When is a Remodel Worth the Investment?

Aug 31, 2015

If you're thinking of selling your home, or buying a fixer upper, it's hard to know which remodeling projects will bring a good return on that investment. Home Improvement expert Bill McAnally suggests contacting a home inspector before deciding where to start. He says knowing what a home inspector is likely to point out to a potential buyer may change your focus completely. "If you're going to sell it, you have to fix [problems] that you know about, or that has to be in a disclosure statement." And, obviously, issues with the safety of the home trump any cosmetic concerns.

The second priority is curb appeal. McAnally says ensuring a good first impression is important. Making sure the lawn looks nice, the windows and gutters are clean and the driveway and sidewalk are in good repair will make potential buyers want to come in and look at the interior of the house.

Another professional to involve in remodeling decisions is a realtor or appraiser. Asking for a market appraisal will help homeowners determine what their home is likely to sell for on the market. McAnally says homeowners often only get 50 or 75% of their remodeling investment back when they sell, so a realtor or appraiser can help you weigh whether it's worth putting more money into your home.

McAnally says it's important to remember that all the television shows that document home improvement projects are primarily entertainment. Host Charity Nebbe talks with McAnally about other home improvement concerns and answers listener questions.