Return On Investment

Will your home improvement be worth the expense?

When it comes to making a decision about whether or not to improve your home, there are a number of factors to consider. First, how long are you planning to live in the home? Second, where does your house fall on the scale of home values for your neighborhood? Third, what is the average return on investment for the project you are planning? Thankfully all of this information is readily available to you.

You are the only person who can answer the first question and with it will come a wealth of information to aid you in your decision-making. For instance if you know that this is your forever home, then feel free to spend as much as you like and select whichever design meets your fancy. However, if you are planning a move within the next five years, you should take a long hard look before making a large investment in your home.

When you know you will be moving or will likely move from your current home within a short time period, I recommend hiring a home inspector to come and perform a standard inspection. Prior to updating your kitchen with the latest cabinetry or installing new hardwood flooring throughout, look at the essential to-do items on his inspection. If and when you sell these must be taken care for the new homeowner or concessions must be reached, which will inevitably cost you money. If your home improvement budget covers more than the essential updates, then begin looking at your list of wants.

As you assess the changes your would like to make to your home, keep in mind the value of your home in comparison with the values of similar homes in your neighborhood. A real estate appraiser or realtor can easily provide you with the most current information for both your home and your neighborhood.

Once you have determined there will be room left in your renovation budget after the required updates are completed and you are aware of your home’s value, it is time to take a look at the current year’s Cost vs. Value Report. Annually an industry report is produced, which provides national and regional information regarding the return on investment for each type of home improvement project. This tool should become your best friend. With a simple Google search, and the click of a button, you can have access to reports that predict how much money you will end up spending on that Master Bath remodel you’ve been dreaming about or the second story addition that can turn your three bed, one bath home into a five bed, two bath listing. At this point, simply crunch the numbers and determine whether your return on investment warrants the expense of the project you are looking to complete. Ultimately,no matter what the numbers say, you are the only person who can decide whether or not the home improvement is worth the personal expense. And if you do choose to move forward with your dream renovation, be sure to enjoy every step of the process, especially the final product.

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