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Home Remodeling Cost vs. Value: the 2019 Numbers

Dave Robles

"When you have roots in a community, you love to help it grow. Mine run deep." The Los Angeles area has been my home since birth...

"When you have roots in a community, you love to help it grow. Mine run deep." The Los Angeles area has been my home since birth...

May 17 7 minutes read

Every year, Remodeling Magazine releases their Cost vs. Value Report, an in-depth look at the return on investment (ROI) that common remodeling projects get across the county, broken down to regions and cities. Looking at national trends, the 2019 report indicates that homeowners are putting a bigger emphasis on luxury and quality remodels for their homes. Garage doors and stone veneer still get you the most bang for your buck, but it is worth considering the materials and types of projects that are currently trending upward as well. If this trend continues, it could indicate a change for what homebuyers will be looking for within the next few years.

Focusing on the LA market some of the projects that top the list for return on investment are midrange bathroom remodel (95%) garage door replacement (124%), and minor kitchen remodels (105%)


Those wondering where to put their money in their homes need to look back as well as ahead. Projects that have held their value with few fluctuations over the last few years are more likely to continue providing good returns over the next few years as well. This includes minor kitchen remodels. A backyard patio has a 74% ROI. While this does not give you the biggest return, it is climbing and has remained fairly steady for the last few years. With an emphasis on homeowners putting more money into their outdoor spaces, a backyard patio seems like a good investment to make.

Remember that your particular ROI can vary depending on many factors. Specific regions and even neighborhoods may get a higher or lower value on projects than those on a national level. Make sure you are paying attention to the trends close to your home as well as these larger-scale figures. Look to see which investments are the most likely to hold their value for you so that you can make better decisions for your home in 2019.

View the full report here



“What if my home ends up being worth more a year after I sell it?”

Markets are about timing — yours could be on an upswing and selling could mean you’re missing out on receiving more for your home later. However, markets can also just as dramatically swing the other way, just like they did in 2008. The lesson? You can’t really time the market. Instead, focus on easy (and inexpensive) tasks in your control that can help your home sell for more whenever the time is right. Decluttering, painting your rooms neutral colors and even cleaning up your yard can sometimes bring a home’s value up regardless of what the market is doing.

“I don’t qualify for a different home.”

If your credit has gotten worse, you’ve spent all your savings on the home you’re currently in, or your financial situation is just tight overall, it might be a mistake to sell your home right now.

This is one of the trickiest thoughts about selling because it seems reasonable. You know your budget and you’ve probably even looked up what homes have been selling for in your neighborhood. But after researching, you honestly know you just don’t qualify for a new mortgage right now and would have to go back to renting if you did sell. 

“My friend who’s a real estate agent told me I should sell now.”

Working with close friends and family may not be the best decision. At first thought, it seems like a great idea because they know you,  your current situation, and you can (in most cases) trust them. But imagine what it will feel like five months from now when your home is still on the market with zero offers...

Take time to think hard about who you’re hiring to sell your home. If your friend or family member feels like the best decision for you, go for it. Working with the right real estate agent can take the stress out of the selling process. That said, treat this decision like you would for anyone else who would provide a service for you and take the time to interview other prospective agents.

This can help you screen the ones that may not be the best fit for your personality or even your home (especially if you have a unique property such as a vintage home). Focus your questions on their past experiences selling in your area, how long they’ve worked in your market, how well they know your neighborhood, and if they have worked with sellers who have similarly valued homes to yours. From speaking with several real estate agents (some you already knew and some you didn’t), you’ll also get a sense of how they communicate and if you’ll “click” during what can be a stressful process no matter who helps you. 

"Working with the right real estate agent can take the stress out of the selling process. That said, treat this decision like you would for anyone else who would provide a service for you and take the time to interview other prospective agents."

“I have to make a lot of costly repairs before I can sell my home for as much as I would like.”

Depending on the age of your property, your agent may suggest making a few repairs in order to command the highest price. The extent of repairs needed often has to do with the comparable homes in your area for sale. For example, if there’s a home exactly like yours on the market, but that one has a brand new roof, the agent may suggest replacing yours. But, you don’t necessarily have to make expensive repairs if you don’t want to — you could sell your home as-is. Some buyers like the idea of updating and customizing a property to exactly suit their needs. Others do not want to incur costly repairs on day one.

“I’m afraid to start over in a new location.”

This is often the underlying fear when you have doubts about selling and moving to a new location. Even if you’re staying in the same town, your block will be different, your proximity to places like the grocery store or gym will change, and you’ll have to go through the process of getting to know new neighbors. 

Is it a change? Yes. But, it’s not one you wouldn’t get used to. If you’re moving to a new city, the transition is obviously a bigger one. Look at it as an adventure. It’s a chance to start fresh, meet new people, find new favorite restaurants, and maybe even start a new career.

Whenever you are ready to sell your home, I would love a chance to earn your business and hope you found our honest approach to advising our clients refreshing.

Still unsure if
selling is a mistake?

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