How to Renovate in a Cooling Housing Market

By: Ted Gaurnero

A question many home sellers might be asking themselves these days is what sort of renovations, if any are financially safe in a cooling housing market. In recent years up-scale improvements were on the rise including recessed lighting, renovated or additional media rooms, and high end kitchen amenities. Such "extravagances" may be a thing of the past for most- at least for now. But while high-end renovation choices may not be as popular, there are still certain renovations that can improve the re-sale value of your home.

What needs to be paid attention to in today's market are renovations based on functionality, needs and aesthetics- and in that order. No longer is high end luxury the best way to go in terms of boosting the re-sale value of your home. When you head into a re-sale geared renovation you want to make sure you'll more than re-coup what you invested into the renovation.

The hard facts that'll illuminate this situation are that upscale renovations offer a re-coup max of about 93%, where the mid range renovations will stand to get you about 102% return in investment. In today's market you want to be sure you'll re-coup all that you put in, and ideally you'll profit..

Another aspect to consider as you contemplate which renovations will serve to boost the re-sale of your home, is that of location. The re-coup potential of many renovations is a location specific phenomenon. For example, a new deck will be much more popular in the West than in the South. Typically bathroom and kitchen upgrades are pretty standard and are the two rooms that hold the most potential to boost the sale price of your home.

Unfortunately energy efficient upgrades are considered more of a luxury item these days and in the short term may not be the winning choice to help up the sale price of your home. This being said, there are still great long term benefits of the energy efficient upgrade. They won't necessarily boost the value of your home today, but hang in there, as fuel prices are steadily on the rise, they are the smart long term renovation/upgrade.

Other things to consider as you embark further into your renovation plans are how you can go about doing a good job at without spending a fortune. If you're looking at renovating a bathroom, this is a room that can be done with relative ease, without hiring a professional contractor. Know that hiring a professional to do the whole job from plans to execution will step the project further toward a higher grade renovation.

Whatever you decide, remember that renovations today can still help you sell for a better dollar tomorrow. You just have to be smart with what you choose to do and how you choose to do it.

America Properties
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