Not every renovation will have the same ROI, some have a larger potential impact on your home’s resale value. Photo By: Leyla.a via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Best Bets: Renovations That Can Add Value to Your Houston Home

As I find myself spending more time indoors during these gray, chilly winter days, my thoughts turn to home improvement. Sure, new furniture is always a nice way to spruce things up, but there’s typically not a way to recoup the costs. Renovations, on the other hand, not only make a home more pleasant to live in, but they also potentially fetch a higher price if you decide to sell sometime in the future.

Not all renovations are an equally good investment, though – some increase our home’s value much more than others.

The biggest ROI

Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value report offers would-be home renovators some useful guidance when choosing projects, based on their potential resale value in the Houston market.

The magazine’s survey of home remodeling projects in the Houston area shows that replacing your front door with a steel model offers the best bang for your buck. For an average project cost of $1093, you can recoup $1153, the survey says. In case you missed it, that’s a profit – the project yields a 105 percent return on your investment.

Other good bets

  • Backup Generator – For an average project cost of $11,136, the survey says you can recoup $10,419 – that’s a 93.6 percent return on your investment.
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel – For an average project cost of $17,503, the survey says you can recoup $15,773, which is a 90.1 percent recovery of the cost at resale (the survey bases its estimate on a “functional but dated 200-square-foot” kitchen).
  • Siding Replacement – The survey says fiber-cement siding replacement comes in at an average cost of $12,060 and allows you to recover 93.2 percent of the cost.
  • Basement Remodel – For an average cost of $56,665, you can expect to recover about 86 percent (or $48,756) of the original cost, the survey says. Of course, relatively few Houston-area homes actually have basements (some areas, such as West U, only recently even allowed them).

Regardless of your interest, remember that, as a rule of thumb, realtors suggest staying away from unusual remodels. So if your tastes gravitate in that direction, understand there could be a potential impact on your home’s resale value.

Help with remodeling costs

Of course, not all home renovations are done by choice. Normal wear and tear, accidents and a host of weather conditions can make renovations a necessity. For help with needed renovations, several state and local programs can provide assistance for qualified individuals.

For example, veterans can receive low-interest home renovation loans from the Texas Veterans Land Board to assist with damage resulting from natural disasters or damage that affects your health and safety. The Rebuilding Houston Together program can help seniors over 62, low-income or disabled homeowners. And almost anyone has access to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, where deeply discounted home building and repair materials can help reduce the cost of your renovation even further (profits go to Habitat for Humanity’s charity projects).

That could also mean a little extra upside on your project’s return – all while helping to do a little good.

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