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Home Remodeling Projects That Pay Best in Northern VA.
All home remodeling projects paid off big in Northern VA during the short real estate boom and many owners still have miss conceived ideas of what improvements pay. I will not soon forget the days of when owners could remodel a kitchen or bathroom in a home and earn an immediate hefty return on investment. Those days, however, did not last long and the financial returns seen are not realistic for a healthy real estate market. The best home improvements and trends do change and at times they can seem to go as quickly as they are popularized. There are a few principles, we all know them, which remain true and do stand the test of time and can be seen in the most recent Cost vs. Value report.
Every year Remodeling Magazine working in conjunction with REALTOR Magazine publish their annual report of Cost vs. Value for home remodeling projects. This report includes national averages but for my purpose I will concentrate on the Washington DC metro region which includes the best Northern VA home improvement projects. This report can help determine some of the better home improvements for those looking to make the best investment. I want to issue a caveat to all homeowners; every home, location, and property condition is unique so please consult a knowledgeable and experienced Northern VA realtor for advice. The national reports are averages and all real estate is local and generalizing the real estate market can be a mistake.
The report breaks down in two categories in the Northern VA area based on price of the project as either midrange or upscale projects. With the real estate market still of concern for home owners, replacement projects are chosen more often then more expensive remodeling projects. There have been only a few projects in the report since 2007 that have paid an average of 100% or greater then the cost of the project. The only project to get a greater then 100% return since has been the replacement of the entry door at the mid range price level. This years report was lead by attic bedroom and garage door replacement in the midrange level and siding replacement and window replacement in the upscale range. These along with Entry door replacement and basement remodel round out the top 5 of this year’s list.
Over the past 7 years the home improvement projects that consistently rank in the top 5 of best return are window replacement, siding replacement, roof replacement, and entry door replacement. These along with kitchen remodels and bath remodels we can pretty much cover the last decade of the Remodeling report top performers. The major trend that we see year after year is the improvement of an aesthetically pleasing home on the exterior. This reinforces the old real estate adage that we have all heard and I preach to all clients, Curb Appeal, Curb Appeal, Curb Appeal. A home that is well maintained and updated on the exterior fills a huge part of the American Dream of home ownership in the psyche of Northern Va. Homebuyers upon first site.
Even though curb appeal makes the top two of real estate principles, in my opinion, it alone does not bring on a fast sale at top dollar and exceptional return on investment. Homebuyers are always looking for an updated kitchen and/or bathrooms in the home they are considering to purchase and spend their hard earned money. A home with spectacular curb appeal but has a 1975 kitchen and harvest gold bathrooms may face challenges on the open market. This is the driving factor of kitchen and bathroom improvements making cameos in the top 5 projects over the years. The reason these projects do not normally take the top spot for Cost vs. Value is that these projects can and do become very expensive. These rooms are the places that home owners put more of their own personal tastes in design and layout which can drive up costs hence driving the projects lower on the list of monetary returns.
This report should be considered by homeowners when deciding on what home improvement projects to undertake in Northern VA, but should not be the foremost influence. A primary residence is a “home” first and an investment second. The most important return on investment when considering which home improvement projects to pick is the enjoyment that one will get from the improvement. This is especially important with homeowners that plan on residing in a property for a long period of time. The home is our castle and the enjoyment and memories we make in it cannot be measured by money alone so make that next home improvement project one that best improves your life.
Joey Remondino has been featured on CBS, Washington Post, WUSA Channel 9, and Washingtonian as a Real Estate Expert and is a full time Realtor and Broker with StoneHouse Realty Inc. specializing in residential real estate in Northern Virginia including Vienna, Centreville, Chantilly, Falls Church, Gainesville, Mclean, Reston, Great Falls, Alexandria, Manassas, Manassas Park, Prince William, and Fairfax Counties to name a few. Trained and experienced expert in Estate Homes, New Home Sales, Relocation, and commercial real estate. Joey can guide you through any real estate buying or selling process, contact me.