They reflect an imprecise remodeling survey, but all those green arrows sure do look nice. Green is bright and cheerful – and up is always better than down.
The arrows are in the far right column of Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value report, but I’d never noticed them before.
Reader J. Butner asked a simple question in an email: Is the return on some remodeling projects rising, the way home values have begun to (finally) tick upward? If so, which ones? What projects should a homeowner choose?
I sent Butner to the popular online survey ( www.remodeling.hw.net), then visited myself.
Nationally, only one of 22 midrange remodeling projects was up from the year before. That is, the green arrow in the right column indicated that it returned a higher percentage of the investment for 2011-12 than for the year before. It was an attic bedroom, by the way.
But another click showed that in the Charlotte market, half of the projects sported bright green arrows. According to the real estate pros and others surveyed by the magazine, 11 remodeling projects added more value this year than the previous survey year.
Here’s a handful: Kitchen remodel, vinyl siding replacement, bathroom remodel, composite deck – and that attic room.
Broadly, trends haven’t changed much over the years. Owners who invest in moderately priced projects tend to recoup more of their investment at resale than those who spend on larger, upscale projects.
Want a lot of bang for your buck? Replace that sagging garage door.
Lot survey follow-up
After last week’s column on finding survey markings, surveyor Jim Massman said I needed to add a footnote: If you need an official property survey, before building a fence, deck or the like, you need to hire a licensed surveyor.
Absolutely. I wrote about using a metal detector to locate an official survey iron buried at one corner of our property. I hadn’t been able to find it because it was buried under brush and hard clay. But I knew it was there because I was working with a signed plat of an earlier survey.
Massman says that if you just wander with a metal detector, without a plat, you risk locating other things that aren’t official corner irons. He’s right. I found nails, brick ties, a steel stake from an old concrete form. You wouldn’t want to mistake something else for the official iron. That could be expensive.