Highest Return on Investment Capital Home Improvements

By in News

• Which Home Renovations Have the Highest Return on Investment •

We put together this definitive list of home improvement ideas that will make you money, or at the very least help you recoup a lot of the costs when you sell your home.

As homeowners, it’s really easy to get carried away with home improvement projects. One part preventative maintenance, two parts aspiration‐ home improvement projects can very easily increase the value of your home, and make it a much better place to live at the same time.

However, not all home improvements pay a dividend. Some are cash-intensive but pay off huge dividends in taxes like solar panels. While others may make your home more desirable, like a bathroom remodel, it may return less of its original value at the time of sale compared to a patio.

It’s also worth considering that getting a return on your home improvement investment is trickier than it seems. But by combining the upfront costs, along with the long‐term tax benefits at sales, then it becomes much easier to decide where to spend your home improvement dollars, and how to plan multiple projects over time.

So we compiled a list of some serious bang for your buck capital home improvements. Since what drives return on investment can vary based on geographic location, we tailored this list specifically for all the tree huggers, hippies, and hipsters living on the west coast.

About This Data

Every year Corelogic releases its list of cost vs value home improvements and provides detailed estimates of how much homeowners can expect to recover from each category of home improvement. Generally speaking, almost all home improvements return value to the homeowner‐ a quick glance at Corelogic’s list, and not a single home improvement category returned less than 50% to the homeowner.

However, that doesn’t always mean home improvements can become very costly, very easily. As HGTV star and home improvement queen, Marnie Oursler notes, most homeowners lose a lot of money due to indecision.  “If you decide you want something and then change your mind, that’s where it gets expensive,” so save yourself thousands of dollars by planning ahead, and focusing on the best bang for your buck home improvements. We hope that the following list helps homeowners measure twice and cut once.

Entry Door Replacement

Return on Investment 123%

An entry door is easily the cheapest home improvement, providing the highest return on investment on the list. It’s also a guaranteed way to give your home some serious curb appeal while putting some serious cash back in your pocket.

Garage Door Replacement

Return on Investment 110%

Similar to the entry door replacement, replacing your garage door is a solid bet mostly because it creates so much curb appeal for very little money. Generally considered more of a utilitarian eyesore than design statement, giving your garage some swag is a smart place to invest your home improvement dollars.  If replacing your entire door is beyond your budget, one easy way is to check out the countless DIY projects that provide step by step guides to sharpening your garage door’s look. Most can be done over the course of a weekend with an extra set of hands.

Manufactured Stone Veneer

Return on Investment 107.6%

A stone veneer is a sure-fire way to add a touch of class to your home’s exterior or interior. While not cheap, doing it properly with a lot of consideration to aesthetics and materials can help break up interior walls, or large sections of your home’s exterior while also complementing other visual tweaks.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

Return on Investment  102.3%

After the bedroom, the kitchen is where most homeowners will spend their time socializing, eating, cooking, and living. So being able to turn it into a more modern, and enjoyable place to be can pay off huge. However, restraint is key since kitchen remodeling costs can quickly spiral out of control. Things like paint, refinishing cabinets, lighting and fixtures all pay off big in the long‐term.

Wooden Deck Addition

Return on Investment 101.2%

We’ve all spent time at one point or another talking late into the night on someone’s deck, so it’s no wonder that decks are such a great home improvement investment. What really makes it interesting is how they can be a true extension of the homeowner‐ ranging from simple floating decks, to massive elevated stages for entertaining. Materials can be as varied too with anything like cedar and oak for the discerning homeowner, to reclaimed wood for the eco‐friendly activist. Like anything else on this list, if you’ll create even more value by doing some (or all) of the work yourself.

Wooden Window Replacement

Return on Investment 95.4%

This is pretty self-explanatory, but windows are a great way to save energy, while also changing the look and feel of your home. There isn’t a standard guide to how often you should replace windows, but if they’re leaking it’s a sure sign it’s time for them to go. But even if your home’s windows are relatively new, switching to a low‐E glass or double or triple plain window can drastically cut energy costs which is something that can be passed on to the next owner.

