Does remodeling your home help your resale value?

By Tyrone Adams

Special to The PREVIEW

Q. While remodeling your home can save you money, the real question is, does it translate into higher resale value?

A. All of the DIY (do-it-yourself) shows transform boring and outdated homes to modern, contemporary and appealing homes right before your eyes. The one thing you must keep in mind is that just because you think your remodeling looks good and should add value, doesn’t mean it will.

The good news is, for the second year in a row, the cost versus value survey data show the cost-value ratio is up to 66.1 percent. This means that if you spent $1,000 on home upgrades on average, you would recoup about $661 in resale value. According to this article about how to Add value to your home, the top five gainers along the Front Range and mountain communities in Colorado for 2014 are:

• Attic bedroom remodel — 95 percent.

• Second story addition — 89.3 percent.

• Family room addition — 87.6 percent.

• Deck addition — 85.1 percent.

• Minor kitchen remodel — 83.5 percent.

While three of the five biggest gainers can be very costly, starting with a few affordable DIY-friendly home improvement projects can pay off and make buyers take notice. In case you have to build and paint a room, consider using a reed diffuser to cover the fresh painting smell.

Improve landscaping. When it comes to curb appeal, your landscaping can pack a powerful punch, for better or worse. While many people focus their improvement dollars indoors, don’t overlook that first impression that strikes a buyer before they even get out of the car. And you don’t need a green thumb to reap rewards. Simply maintaining a freshly mowed lawn, removing dead plants and branches and adding colorful annual flowers or shrubbery can add 7 to 15 percent to your home’s value, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Upgrade lighting. While you may have tolerated your dated dining room chandelier, buyers may not be so forgiving. Switching out light fixtures for more updated styles is a low-cost, low-commitment home upgrade. Under-cabinet lighting is another quick fix. Many home improvement stores now offer easy to install, plug-in lights that deliver the look of a high-end custom kitchen and don’t require electrical work. If you do update lighting that requires wiring, make sure you work with a licensed professional to ensure it safely installed.

Give your kitchen cabinets and countertops a facelift. Buyers will always pay special attention to the kitchen and tend to be critical of outdated cabinets and countertops. While installing new cabinets can be expensive, you can easily rehab existing cabinets and countertops that are in otherwise good condition. Refinish the doors, drawers and cabinet fronts with a fresh coat of paint, stain or a veneer, and install new pulls that match the finish of other kitchen fixtures. To create the feel of a modern, functional kitchen, consider retrofitting your current cabinets with pull-out drawers, organizers and retractable trash cans.

Give your bathroom a facelift. The bathroom is another area of your house that most people spend a lot of time. Know what buyers are looking for in today’s market. Do they prefer a walk-in shower versus a tub? Replace the linoleum tile the house came with, replace outdated fixtures, etc.

Replace flooring. Flooring is often a cosmetic feature that can make or break a sale. Flooring, like worn-out carpet or stained tiles, can be a turn-off to buyers that see the update as a major project and barrier to a move-in-ready home. The promise of a future project is enough to chase away many of today’s move-in-ready buyers. But what’s underfoot is also relatively easy to remedy. Hardwood flooring is a safe, classic and durable choice. For DIYers looking to save on costs, try easy-to-install engineered wood flooring.

This article was provided by the Colorado Association of Realtors.