Florida Realtors®: Get the Most Bang for Your Remodeling Buck

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.

<em>Florida Realtors<sup>®</sup>, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors<sup>®</sup>, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 127,000 members in 61 boards/associations.</em>

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