By George DeMare, Vice President Business Development
Strong curb appeal is vital – if people drive by a home and are not impressed, they are less likely to walk inside.
The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraiser, encourages homeowners to prioritize outdoor projects to improve the look of a home and to see a more satisfying return on investment.
Outdoor projects with the highest expected return on investment are; manufactured stone veneer; steel entry door replacement; wooden deck addition; and siding replacement. Patios can see a big return on investment, but should look updated and in proper proportion with the home. An extravagant patio could cost a lot to complete, but does not always get a cost-worthy return when it comes time to sell.
Before the outdoor renovation begins, compare the plan to see what is typical in the surrounding area. The cost of the project is not always equal the value.
Spending money on renovations does not guarantee a dollar for dollar return. Renovations that elevate a property more than community norms are typically not worth the cost when the owner sells the home.
Homeowners can confide in a highly qualified, unbiased real estate appraiser to conduct a feasibility study. During this study, an appraiser analyzes the homeowner’s property, weighs the cost of the renovation and provides an estimate of the property’s value before and after the upgrade. The impartial appraiser has no real vested interest in the sale of the property.
If a homeowner is not sure how long they will be living in their home, they should hold off on big renovations. The longer a homeowner stays in a property, the greater the opportunity for a return on investment.