Five Slam-Dunk Renovations Paying Sellers Dividends in 2016 [Plus a Few More to Consider]

The latest survey on smart remodeling has been issued by the National Association of Realtors and industry leaders across the country are reporting on the impacts of various renovations for American homeowners. The study, conducted in October 2015, interviewed more than 2,000 members to determine how remodeling projects stacked up and homeowners' primary motivations for tackling them. The report then analyzed Realtors' and homeowners' perceived return on investment at resale. 

Both owners and their Realtors agreed that the highest recovery of cost came with replacing the roof (105% of expense) with owners citing the importance of energy efficiency and feelings of accomplishment. Roofs can vary in cost depending on the square footage, roof pitch, materials and adornments, such as intricate eaves, skylights or chimneys. In addition to increasing efficiency, owners reported a gaggle of "oo-ing and aww-ing" from the neighbors (ok, I added that one).

Not coincidentally, replacing batten or blow-in insulation (or installing in an old home for that matter!) boasts almost a complete recovery in expenses (95% return) and it's one of the more affordable projects to the budget-minded. For the handiest of homeowners, you can slash costs if you DIY, but make sure you are up to date on state and federal code requirements, proper application and don't miss out on some great tax incentive opportunities through Energy Trust of Oregon. Plus, lower energy bills means more beer money back in your pocket. My favorite at the moment? Breakside Brewery's Lunch Break ISA.

Hardwood flooring is hot these days, whether it's new durable engineered material or the trusty old oak and fir found in 20th century homes. You can't escape it's charm, nor how the high energy dog tears through the house from room to room, carving out his presence with every gleeful gallop at meal time (cringe). Good news is that refinishing or new hardwoods brings not just a sparkly canvas for bare feet and nearly 100% cost recovery. Side effects include increased euphoria and the tendency to gloat at cocktail parties. Some homeowners have even reported the desire to remain domiciled indefinitely.

When it comes to big ticket items in the Portland area, windows rank as one of buyers' most important aspects to consider when purchasing their home. Particularly in older, drafty homes new windows reduce energy loss and noise pollution and can even increase UV protection. Sellers saw nearly an 80% return on investment when they replaced original or aluminum windows with high efficiency vinyl or wood. For design-minded consumers, select manufacturers now offer custom products to replicate the character and charm of your tired windows, but without the sacrificed performance.

On a fixed budget and even more limited time? Swapping out dated entry and garage doors can turn a dreary facade into sophisticated and welcoming curb appeal. For around $2,000 and a Saturday afternoon, it's possible to recoup 60-87% of your costs. Uninspired by the generic look of big box doors? Check out Portland's ReBuilding Center (but seriously, do) for an eclectic variety. Just be prepared to do a little treasure hunting - their inventory consistently moves and the best stuff gets picked up quickly!

Whether you're debating selling or just want to spruce up your abode, consider an upgrade or two that fit within your budget and lifestyle. Download the full 2015 Impact Remodeling Report, including cost recovery estimates and to see what other renovations homeowners valued in 2015. 

Need more advice or don't know where to start? Drop me a line to schedule a visit, consultation and plan for getting your home market-ready. 

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