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Five home improvements with the best ROI upon resale

Home improvements with ROI

Many homeowners dream of making massive home improvements and upgrades to their home before selling, but they often don’t look into how much is recouped when selling. We dove into the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report to find the top five midrange projects with the best ROI for the Minneapolis area. Follow along below as we outline them for you.

1. Window replacement (wood)

Cost: $12,871
Resale value: $13,613
Cost recouped: 106 percent

It’s not too surprising that homebuyers are attracted to newer windows. Old windows have a greater tendency for insulation issues and air leaks. So while the new windows will be aesthetically pleasing to potential buyers, they’ll also pay for themselves in the form of lower utility bills, if you’re going to stick around for a year or two before selling.

In this basic replacement project, you’d “replace 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with insulated wood replacement windows, exterior clad in vinyl or aluminum.” From there, you’d wrap the existing exterior trim to match the inside, but would not replace the interior trim. Feel free to do some quick math to match your home’s total window count—each window in this upgrade will cost about $129.

2. Front door replacement (steel)

Cost: $1,414
Resale value: $1,480
Cost recouped: 105 percent

You’ve probably heard of painting a front door to add extra cheer when selling a home, but have you considered buying a whole new one? The steel door in this project will pay for itself, so it’s a bit of a no-brainer if you’re selling in the Minneapolis area.

In this upgrade, you’ll replace your current door with a new, 20-gauge steel door that includes a double window panel. The door’s factory-finish color is the same on both sides, and the project also includes new casing (either brick mold or poplar casing) that matches the door. Rather than using your current lock, the project includes budget for a new brass or antique-brass finish lockset.

3. Stone veneer accent

Cost: $7,364
Resale value: $6,393
Cost recouped: 87 percent

Mixing exterior materials is a hot trend for new construction, but homeowners can also freshen an older home by adding a stone veneer accent to the bottom third of the home. Keep in mind that this remodel recoups 87 percent of the total cost at resale, so it could be a big win if you want to modernize a home you plan to stay in for a year or two before selling.

In this project, you’ll first remove the bottom third of siding from the street side of your exterior (a 300 square foot continuous band). Begin at the garage and around the main entry, and end at the corner of the side addition. Next, you’ll replace this area with a stone veneer, including 36 linear feet of sills, 40 linear feet of corners and one address block. The installation also includes protection against water damage and corrosion.

4. Attic bedroom remodel

Cost: $62,712
Resale value: $47,616
Cost recouped: 76 percent

Can you say “new master suite?” If you have an unfinished attic that you’ve been hoping to use before selling the home, this upgrade could be a perfect fit. (It would also be fantastic if you have a smaller starter home that could benefit from another bedroom or separated living space.)

Here, you’ll convert your existing attic into a 15-by-15 foot bedroom with a 5-by-7 foot bathroom with a shower. You’ll insulate and finish the ceiling and walls, carpet the floor, extend the HVAC and provide electrical wiring for the space. You’ll retain the existing stairs, but add a rail to make it more stable for going up and down. A shed dormer window and four new windows will be added, and a closet space will be added under the eaves. Voila! A bedroom fit for a king, or maybe just a teenager who needs their own space.

5. Minor kitchen remodel

Cost: $64,138
Resale value: $43,623
Cost recouped: 68 percent

If your home was built in the ’60s and hasn’t been updated since, it’s probably time to take on a kitchen remodel. This minor remodel won’t gut your entire kitchen, but it will replace countertops and the front facades of your cabinetry with raised-panel wood doors and drawers and new hardware. The wall oven and cooktop will be exchanged for newer, greener models. All trim and wall covering will be replaced and new flooring will be put in.

This upgrade is the equivalent to a facelift for outdated kitchens. Buyers love modern kitchens and while they won’t pay for the full cost of the upgrade, your home’s fresh-faced kitchen will also stand out in online listing photos when you are ready to sell.

5. Vinyl siding replacement

Cost: $11,846
Resale value: $8,451
Cost recouped: 75 percent

Vinyl siding replacement also came in with a 75 percent ROI, so it is tied for fifth place with the minor kitchen remodel. This basic upgrade accounts for 1,250 square feet of existing siding to be replaced with foam-backed vinyl siding, including trim at all openings and corners.

Much like the kitchen remodel, new vinyl siding won’t get you all your money back when you sell, but homes with vinyl siding tend to shine brighter in listing photos than homes with older, or cracked, paneling.

Find out the ROI of other home improvement projects

Wondering what other remodels the magazine reviewed for the Minneapolis region? Check out the Remodeling 2015 Cost Vs. Value Report by selecting the West North Central Region, then Minneapolis, from www.costvsvalue.com.

© 2015 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.

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Status Definitions

For Sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active Contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

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