What to consider when you're remodeling

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Homeowners can often recoup most of the costs of a remodel if they know what to focus on. Before you start tearing down walls and ripping out tiles, here are a few tips.

Homeowners can often recoup most of the costs of a remodel if they know what to focus on. Before you start tearing down walls and ripping out tiles, here are a few tips from the experts at Kudzu.com.


Be realistic
On average, a homeowner will retain about 75% of the remodeling cost. Your remodeling efforts should be conservative upgrades that keep your home relevant in the market unless you want to eat the cost. Excessive, super-personalized modifications can actually negate some of the value.


Addition by subtraction
When improving on anything in your home, take into account what you're replacing. If you're swapping an older set of appliances with stainless steel alternatives that cost twice as much, subtract the value of your old equipment from the new to ascertain a true value.


Think less custom, more general
Keep updates simple and functional. If your bathroom needs a new sink and mirror, don't go completely crazy and add a built-in tanning bed and a heated toilet. If your kitchen could use granite counter tops, forego the instinct to put in a built-in coffee pot. Take an honest assessment of how each project can functionally improve your home's worth to the average buyer.


Don't underestimate curb appeal
Most real estate agents will say that first impressions mean a lot. The very sight of new windows and a freshly landscaped front yard will give prospective buyers a positive perception of the home. A simple, functional improvement such as a new fence or paved walkway in the front yard can provide a decent return on investment.


Your neighborhood
Not all neighborhoods were created equal. When you sell your home, it will yield comparisons to similar homes in your immediate area as well as nearby suburbs and towns. If similar homes in your area are cheaper, your expensive renovations may yield a lower return because of your home's location.

photo: phong levan

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