Home remodeling is hotter than ever. According to researchers from the industry, remodeling investment is up 6% over last year and now makes up a $324 billion market. That's more than a quarter of the total real estate spending in the entire country. But out of all the possible remodeling projects out there, which ones actually pay off the most? According to a survey of remodelers and real estate professionals, there are five remodeling projects that offer the best returns:
1. Kitchen: Kitchen remodeling can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. However, the real estate professionals surveyed recommend maximizing your return by keeping your investment under 20% of the value of your home. This could give you up to an 85% return on your investment.
2. Bathroom: A thorough bath remodeling project can cost up to $20,000. However, it's definitely worth it. Not only will it pay for itself, but it should give you an added 80% return.
3. Siding: Fading or worn-out siding can turn off potential buyers before they even step foot in your home. Replacing old siding will make it much easier to sell your home, and in addition, it should give you an 80% return on an investment of around $10,000.
4. Windows: New windows can mean greater energy efficiency, increased thermal and acoustic comfort, and a more modern look. Homebuyers are well aware of this, and they are willing to pay accordingly. That's why a typical window replacement should yield at least a 70% return on your investment.
5. Landscaping: In terms of dollar amount, the standard suggested is to invest 10% of the value of your home in landscaping. At the minimum, do a full yard cleanup and add color with annuals, perennials, or seasonal flowering shrubs; mulching; edging; removing weeds; and get the grass as green and full as possible. A quick Web search resulted in a medley of statistics on the return on investment of landscaping. I found numbers ranging from a 5% to 1,000% return on investment on landscaping. Despite not being able to pin down an exact return on investment on landscaping, a positive first impression of a home can mean the difference between a buyer driving by or stopping to take a closer look.