right Which home improvements give the best payback?

If you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, or finishing your basement, you probably want to get your investment back when you sell your home. But when it comes to payback value of home improvements, some are definitely more profitable than others. As a general rule, kitchen and bathroom projects usually get a nice return on investment, typically 90% or more.Things like adding rooms or finishing basements tend to pay back the least.Finishing a basement usually returns less than 50%, so it’s not a project likely to show profit at selling time.


There are a number of factors that go into determining how well a project will pay back. Payback value depends a lot on the current market conditions in your area. If the market is hot and homes are selling fast, you can expect a higher payback value than you would get in a slow market.  

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The type of project you do and how it fits in with other homes in the area can have a big influence on payback too. If you put your money into the wrong type of improvement, you won’t get your money back. But if you're smart about what you do, you can make money. The payback will be better on improvements that are in demand and conform to neighborhood standards. Adding a second bathroom in a neighborhood where most homes have two bathrooms will give a high return on investment.  Building a large addition that makes your home twice as big as the other homes on the block probably won’t pay back very well. Likewise, the popularity of a project will factor into how much it pays back. An improvement heavily customized to your wants and needs won’t pay back as well as something more common to other homes in the neighborhood.

 

Another factor to consider is the cost of the improvements. If you can do the work yourself, you can save significantly on the cost of the project and greatly improve the chances of getting a good return on the investment.

 

The list below is compiled from several published surveys and shows typical payback for some popular remodeling projects:

 

  • Kitchen remodeling – 90%
  • Add a bathroom – 90%
  • Bathroom remodeling – 80%
  • Install central heating – 90%
  • Install central air – 75%
  • Add a deck – 70%
  • Replace windows – 70%
  • Add a room – 55%
  • Build a pool – 45%
  • Finish a basement – 40%

Plumbing and Fixtures
There are several good reasons to make sure all of your plumbing and fixtures look good and are in good working order before putting your home up for sale. When potential buyers come to look at your home, they are likely to turn on faucets and flush toilets “just to see”. This is no time to make a bad impression with grungy old fixtures, leaks or stained sinks. Before showing your home, you should make sure that all faucets and knobs are clean and shiny. If needed, buy new ones. They don’t need to be expensive.  An inexpensive but shiny and obviously brand new fixture will make a far better impression than an expensive but old and stained one. Another good reason to look after these items before putting your home up for sale is the likelihood of a home inspection prior to closing.  Most savvy buyers will insist on allowing an independent contractor to perform a home inspection before closing. The inspector will be checking for leaks, pressure and making sure any appliances included with the home are in good working order. If the inspector finds any problems in these areas, it could easily cause a delay in closing.