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Getting the most value from your Raleigh home renovations

Posted February 28

This story was written for our sponsor, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston.

Whether hiring a contractor or doing it yourself, making renovations to your home is one of the most satisfying parts of home ownership, and one of the best ways to add value to your property.

However, not all additions are created equal, and some home improvements offer a drastically higher return on investment from the value added to viability on the housing market.

"Home renovations allow homeowners to update and personalize their property to achieve the look and feel that they wanted but perhaps couldn't initially afford when they purchased their home," said Armand Lenchek, a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston. "And, while they can certainly take on any project they desire, it's important to know if and how that investment will benefit them in the long run."

Which Renovations Add the Most Value?

The front door is not only one of the first things people notice about your house, but it's also the source of the highest return on investment.

According to "U.S. News & World Report," a simple entry door replacement, adding both energy efficiency and style, can provide a near 96 percent return on money spent.

"The best way to grab a buyer's attention is to catch their eye at the curb," Lenchek said. "Adding a new front door or refreshing the paint on your siding and shutters will help to spruce up your home and create curb appeal that beckons buyers inside to see more."

Entry doors and garage doors score well because they are relatively cheap, easy to remove and replace, and make a strong first impression on the person viewing the home. You will find that the key to a high return on renovation investments will be similar projects that offer a significant change in style, feel or space, without needing entirely new additions or wall construction.

Kitchens are much more costly than a simple door replacement, but the price of remodeling a kitchen has fallen dramatically in recent years. Fewer things have a bigger impact on the value of a home than the kitchen, which can add value to a home at an 80 percent rate of its cost.

Finding a creative way to add another bedroom, perhaps in the attic or basement, is another way to significantly increase the value of your home without a serious construction project.

What About Outdoor Landscaping of the Property?

Home renovations are not always for inside the home. Landscaping and lawn improvements can provide almost a quarter of added value to a home, according to landscape economist John Harris, and the outer property is, of course, the first thing someone sees when viewing your property.

A wooden deck can be a costly but valuable addition to a home, with one of the highest ROIs of all additions, according to "U.S. News & World Report."

Outdoor lighting, trees and native plant life are essential outdoor value additions and in-demand accessories to a home these days, according to HouseLogic.com. House Logic adds that walkways, fences and retaining walls can also be very beneficial to a home's value.

Which Renovations to Avoid and What ROI to Expect?

While it might sound great to add a completely new room to a home, large projects like that tend to be too costly for a high return on investment for the homeowner.

"Larger renovation projects tend to add up, making it hard for homeowners to recoup the money they put into those upgrades when it comes time to sell their home," Lenchek pointed out. "If a return on investment is key, blowing out a wall to build out additional square footage may not be the best plan."

Building out new space for home offices, bedrooms, bathrooms and sun rooms tend only to provide a 40 to 60 percent ROI, according to the "U.S. News & World Report," which asserts that a homeowner should attempt to recoup more than 75 percent of their investment spent in terms of added value.

This story was written for our sponsor, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston.

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