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Home Remodeling Pays You Back

The Cost Vs. Value Report

If some cost figures appear too high or too low, one cause is the leveling effect of averaging. High demand for remodeling services in some parts of a given metro area may drive prices up, but this is often countered by lower demand — and lower prices — in another part of the same city. Also, seemingly small differences in size, scope, or quality of finishes can dramatically affect final project cost.

Averaging also affects the “value” side of the equation. In an actual real estate transaction, the amount recouped for a given remodeling project depends on the condition of the rest of the house, as well as the value of similar homes nearby and the rate at which property values are changing in the surrounding area. Location in an urban, suburban, or rural setting will also affect a home's value, as will the availability and pricing of new and existing homes in the immediate vicinity.

In some cases, the value of the remodeling project at resale is more than 100% of its original cost. This usually happens in markets where property values are rising very rapidly, but it can also occur when buyers regard certain types of remodeling projects as “standard.” For example, in a neighborhood where most houses have two bathrooms, adding a bath to a home that has just one may increase the resale value of the home beyond the cost of construction. In fact, not adding the bath could cause the home to sit on the market for much longer than is normal and to eventually sell for less than similar homes in the area.

When resale value is a major factor in a homeowner's decision to remodel, the best course of action is to consult with a local remodeler about construction cost, and ask an experienced Realtor about home prices in the neighborhood.


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