Asheville Mountain Real Estate Blog

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Location: Mars Hill, NC, United States

A small, highly personalized real estate firm specializing in mountain homes and land in greater Asheville.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Asheville or Anywhere: Best and Worst ROI for Home Improvements

07/18/07

We have looked at home improvements on this blog before. Some of the areas examined included, the signs of home improvement fraud, while another posting looked at Money Magazine's nominations for the five biggest "fads" in home renovation.

Today we will look again, but with an eye towards ROI, that is, return on investment when it comes time to sell your home, or fix the one you just bought. These kinds of resources are popular in real estate literature right now as aids for a quicker sale, and a higher price. Nice claims in what is affectionately called, "a buyers market."

Here are three perspectives about improvements and ROI:

From Forbes: An article that looks at a number of home improvement ideas. Here is a small quote from the author that reminds me of that basic home buying maxim which states, "if resale and appreciation are factors, then never buy the nicest house on that street."
"If something isn't up to the standards of other houses in the neighborhood, investing in improvements will bring a big return. If it's already at that level, spending more may help you sell your home faster, but it won't have a high rate of return."
Not exactly a proprietary idea, but worth noting as an initial premise. The article is useful in my opinion, and uses such categories as "right away remedies" etc. Perhaps there will be some personal revelations for you. For example, I was a bit surprised that roofing was not a better ROI kind of project.

I wholeheartedly agree with the author's notions about staying away from the absolute latest in hi tech amenities. One need not think any further than perhaps the beta max and laser disc to understand this logic. On technology, with its rapid change, it seems best to wait things out and see which versions of any innovation will actually prevail, or if the new product will even survive.

Forbes Best and Worst in Pictures: With many Forbes online materials, one may have to click through the advertising. Pictures are however, a great way to make a point.

Money CNN takes a tactic that is close to my heart on this matter. Simply, that it is the little projects that have the biggest ROI. What seller or homeowner could argue with that?

From Money CNN: "Remodeling and Little Ways to Save Big". There are 10 areas of home improvement here, some with savings of as much as $40,000. This is a good quick read in an entertaining slide show kind of format. It has just a couple of paragraphs of text for each improvement. Reader's are walked through a home, and it covers projects from the front door to the bathroom. I think my favorite idea is "reuse existing materials".

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