Amid concerns about the economy, homeowners are moving ahead with remodeling plans, but are focusing on smaller projects, according to two separate surveys. In Remodeling Magazine’s 2009-10 Cost vs. Value report, which compares national and regional remodeling costs for 33 popular remodeling projects, homeowners who opted to hire contractors for home remodeling projects in 2009 most often tackled small-scale jobs and replacements.
Exterior replacement projects (doors, windows, etc.) continue to recoup the most dollars at resale, which makes them attractive to homeowners looking to improve curb appeal. Replacements are also among the least expensive projects to complete. Entry door replacements (steel), which recoup nearly 129 percent of their costs at resale, returned the most on investment. Other high-ranking cost-vs.-value projects were siding replacements, attic bedrooms and deck additions.
Projects that recouped the least were home-office remodels, sunrooms, upscale master suites, upscale garage additions
and upscale bathroom additions.
For project data for the 80 U.S. cities surveyed, visit Remodeling magazine’s Web site at http://www.remodeling.hw.net/2009/costvsvalue/national.aspx.
A Service Magic survey also finds that after a brief slowdown in 2009, homeowners are moving forward with their remodeling plans, with a focus on improving the most important areas in their home like bathrooms and kitchens, as well as smaller-scale projects, like countertops. More homeowners also are adding home theaters and computer rooms to personalize their homes for the long-term. While kitchen and bathroom remodels remain popular, fewer owners are tackling larger projects, such as home additions and remodels of multiple rooms.
Home-Buying Trends: Then and Now
Median home values $137,600 $172,600
Buyers buying single-family homes 82 percent 78 percent
Buying in suburban neighborhoods 46 percent 54 percent
Beginning their home search online 37 percent 90 percent
Married couples buying a home 68 percent 60 percent
Single women home buyers 15 percent 21 percent
Single men home buyers 7 percent 10 percent
Median age of home buyers Age 39 Age 39
Source: National Association of REALTORS®