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Do home improvements really add value?

Question by dr521: Do home improvements really add value?
You see it on HGTV and elswhere on TV. “Upgrade your kitchen and recoup 98% of the investment!” “Repaint the exterior and recoup 120% of the investment!” The list goes on. Has anyone actually checked to see if you really do recoup home improvement investment in the form of higher resale value? How can you really be sure, because it’s not like you actually get two appraisals from an appraiser, one for before improvement and the other for after improvement. Or is this a conspiracy by home centers?
I understand what all of you are saying, and I have heard it before. But where’s the proof? Does anyone know how such data were actually obtained?

Best answer:

Answer by mykidsRmylife
Yes and no.

If you do the work yourself and bring an undervalued home up to market, you will recoup even more than these figures. (30 year old kitchen upgraded to new appliances and cabinets)

If you are already at market and make extravagant improvements, do it for yourself and not any possible value creation. (5 year old kitchen upgraded to granite in a small bungalow)

Give your answer to this question below!


  1. the only way to re-coup is sell the house! it does add equity

  2. I read a solid study, and I can’t remember the source, but it said that YES, the most popular improvements will give you more equity than your initial investment.

    Upgrade kitchens, baths, dual-pane windows, master suite enlargements, paint…..Hard to lose UNLESS you are in a very depressed market. Good luck!

  3. i would have to say yes brings your property value up which is a good thing.

  4. Adding another spare bedroom or bathroom adds value. If you add another full Bathroom in your house you can get 7000-12000 more when you sell your house………….

  5. Well, it has in every home I’ve ever owned and improved, whether I lived in it or used it as a rental. The proof is in the MLS listings from what the property was purchased at and what it sold for after improvements minus the percentage of increase for existing unimproved properties in that real estate statistical marketing area. And you do get an appraisal when you purchase the property and again when you sell the property or re-finance. The mortgage company will not lend you more money than the property you are purchasing is appraised for and that appraisal is based upon the improvements or lack thereof on the property at the time of purchase. When you go to sell the property, the purchaser’s mortgage company consults the original appraisal, notes the improvements and re-appraises inclusive of the value added by those improvements. Every appraiser carries around a book that lists the value of improvements from patio covers, to kitchen and bath remodels, to room additions, etc. for the market in which they operate. It does vary by zip code, county and even part of the country in which the real estate is located.

  6. The Invisible Man

    Those home improvement shows are such hype. They take old dumps that really should be bulldozed and practically rebuild the house. Indeed a new home could be built for what they so often waste on “propping” up an old piece of garbage.
    Sure, people will come out and appraise it for more, not because it actually is better but because taxing entities want more tax money.
    Those shows are not realistic about the costs of their renovations either. It’s just the usual game of hyping by renovators and real estate shylocks to make people believe that real estate is worth far more than it actually is. Unfortunately, this ilk has gained such control of the real estate market that homes don’t sell for their actual worth but for their limited supply (in other words, there is a very very limited amount of homes sold at actual worth because these people have gained control of the market and inflate the price any way they can). It’d be better to build from the ground up.
    The only way to really pay yourself back for home improvements is to do it yourself to keep costs way down.

  7. charlie_the_carpenter

    Remodeling Magazine and some others come out with an annual report called cost vs value. It shows what % of your costs you should recoup in different cities and areas of the country. (USA)

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