Every homeowner knows that protecting their investment takes some sweat equity. From preventative maintenance to installing energy efficient systems, there’s always something to do or consider doing.
But…every once in a while, those happy home improvement visions start dancing in your head!
- Want to shake up your home’s floorplan just a bit? Redefine a room?
- Need to ready your home for sale by adding amenities to compete in a desired market sector?
- Create an al fresco retreat complete with an outdoor kitchen and an expanded version of an existing deck? Perhaps add a decorative pagoda?
- Or do you manifest your home improvement vision with simple changes like new interior hardware to give doors and cabinetry a fresh, contemporary look?
Sometimes you have more obvious requirements. When a lifestyle change suddenly includes multiple generations living under one roof, you may need to add another bathroom. Or you may have no choice but to convert the garage into an in-law suite. Or enclose loft space to accommodate your college graduate home from the dorms.
Essentially, our homes are a direct reflection of our lives. In March of 2020 for example we were all compelled to look at our homes differently. They became the all-inclusive sanctuaries where we vacationed, worked, educated our children. Renovations and even furniture and pool sales saw record increases as people world-wide not only hunkered down but strove to find contentment in the confines of their own home.
On the plus side, with limited options for activities outside the home, budgets loosened up to make more improvements possible.
Of homeowners, Nicole Straub, GM of Discover Home Loans states, “Many have reallocated their disposable income from investments in travel and entertainment into home improvement projects.”
Home Projects Worthy of Consideration
Certainly, there are multiple reasons that prompt home projects, be they “do-able” DIY ones or those executed by professional contractors.
As far as popularity, Home Advisor’s True Cost Report shared the highest-ranking home project types for 2020. They listed them by cost and percentage of households that undertook them.
- Interior Painting Costs: $2,007. Completed by 35% of households.
- Bathroom Remodel Costs: $13,401. Completed by 31% of households.
- New Flooring Costs: $4,680. Completed by 26% of households.
- Landscaping Costs: $2,389. Completed by 24% of households.
While these are not necessarily the top ROI projects, they served the intended purpose for homeowners who didn’t want to spend a lot of money but still wanted to make a big difference with “visual-value” projects.
Home Advisor believes, “The sweet spot of affordability plus a large visual impact is likely also what drives the relative popularity of flooring ($4,680 and 3rd most popular project), landscaping ($2,389, and 4th most popular project) and exterior painting ($3,291 and 6th most popular project). These are low in cost and high in popularity, making them ‘visual-value’ projects, as they typically make a big visual impact for a relatively low price.”
There’s nothing like making money on money you spend, but sometimes transforming a room with paint or stepping up your home’s curb appeal are just good for the soul. Therefore, they make for the right project at the right time.
Where to Spend Your Home Improvement Money
Back in the eighties, remember wallpaper borders? Those over-the-top window treatments consisting of lavish swags and long tailed draperies? The mirrored walls to give the illusion of space?
In retrospect, with all those elements sandwiched between the era’s Formica countertops and popcorn ceilings, you could say the eighties aesthetics bar wasn’t set particularly high.
Today, homeowners are comfort creatures. We want our outdoor living zone to rival that of our indoor living zone with flatscreen TVs mounted above stone fireplaces, brick pizza ovens, spacious decks, and multi-purpose gazebos. Indoors, we want wet bars, garden tubs, and a family room dominated by a mega home entertainment system with surround sound designed by Bose.
Where to begin? There is the practical side. If you’re living in your forever home, then you want to make wise choices, but still make the ones you, specifically, will enjoy. (Think personal fitness studio, backyard lap pool!)
If a home sale is in the not-too-distant future, you’ll be more anxious to reap the returns on the improvement money you spend. That also means you don’t want to deviate too far from mainstream tastes.
So, where is your money best spent?
According to Fortune Builders, the highest ROI home improvement projects include:
- Minor Bathroom Remodel: Returns an average of 102%
- Landscaping: Returns an average of 100%
- Minor Kitchen Remodel: Returns an average of 98.5%
- Attic Bedroom Conversion: Returns an average of 93.5%
- Major Bathroom Remodel: Returns an average of 93.2%
- Major Kitchen Remodel: Returns an average of 91%
- Entry Door Replacement: Returns an average of 90.7%
- Deck/Patio/Porch Addition: Returns an average of 90.3%
- Basement Remodel: Returns an average of 90.1%
- Replace Windows: Returns an average of 89.6%
Even other renovations, like room additions, tennis court installations, and gleaming chef’s kitchens bursting with top-of-the-line appliances, can all add profound value to a home at certain price points, because they’ll attract buyers seeking those amenities.
According to Money.com, “Despite the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, home renovation spending increased 3% last year to $271 billion, according to a new report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. This year, JCHS is forecasting spending will reach $281 billion.”
It is important to note that while renovations were incredibly popular due to the desire for upgraded outdoor spaces, etc. during the pandemic, according to CNBC in a May 2021 article:
“Overall, homeowners are getting just a 60% return on their renovation investments. That’s down from last year and well below the decade-high of 71.2% in 2014, as the costs of renovations have risen sharply, for both materials and labor. Supply-chain disruptions from the pandemic and global trading tariffs have contributed to the cost increases.”
It is of course a market, therefore returns on investment are subject to fluctuations. Just as the supply and demand on the inventory of available homes dictates the listing price, so it goes with home renovation projects.
At the End of the Day…
In recent months many have realized a renewed affection for their homes. For some, their residences symbolized a safe place. For others, they presented a venue in which to develop new, stronger bonds with those living under the same roof.
At the end of the day, whether the goal is to accommodate a family situation change or to get the most money out of a home improvement expenditure, we can all agree, there’s no place like home.
In the community management business for over 25 years, Ameri-Tech has earned its outstanding reputation by employing top executives, senior staff property managers, and a host of specialized professionals. Working in association with all manner of contractors to oversee 30,000+ units in the Tampa Bay area, the organization also boasts certifications in emergency management response services. If you are interested in a no obligation presentation to learn about the Ameri-Tech difference or to have your company considered for their Preferred Vendor Program, contact Sharon Perez at email@example.com or at 727-726-8000, extension 246.