan
- Bottom of oven is clean
- Oven racks are clean and broiler works
- Dishwasher operates, silverware basket in place
- Refrigerator door light
- Gaskets on refrigerator and freezer
- Smoke detectors
- Air-conditioner/furnace/heater/heater thermostat, operation, coolant leakage, condensation, duct leaks
- Ceiling fans operate smoothly and quietly
- Bathroom vent fans
- All faucets operate easily
- Leaking faucets (an inexpensive washer could fix a leak)
- Toilets flush smoothly, fully
- Drainage in sinks, showers and tubs
- Pool pump and filter
- Pool vacuum
- Underwater jets in pool/spa
- Outdoor faucets/hose connections
- Indoor intercoms
- Patio/outdoor intercoms, speakers
- Carpet and flooring is clean and crack-free
Your Realtor® can help you prepare this checklist and make suggestions for any repairs. Some fixes are easy and you can do them yourself. Others may require a professional. Either way, that attention to detail can make a real difference in the sale of your home.