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5 Remodeling Projects with the Biggest Payback

If you’ve been thinking about remodeling for a while, this might be the time to do it. A recent Harvard study showed that homeowners’ spending on improvements increased by more than 10% from 2011 to 2013, the most recent range available.

As the economy recovers from the Great Recession, more people are investing in their homes, which can lead to higher values in future resales. As you begin planning what to remodel, don’t forget the financing. Credit Unions like NuMark Credit Union can help you leverage what you’ve already invested in your property to pay for raising its value by using a home equity loan or line of credit. Here are some of the projects that can provide the best payoff when the property is sold.

Replacing a Front Door

One of the first things a visitor — or house hunter — sees is your front door. Still, it might come as a surprise that putting on a steel door can deliver the highest return on investment. It costs about $1,230 on average, and the increase in resale value comes out to $1,252, or an almost 102% return, according to Remodeling Magazine. Along with the comparatively inexpensive initial cost, a new door also requires little maintenance.

Revving Up the Garage Door

How your garage door looks in relation to the rest of your home matters, especially if it’s an aesthetic mismatch. Replacing it is relatively inexpensive, at an average of $1,595. This can lead to an 88% return on the cost in terms of how much it adds to the house’s value in a sale.

Replacing Siding with Vinyl

If your home exterior could use a fresh look, replacing the siding with vinyl can spruce things up, and it never needs repainting. The average cost for 1,250 square feet of vinyl siding is $12,013, but the return is around 81% when you consider the added estimated resale value of $9,694.

Adding a Deck

Apart from the enhanced view of the outdoor scenery around your home, a deck can add a hot spot for social gatherings and warm-weather lounging. Adding a wooden deck averages $10,048, but 80% of that is recouped on average in a resale.

Kitchen Remodel

For the more ambitious remodeler, a minor kitchen overhaul that includes replacing the flooring, stove and cabinet fronts will cost an average of $19,226, but you’ll get an estimated 79% of that back in a sale of the property.

When you’re looking to remodel, keep in mind which projects can add the most value. Some might not return even half of the cost, so consider whether the improvement in your lifestyle will be worth the investment.

Spencer Tierney, NerdWallet


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