The Lion's Den

News & Views About Real Estate in the Greater Philadelphia Area

Remodel with Style…and Data

Altering one’s living space is invigorating. Whether you grab a few gallons of paint and reclaim that canary-yellow dining room or call in the contractor in for some serious hardscaping, improving one’s home can be personally invaluable. That said, not all remodeling projects are financially equal. The rate of recoup, or the resale value, is the return you can expect on your home improvement investment. When considering any project, it’s important to be informed. Thanks to the folks at Cost vs. Value, who brought some very useful data points together, it’s simple to get an idea of how financially prudent a particular remodeling project may or may not be.

As the report astutely points out, there is a plethora of factors to consider when considering the resale value of a remodeling project–region, weather trends and markets all affect the bottom line. In these early days of Spring we at Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty would like to offer our distinctive perspective on a few home improvement projects. We will highlight some financially prudent projects as well as some projects to perhaps steer clear of if you intend to earn your capital back.

Projects with High Rates of Recoup in the Middle Atlantic:

1.) Entry Door Replacement (Steel)

This first remodeling project is outstanding because of  it’s simplicity and it’s high rate of resale. Replacing an entry door is (relatively) easy and can be preformed quickly. An entrance door speaks volumes to perspective buyers. Doors are not only seen but also felt. A brand new door can start a journey for a perspective buyer off on the right foot. ‘Cost vs. Value’ finds this remodeling project to have a rate of recoup of 88.5%, the highest rate of all of the projects analyzed.

Here are some Kurfiss SIR listings that feature newly installed steel entrance doors:

3496 Windy Bush Road, New Hope, Pennsylvania 

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2.) Minor Kitchen Remodel

Investing in an updated kitchen is paramount in bringing an aging home into modernity. Updating appliances, installing new counter-tops or applying a fresh coat of paint can be relatively affordable when compared to major additions. HGTV outlines a very affordable approach to a kitchen remodel. ‘Cost vs. Value’ awards a minor kitchen remodel with a rate of recoup at 68.0%.

Here are some Kurfiss SIR listings with some beautifully redone kitchens:

6010 Stoney Hill Road, New Hope, Pennsylvania

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1080 Victor Lane, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

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3.) Deck Addition (Wood)

Adding an additional room to a home can take some considerable time; not to mention the disturbance of construction. Additionally, additions need to be very carefully planned if one plans on trying to match the layout of the original structure. Adding a wooden deck doesn’t necessarily contribute to a home in the same way that a roofed addition wood (get it?), but it does create an outdoor space that happens to have a great resale value. Serving as an excuse to get some fresh air doesn’t hurt the case for adding a wooden deck either. ‘Cost vs. Value’ rates the recoup rate of 69.9% for the addition of a wooden deck.

2472 River Road, New Hope, Pennsylvania (Soon to be Listed)

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Projects with a Low Recoup Rate in the Middle Atlantic:

1.) Home Office Remodel

Perhaps due in part to the changing nature of business, converting a standard room into a modern office takes a considerable amount of capital. After installing storage cabinets, buying desks, rewiring telecommunication lines (including drywall/trim work) and laying some new industrial carpet the expenditures of your home office may send you into the red. We’re not even getting into printer/computer costs yet. ‘Cost vs. Value’ finds a home office remodel to have the worst recoup rate at 38.7%.

2.) Sun Room Addition

Like a home office remodel, the addition of a Sun Room can be quite costly. Consider the components of a sun room; a concrete slab foundation, siding (aluminum or vinyl), multiple windows, screens, and flooring materials and installation could cost just under 40,000$, according to ‘Cost vs. Value.’ With a recoup rate of just 41.3%, adding a sun room may not be the best choice if resale is on your mind.

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