Do you plan to add a little value to your house before putting it on the market? Choose your project wisely or you’ll end up spending a whole lot more than you gain.
Boston Real Estate Now’s Scott Van Voorhis looked the findings in a recent “Remodeling 2013 Cost vs. Value Report’’ from Remodeling Magazine and applied them to Boston. Take a look at the most and least lucrative projects, along with insight from Van Voorhis.
Did you have success adding value to your home through a recent renovation? Share your story here.
More lucrative – Attic bedroom
Daydreaming about turning that unfinished attic into a bedroom? Well, there actually be may be some good dollars-and-cents reasons for following your whimsy.
In space cramped Greater Boston, adding an attic bedroom can turn out to be a renovation winner when it comes to selling your house, a new report finds.
You can expect to recoup more than 78 percent of estimated $58,093 it will cost to build out that attic bedroom, including a small bathroom and shower.
Less lucrative – Master suite
Another questionable indulgence, you can expect to wave goodbye to 40 percent of your investment in this project, which averages $106,278.
Less lucrative – Bathroom
Unless you are in an older house with just one toilet, adding a third, fourth, or fifth bathroom won’t impress future buyers. The cost tops $38,000, but you will get less than half (47 percent) of your money back.
More lucrative – Kitchen
And thinking of spiffing up the kitchen?
Better to go small and cosmetic rather than blowing the budget on a master chef’s kitchen you will never use.
You get 71 percent back on a major kitchen overhaul, priced at $62,589.
But a minor remodel will cost you about a third – $21,700 – while paying back 88.5 percent of the cost, the report finds.
Less lucrative – Basement
The basement is another place you shouldn’t go wild fixing up. The cost of the average basement remodel is more than $33,000, but you will only get 53 percent of your investment back. And just hope it’s not prone to flooding!
Less lucrative – Sunroom
Spending $74,244 to tack a 200-square-foot sunroom onto the side or back of your house is another major money loser. You can expect to get back just 43 percent of your original investment.
The idea sounds pleasant enough, but the only sunrooms I have ever seen have degenerated into ratty, little used dumping grounds for cast-off furniture or toys the kids have forgotten about or feel they don’t have to pick up.
And our New England climate, which swings from too cold to too hot, is hardly helpful — you will be stuck with space that is too chilly to use six months out of the year and then too hot when temperatures soar during the summer.
Plus, instead of looking out onto the backyard — or in my case, some nice woods — you will instead find yourself gazing into a glorified junk room.
More lucrative – Deck
Somewhat surprising given our (not so ) balmy Boston weather, another big renovation winner is adding a wood deck.
While you may only be able to use it for three or four months a year, (male) buyers apparently are won over by visions of summer grilling.
In fact, installing a wood deck, priced at $11,287, is near the top of the list of the most saleable renovations, with a payback of more than 88 percent.
Less lucrative – Home office
Topping the list of sinkhole renovation projects is the home office. Yes, more people than ever are working from home these days — yours truly included.
And yes, it might be nice, at least in theory, to have the real thing.
But blowing $28,000 on an office remodel is roughly equivalent to throwing, burning or scattering to the four winds your hard-earned money.
When and if you sell your house, the payback for creating your own, 12-by-12 home office is a pathetic 39 percent of what you spent.