Avoid costly updating when selling your home
By Steve Linden
Dear Real Estate Adviser,
My husband wants to replace the carpet in the bedrooms and put a hardwood floor in the downstairs living area in the hopes of helping sell our home. Is this worth the money?
As much as I hate to cast doubt on the logic of a fellow homeowning male, you probably should tell him gently that he just might be ever-so-slightly in error, while adding that he is quite wise to be thinking in terms of “home improvement” at this juncture. Or — depending on his sensitivity level — the use of the term “lunkhead” may be substituted. But I kid.
Professional remodelers, however, will tell you that replacing old or damaged flooring with much better flooring might make the place look spiffy, but it is very costly and is not what floats the boat in the minds of potential buyers. On the other hand, minor cosmetic improvements to your home’s facade, such as a new coat of paint, and to your landscape, such as flowers, plants and shrubs, are not awfully costly, and they’re much more apt to increase your house’s marketability and not become a huge losing proposition for you.
The highest average returns on remodeling costs, according to the latest survey by Remodeling Online, are an upscale siding replacement (103.6 percent), midrange bathroom remodel (102.2 percent), minor kitchen remodel (98.5 percent), midrange siding replacement (95.5 percent) and midrange two-story addition (94.6 percent). By contrast, bedroom and living room remodels, which would include the new flooring your hubby is talking about, returned less than 85 percent of costs. In other words, if you put $5,000 into new carpets and hardwood flooring, it would increase the value of your home by less than $4,250.