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Upgrades That Add Value

In talking with contractors, landscapers and interior designers, they've all noted a huge uptick in work and activity. It seems that while most people were quarantined indoors through most of March and April, they decided to tackle all the projects they could during this unique "break" in work and life.

With nearly every buyer and seller I work with, I get the question: "What are the best upgrades that add value?" This is always a great opportunity for me to educate clients about what really is most appealing to future homebuyers. Additionally, realtor.com recently put together a cost vs. value report to really break down what you can expect to recoup in every project. For reference, percentage of project cost recouped that range between about 60% and 100% are considered "good".

Exterior Projects Pop

Your home's first impression starts with curb appeal. Surprisingly, it's not huge water features, landscape projects, etc., they are non-sexy projects. If you want to hook a potential buyer, while being midful of your upgrading budget, start with the following:

Entry Door Replacement: Cost Recouped - 69%

Manufactured Stone Veneer: Cost Recouped - 96%

Garage Door Replacement: Cost Recouped - 94%

Kitchens and Bathrooms

While many real estate professionals consistently harp on the "kitchens and bathrooms" holding and maintaining value - it is true, but as far as your money recouped, it is not as great as some exterior projects.

Minor Kitchen Remodel: Cost Recouped - 78%

Midrange Bathroom Remodel: Cost Recouped - 64%

Master Suite Addition: Cost Recouped - 52%

Building Attributes

What many buyers don't even notice, most just walk by without even considering some significant building attributes that add a lot of value. When these projects are in good shape, you don't think about them, but when they are in rough shape, they are highly noticable. Additionally, a few of these upgrades can make big differences on energy usage, which provides value for years to come.

Roof Replacement: Cost Recouped - 66%

Window Replacement: Cost Recouped - 72%

Siding Replacement: Cost Recouped - 77%

Keep in mind, the values outlined in the realtor.com report are not indicative of the costs in our community. Talking to a real estate professional (ahem, me!) about your upcoming projects is the first step you should take when considering upgrades. I can connect you to dozens of contractors and professionals to help you strategize, design and execute your projects. Another item to note, be mindful of the "customization" of your projects - the more your upgrades are specific to your exact needs, the less interesting they may be to future buyers. Let me know how I can help!


About the Author: Jared Reimer is a native Coloradoan and an Associate Broker at Elevations Real Estate in Old Town Fort Collins. He’s a community advocate, business champion, blogger, leader, tireless volunteer, innovator, thinker and expert on all things real estate in Fort Collins and surrounding Northern Colorado. You’re likely to find Jared spending quality time outside with his wife, Kacie, and young son, Hudson, or sharing a beer or two with a friend throughout Fort Collins. Call or text Jared at 970.222.1049 or email him at Jared@TheCraftBroker.com