Home Improvements—Social Distancing Solution
By Ninah Hunter, Real Estate Editor. [San Juan Silver Stage, March 2020]
Springtime is a great time to start or finish those home improvements you may have been thinking about or put on the back burner. Now, with mandated of social distancing and the many cancelations and closures due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this is an especially opportune time for those projects you’ve been wanting to do…but maybe putting off for another time. That time is here!
Clean and Fix. If you are planning to sell soon or just stay put for now, the best and least expensive thing you can do is thoroughly clean the entire home, inside and out, tidy up the garden and landscaping, and fix anything that is damaged or not working perfectly. Obvious (and needed) repairs, even though minor, can have an adverse cumulative effect on a prospective buyer if you want to sell. And can be just plain annoying if you don’t, but have to go on living with them.
Paint and Re-Carpet. Conventional wisdom dictates that if you have wild, unusual paint colors in your house, painting over it with a neutral, earth tone color will enhance the home’s appeal to more buyers, or calming to you if you plan on staying put. Or, maybe a brand new paint scheme can give you an uplift. If your carpet it worn, dirty, or worse—smelly, replace it. (If you’re planning to sell, bear in mind a prospective buyer will almost always reduce the asking price by 2-5 times the actual cost of replacing carpet or making other repairs; stay a step ahead. Do it before you show it.)
Even if you don’t intend to sell anytime soon, the more major and costly any home improvement is the more you need to consider your return on investment (ROI). Each year, Remodeling Magazine compares national average costs for popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain when the home sells. Based on for the U.S. Mountain Region, here are the top home improvement projects that will give you the best bang for your buck:
Manufactured Stone Veneer. Replace the bottom third band of existing vinyl siding and outline entry archway with manufactured stone veneer on street-facing façade of the home. ROI = 100%
Garage Door Replacement. Replace an older garage door with a new steel, foam-insulated garage door with windows in the top pane. ROI = 96.1”
Minor Kitchen Remodel (Midrange Home). For a functional but dated kitchen, replace cabinet fronts and hardware. Change out the cooktop/oven range and refrigerator with new energy-efficient models. Replace laminate countertops and install a mid-priced sink and faucet. Finish off with new resilient flooring and paint on walls, trim, and ceiling. ROI = 79.4%
Siding Replacement – Fiber-Cement. Replace existing siding with new fiber-cement siding, factory primed and painted. ROI = 78.6%
Window Replacement – Vinyl. Replace existing double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, vinyl windows with custom-color exterior finish. ROI = 76.6%
Siding Replacement – Vinyl. Replace existing old siding with new vinyl siding installed to manufacturer’s specifications. Include factory trim at all openings and corners. ROI = 74.7%
Wood Deck Addition. Add a 16×20-foot deck with pressure-treated deck boards in a simple linear pattern. Include a built-in bench and planter, steps, and a complete railing system. ROI = 70.1%
Other popular projects, such as a bathroom addition or remodel, major kitchen remodel, composite deck addition, steel entry door replacement, and roofing replacement, bring decreasingly less ROI ranging between 48.4% to 62.7%.
These percentages are based on regional averages from mostly large cities, like Denver and Colorado Springs. They undoubtedly will differ on the Western Slope. It is best to consult with a local real estate professional to determine which home improvements will yield the greatest ROI, increase your home’s value, and enhance its marketability to both buyers and renters.
And if you don’t plan to sell yet, and just want more comfort and appeal, all of these ideas can help you get it.