(NewsUSA) — Still there? Thought so.
So let’s begin by acknowledging what’s perhaps the report’s biggest takeaway: All the academics and real-estate pros are right to “tout the value of projects that promote curb appeal.” Read on to see why, and where else your money is or isn’t well spent.
• Worth it: a new front door.
You’re looking at returns on investment of 91.1 percent for a steel one and 82.3 percent for a more upscale (and expensive) fiberglass one. Of course, a fresh coat of paint on your existing door can help spiff things up too.
• Not worth it: upscale bathroom remodeling.
You may think everyone shares your dream of a huge bathroom with a whirlpool tub, heated towel bars, and stone countertops. Not so, warns Patsy O’Neill, a sales associate with Sotheby’s in Montclair, New Jersey: “You could spend $60,000 or so on it, and it still might not suit a buyer’s taste.” Which helps explain why it has one of the worst returns on investment.
• Worth it: fiberglass attic insulation.
A huge win for greenies. The magazine finally agreed to add an energy-efficiency project, and it topped the list by recouping 116.9 percent of its cost.
• Not worth it: composite deck addition.
Another also-ran — and, no, Alaska didn’t skew the results. But be aware that sometimes even the seemingly coolest upgrades may simply be out of whack for a particular neighborhood. “You can turn your house into a palace, but the payoff will be small if it’s the only mansion on the block,” Craig Webb, Remodeling’s editor-in-chief, tells Time.com.
• Worth it: a new roof.
“Buyers pay a premium for one already in place,” according to Credit.com. No kidding. A perennial Remodeling magazine A-lister, it’s the ultimate curb appeal enhancer when you consider that your roof is the first thing prospective buyers notice even before exiting their cars.
And if yours looks like something out of “Twister”? “It’s a huge turn-off,” says O’Neill, “and makes buyers predisposed to find even more things they don’t like.” If your roof needs replacing, check out the Value Collection Lifetime Designer Shingles from GAF (gaf.com), North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, which have the look of luxury shingles at a very affordable price. And remember: Don’t be afraid to use a new roof as the “negotiating tool” with buyers that Credit.com says it is.
• Not worth it: an upscale master suite.
Those same “taste” issues aside, returns of only about half your investment make this yet another expensive miss.