Basement Remodel

Return on Investment 92.7%

Another great opportunity to create extra entertaining space, or additional bedrooms‐ basement remodel is a great place to let your imagination run wild that won’t send you to the poor house. From man caves, and her caves, to theaters and play areas for the kids there’s no limit to what you can do with a basement remodel.  This creative mountain man turned his basement into a cabin for just $107.8.

Roof Replacement

Return on Investment 82.5%

A great, high utility home improvement, replacing the roof is one last thing any new homeowner will have to worry about. It goes without saying that it can also totally change the look of your property for the better. If you can also integrate solar tiles, or solar panels into the project that’s extra money you can add to your asking price, while offsetting the cost in the short term with tax benefits, and reduced energy costs.

Attic Bedroom

Return on Investment 91.7%

While very easy to execute poorly an attic bedroom is always a smart place to invest your home improvement dollars.

Bathroom Remodel

Return on Investment 85.8%

Ever walked into a bathroom and thought “wow, I could live in here.” Yeah, do that to your bathroom and reap the benefits at closing.

Composite Deck Addition

Return on Investment 80.0%

Not all decks are created equal. But adding a deck, generally speaking, is a very valuable addition to any home. Depending on your budget, or where you’re located, a composite deck is a spectacular, and a cost-effective alternative to a wood deck. In a lot of cases, a composite deck can look as good, if not better than wood, for a lot less.

Garage Addition

Return on Investment 79.7%

While a garage won’t add square footage to your home it is a very nice to have for most homeowners, and having one present is a definite way to make sure your asking price is justified. Doesn’t hurt that you’ll be able to recoup nearly 80% of your initial investment, while also keeping your car warm. 

The Bottom Line

Call us at (858) 880-0195 or email portia.green@reali.com to get started.

Share This
About The Author
Portia Green, REALTOR®

Portia Green is a highly experienced full-time REALTOR® specializing in the representation of Sellers, heralded by her clients as data-driven and an effective negotiator. Producing $25M total in residential sales volume, Portia's goal is to help her clients achieve the best results when selling their homes and to make their experience an enjoyable one. She has successfully sold real estate since 2008 and has gained an in-depth knowledge of local real estate markets & seasonal trends. Portia has achieved a 100% customer satisfaction rating and wants to share her expertise & personal service with you in the sale of your home. When listing your home with Portia Green and Compass, you'll receive the hands-on service you need and desire. Portia will help you manage the entire process of selling your home from pricing, preparing and staging the house, to marketing, negotiating offers, inspections, all the way to closing. She will recommend skilled vendors for any job needed, personally host Open Houses, and ensure that all showings are accompanied. At Compass, Portia offers a wise no-nonsense way to sell your home for the best price and the least hassle. With a keen eye for staging & preparing listings to maximize Buyer appeal, all of Portia Green's listings are professionally photographed using HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography to provide the highest quality photos in the industry. Professionally printed marketing materials are prepared for all Open Houses. We also capture a 3D scan of your home that creates an interactive walkthrough online along with a custom-designed floor plan and targeted digital marketing campaigns on Google & the most popular social media channels. Compass participates in the Multiple Listing Service, which is the local real estate database of homes listed for sale that all REALTORS® use in helping their Buyers find houses. Your home will appear on every real estate website, in its best light, making a stunning camera-ready debut. Portia Green's home valuation expertise and extensive experience in comparative market analysis will help price your home accurately. She has refined her skills to help you pinpoint which features of your home will result in more showings and better results. Her mantra is for you to be ready to sell your home and feel good about that first. Portia knows that home inspectors always find a problem; that drones take some of the best photos in town; and that her eyebrows will grow to the floor in the time it takes her to read everything that's happening with your HOA, but that doesn't mean she won't do it anyway. Eyebrows be damned. You'll always need a place to unplug, connect, dream, grow, or just be yourself. That makes what Portia does even more meaningful. She’s ready to go the extra mile to help you find just the place. Whether you're selling your very first home, offloading an investment property, or want a vacation getaway with passive income, she is attentive to the details of every home sale. Portia helps busy people navigate this crazy real estate market like a pro, so don't be shy. Every great relationship starts with free advice and a friendly chat. Ask as many questions as you need to. Selling houses is her jam! www.portia.realtor