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2007 Remodeling Best Home Renovations List

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Kivitokki MansionEach year, Remodeling Magazine works hard to produce a Cost vs. Value Report in which they give you a good idea of the best home renovations from the perspective of resale value. In other words, if you had $10,000 to spend on a remodeling project and wanted the best financial return for your dollar, this list would give you a good idea of where you should spend it.

Remodeling takes it one step further and gives you the ROI based also on your geographic area because different areas enjoy different trends, styles, and comforts. The best example has to be a pool. A pool’s value is significantly higher in temperate climates like the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic and less valuable in areas that are cooler like the New England states. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll just compare national figures because that’s what they used to do in their surveys.

It’s amazing what happens in one year.

Changes since 2006

In the 2006 Best Home Renovations List, you had nearly everything on the list come in at above 80% return. Of the eighteen listed renovations, half gave a return of over 90% (two were profitable!). This year? Good luck finding anything with a return above 90%… the highest is a Wood Deck Addition at 85.4% (last year it was 90.3%). Here’s the 2005 Best Value Home Renovations Revisited post for further comparison from the year before.

Top 5 Best Value Renovations

Nationally, the top five were the wood deck addition (85.4%), siding replacement (83.2%), minor kitchen remodel (83%), and wood (81.2%) and vinyl (79.3%) window replacement. As you can see, former #1 minor kitchen remodel was third.

We recently replaced our roof because it was over 25 years old and because it had begun to leak. The roof replacement in the South Atlantic region (apparently Baltimore, MD is in the South Atlantic) had an estimated cost recoupment of 72% versus 67.4% nationally. Does that really affect our decision? We replaced it because it was leaking!

I don’t know many people doing home renovations these days with the housing market and the economy the way it is, which could explain the slow decline in ROI of renovations but it’s always good to keep these sorts of lists around if you have some cash burning a hole in your pocket. :)

(Photo: wili)

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7 Responses to “2007 Remodeling Best Home Renovations List”

  1. tom says:

    Bottom line on renovations… do them for you, and not for resale. I want something that’s not ugly, green, laminate countertops… that’s not for resale, that’s for me!

  2. Jeremy says:

    We’ll be doing a bathroom remodel soon, mostly for us, but partly for resale. When we moved in, the bathroom wasn’t very great to begin with. Now it has wallpaper starting to peel up, a few cracks in tiles, and lack of storage. We just really want it to look a bit more updated and in newer condition, so the price alone is worth it for that. But, the same updates should also help for resale a bit if we sell in our expected 3-4 year time frame.

  3. jim says:

    I can’t say I disagree with you Tom.

  4. Traciatim says:

    “I don’t know many people doing home renovations these days with the housing market and the economy the way it is . . . ”

    I smell opportunity in that statement. I wonder what kind of deals are hiding out there.

  5. jim says:

    There are a lot of good deals and contractors are competing like mad for business. I recently replaced my roof and had multiple roofers clamoring for my business, dropping their prices and throwing in other bonuses.

    I think that as long as you use sound research methods (like getting multiple quotes, etc.), you’ll find that you don’t need to do anything differently, you just experience far less resistance to those techniques.

  6. Scott says:

    That’s interesting that a wood deck ranked highest on overall improvements. I always had thought a bathroom addition was the best investment. We had some friends get a new pool and they wanted over $75k for it. I can’t believe what contractors can charge for a new pool. I would imagine it’s very labor intensive, but still, no way could you get an extra $75k when you sell your house.

  7. Dana says:

    Thanks for this list.. we are doing some home renovations now and hoping by the time we are done the housing market will turn around. I want to be ready to sell when the market is!


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