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  • Writer's pictureSara Dalicandro

which home improvements bring the greatest roi?

Whether home renovations are done because of an impending move or because they are needed, every homeowner wants the money invested in their home to improve its value in some way.

So which home improvements bring the greatest return on investment and which ones are just not worth doing? There have been lots of studies done on this subject and the findings may surprise you.

While most people think renovating a kitchen or bath brings the largest return on investment (ROI) and even though it is always a good idea to keep your kitchen and baths updated, neither brings the largest ROI. If you do plan to renovate a kitchen or bath with the sole purpose of prepping a home for sale, keep your upgrades mid-level as that will bring you a larger return on investment than an upscale renovation.

To get the biggest bang for your buck you have to look outside your home - not inside. Studies show that the largest return on investment, when it comes to home improvement, is replacing a garage door with adding stone veneer a distant second. The chart below shows the list of return on investment for various renovations on your home by US region. You’ll find that other than minor kitchen replacement listed at #3, most of the renovations have some connection to the exterior of your home. Whether it be new windows, roof, deck or siding, 11 of the top 12 items are indoor/outdoor improvements.

Two things I notice missing from this table that I think should be on this list is basement renovation and refinished hardwood floors. Adding more living space to a home will ALWAYS add value and having newly finished floors is a project that most buyers appreciate being done for them.

Overall, most improvements done on a home (as long as they are not too extravagant or too personal) will always bring good return. If the more personal improvements are needed because of a change in lifestyle, (ex. a ramp for wheelchair accessibility) they are alway worth doing regardless of return on investment.

Whatever changes you make on your home, two things to keep in mind - do not go overboard on finishes AND do not go too personal that cannot be changed back easily.

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