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You may be wondering how much of your expenses you will recoup when you sell your home. For the last 20 years, in an effort to help homeowners answer that question, Remodeling magazine has produced an annual “Cost vs. Value” Report.

The 2007 report has just been released, and key highlights include:

  • Focus on exterior upgrades as the “best value” projects;
  • Highest value home enhancements were: upscale siding replacement using fiber cement materials, wood deck addition, and a midrange vinyl siding replacement;
  • The best interior home project nationwide is a minor kitchen remodeling;
  • For Houston Texas and the West South Central Region average costs recouped are 6% higher than the national average and best value projects differed slightly.

The National Association of Realtors and Specpan collected information from nearly 3,000 responses to a web-based survey. This year’s report found that due to the housing market slump, the percentage of construction costs recovered is lower across all projects compared with 2006. The most likely culprits for the year-over-year drop are slower home appreciation rates due to the lackluster real estate market in most parts of the country and rising remodeling costs.

However, remodeling is still a pretty good investment. Over 60% of projects undertaken in 2007 are projected to return between 65% and 80% at a home’s resale. This means your real cost is just 20 cents to 35 cents on the dollar for most home improvements.

Nationally, projects that are at the bottom of the “value” ladder include a home office remodeling, adding a mid-range sunroom, installing a back up generator and garage additions.

Location Dependant

As you might expect, the amount you recoup at a sale varies depending on your location. While the percentage of costs returned in Mid-Atlantic and New England cities is fairly constant year to year, within California, Oregon, and Washington, remodeling costs recouped at resale are over 10% greater than the national average.

Also of interest, cities in the southeast and southwest that are experiencing a building boom actually fall below the national average when it comes to recouping home improvement costs. One explanation for this trend is the fact that because these areas have plenty of new homes lingering on the market and falling in price, buyers are turning their backs on even the most attractive renovated older homes.

Houston Texas Renovations

According to the study, Houston Texas and the West South Central Region of the US differed slightly from national averages.

Top renovation projects (and the expected “cost recouped” at sale) include:

  • Fiber-cement siding replacement (93%)
  • Bathroom remodeling (91%)
  • Minor kitchen remodeling (88%)
  • Basement remodeling (87%)
  • Wood deck addition (86%)

Lowest value renovation projects (and the expected “cost recouped” at sale) include:

  • Sunroom addition (59%)
  • Home office remodeling (64%)
  • Installation of a back up power generator (68%)
  • Roofing replacement (69%)
  • Garage addition (71%)

As fluctuations in the US housing market continue and impact home buyers and sellers nationwide, it is important to stay current on factors that impact your home’s value. Just like investing in stocks and mutual funds, your decision to remodel your home should begin with considered evaluation of your current circumstances and future goals. For more home improvement information visit

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