Fences & Flowers

The CB Bain Blog

Top 5 Seattle Home Upgrades for Return on Investment

Apr 24, 2018



Updating your own place is one of the many enjoyable aspects of owning a home. Everyone loves to dream. Sites like Houzz and Pinterest are popular because planning a project is so much fun. King 5 television recently discussed a Remodeling Magazine study of the amount of return on investment (ROI) for certain home upgrades, naming the top 5 for Seattle. While homeowners are hopeful that an upgrade will increase their home’s value, not all projects are created equal. Although updating the kitchen and bathrooms have generally been at the top of any list, this year they have been displaced by those items that have to do with curb appeal.

Coming in fifth on the list is a universal bathroom upgrade. Because glamorous bathrooms with all the bells and whistles have always been a feature that would top any list, this entry is a sign of a shift in the demand features. Instead of a total bathroom remodel, which is not in the top five, a bathroom that is accessible to all, regardless of their age size or ability, is said to have the higher return.  According to the report, the addition of a universal bathroom is said to have a 107.2 percent return on investment.  

Like the bathroom, the kitchen is known to be a good place to put your money. Fourth on the list, providing a 116.3 percent return is a minor kitchen remodel. Somewhat surprising, a total kitchen remodel does not make the top of the list. The report suggests not replacing the entire cabinets. Rather, add fronts keeping the old cabinets boxes and drawers. Additional suggestions include adding energy efficient appliances and new floors.

With a 122 percent ROI, next up on the list is the addition of a composite deck.  If you’ve seen a worn wooden deck you know what an eyesore it can be. Flaking paint and broken boards decrease a home’s value. Like a blemish, it sends a message that a home has not been maintained. Because they wear so well, composite decks are in higher demand than wood decks, and add to the exterior usefulness of the home.

Coming in second is the addition of a garage door. Replacing the largest door on the house is one of the best bangs for your buck upgrades, adding a whopping 141 percent return. They certainly get worn, especially here in the Seattle area, where they get weathered and used so frequently. Upgraded garage doors add instant curb appeal. Other than the roof, it may be the first thing that stands out when arriving at a home.

Taking the top slot is one that cements the curb appeal deal. With a return of 144.6 percent is the addition of stone veneer. Since the stone is the du jour of the day, it renews a home, modernizing it. Because first impressions are so important when selling a house, it increases the perceived value. If selling, stone veneer will grab attention from the get go and buyers will be more likely to purchase your home, paying top value.

If you are considering an update, contact your preferred real estate agent. He or she will be able to share some good insight on what the return could be on your investment. If planning for the future and not selling immediately, of course, it does come down to how much you will enjoy it too. Clearly, the dynamics are changing and right now, if looking for the best return, putting your money into a home’s curb appeal is the way to go.


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