Paybacks are a .......................Necessity!

The 2007 upgrade cost versus return value numbers are out and they both reflect a strong indication of where good money is spent to increase the worth of your home and what type of immediate dollar amount they yield. As one may imagine, these vary in certain parts of the country. Specific exterior projects returned a higher recovery rate in the Pacific Northwest if they were based on eco friendly products but also because the northwest saw one of the best real estate overall value trends in the nation. While the South, Midwest and West saw decreases in overall value, the Pacific Northwest saw modest gains as did NY, NJ and Connecticut. The cost recuouped also varied by condition of the rest of the house, the value of similar homes nearby and the values in the overall community. Further, the value of return also differentiated on whether a cost was a replacement or an addition.

Nationally, most of the projects that saw the best dollar for dollar returns were exterior in nature with the exception being a minor kitchen remodel. Home office remodels, on the other end, have never returned more than 58% of their investment value in the decade plus of the survey information. On the positive side, wood deck additions recovered over 85% of their cost nationally and kitchen remodels actually returned nearly 88% of their investment.

To pinpoint the returns for the Midwest, we looked at Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan. The best returns for projects were lower than the national numbers but were no doubt skewed by the decline in the overall market. In the midwest region minor kitchen remodels returned over 78% of cost immediatly while deck additions returned over 72% of their outlay. Master suite remodels returned 63% of their cost in the five state region.

In other remodels, the cost versus returns were as follows: attic to bedroom conversion - 71%; Basement remodel - 62%; Bathroom remodel - 52%. Addition returns in the midwest were as follows: Sunroom - 53%; 2nd story addition - 65%; extra garage bay addtion - 57%; full bath addtions - 59%.

One other significant factor of note....the upscale home return numbers were different in some cases based on the specific amenity. Decks, master suites and fiber cement siding replacement all returned 3-5% more per project than on the median priced homes.

While this discussion is always helpful in deciding what to spend money on in your home, we also remind our clients that the most important factor is 'quality of life' when determining how to allocate our financial resources on your real estate investments. If it makes you happy AND you intend to stay in your home for an addtional period, the return on monies spent is always more intangible in a positive way.

Questions? Comments? Greg@GregCooper.com or 317.848.GREG (4734)