Remodeling Cost vs. Value


I am often asked by owners of Palos Verdes real estate which remodeling projects will give them the greatest return on their investment. The answer is siding replacement, window replacement and major kitchen remodel according to the December 2008 Realtor Magazine. This article covers areas around the country and states, “Pacific Coast cities recorded the best payback on remodeling by a wide margin…..replacement projects that boost curb appeal – siding, windows and decks – give you the greatest chance of recouping your money. Inside, only kitchen remodels can compare…”

Homeowners remodel for different reasons, like the need for more space, to improve the functionality of specific rooms and to update them. Kitchen and bathrooms are usually the most expensive remodel as plumbing and/or appliances need replacing. There is no specific report for Palos Verdes but there is a Cost vs Value Report for Los Angeles County which is broken down into Midrange priced projects and Upscale priced projects (Report can be accessed by clicking on the link above). When you click on the project name (i.e. Major Kitchen Remodel) you can then read the features of that price range to compare to your own. Midrange kitchen remodel returns 87.3% of cost, bathroom remodel returns 86.9% of cost and window replacement returns approximately 94% of cost.

Remodeling just for resale rarely nets you a dollar for dollar return. Most remodels are done for the enjoyment of the homeowner (who still wants to maximize their return when they do sell). My experience is that most buyers are looking for newer kitchens, bathrooms, master suites and nice yards. Curb appeal is important because it is the buyer’s first impression of the home.

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