This is a really good time to remodel your home. The circumstances of the construction and real estate markets have created the opportunity for homeowners to buy home-improvement products and remodeling services for a pretty good price.
Those circumstances won’t last forever. Even though the housing market in our neck of the woods doesn’t seem to climb or slump as drastically as it does elsewhere, it’s getting easier to sell a home, and the prices of those homes are inching upward.
As that trend continues, everything associated with housing and construction will inevitably get more expensive—from interest rates to construction materials to labor.
Right now, it is still affordable to do home repairs you put off all through the recession, to upgrade the outdated kitchen you’ve been living in, or to add the new space you probably needed yesterday.
If you’re not planning to sell your house any time soon, you’ll enjoy living in it more if it’s designed how you want it, as big as you need it, and most importantly- functional.
If you’re weighing the pros and cons of remodeling now versus waiting a while longer, consider this:
1. The housing market has stabilized. You can stop worrying that you’ll never be able to sell your house or that its value will keep dropping indefinitely. One way we in the housing industry know this: The market for second homes has started to take off. Once that happens, it’s a good sign that the market for primary homes is in a good place. Fixing up your home when the market is good makes sense, whether you’re planning to sell it or hang on to it for a few more years.
2. For the first time in six years, homeowners can expect a pretty high return on investment, according to the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report published by Remodeling Magazine. The annual research report says that if you were to renovate your kitchen and then put your home on the market, you could recoup 69 percent of what you spent on it. A bathroom remodel would reap 58 percent at resale. Replacing worn-out entry doors, siding, garage doors and windows could pay off if you sell your home, as could adding an outdoor deck or an attic bedroom, the report suggests.
3. Interest rates are still low. I work with lots of families that are taking advantage of the low rates on home-equity lines of credit to pay for home improvements. That way, they get the money inexpensively, and they might even be able to deduct the interest from their income taxes. Interest rates are starting to sneak back up, though, so don’t wait too long to make your move.
As you start crossing projects off of your remodeling wish list, consider whether you’re hoping to sell your home in the next year or if you’re going to continue living in it indefinitely.
If you’re moving soon, stick to basics like freshening the paint, repairing the roof and updating your electrical and plumbing systems. Upgrades to your home’s “curb appeal” or the visible improvements to the outside of the house will get you the highest return on investment, the Remodeling Magazine report notes.
If you’re not going anywhere any time soon, a kitchen, updated bathroom or whole-house remodel will allow you to enjoy a more beautiful or more spacious home while you live in it, as well as increase your selling price when you are ready to move.
Do you have questions about how to remodel a room or add onto your home? Snap a photo of your home’s trouble spot and e-mail it to me at Jeb@Jeb.net. I’ll get you an answer that will help you.
Jeb Breithaupt, B. Arch., MBA, has been president of JEB Design/Build, an Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner, in Shreveport since 1983. You can contact him at 318-865-4914 or by visiting www.Jeb.net.