Home upgrades, timing and cost

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kamikazekid
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Home upgrades, timing and cost

Postby kamikazekid » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:39 pm

Hello,
We live in a modest 2 bedroom home in the Boston Metrowest area. Plan to move out in approximately 3 years - thats when the wife will finish her PhD and we will be in the market for a bigger home, as our family expands. We purchased home for $260k, current valued by the county assessor at approx 330k. Our area (in general) has very limited inventory and prices have been going up. We are quite close to the local train station and I anticipate no issues in selling our home when the time comes. However, we are considering some upgrades to spruce up the home value and also to enjoy the renovated interiors for the next 3 years. Can you help / advise me on the following.

1) My reading suggests that Kitchen and Bathroom upgrades provide the best ROI. Any differing points of view here?

2) How many quotes should I get to understand the cost of remodelling? We are looking at replacing the countertops, adding a backsplash, refacing our wooden cabinets and adding SS appliances. In the bathroom, we plan to replace the countertops and I am not sure what else is involved in updating the bathroom :)

2) My plan is to do the following each year over the next 3 years - Paint home (done), kitchen and bathroom remodel (2017), landscaping (2018). This allows me to stagger my expenses in time to sell in fall 2019. Am I thinking this right?

3) What was your experience with the overall remodel if you did one recently? Are you enjoying it, wish you did anything different etc.
Thanks,

denovo
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Re: Home upgrades, timing and cost

Postby denovo » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:58 pm

Despite what salesmen tell you and what people convince themselves, these upgrades are never worth it as far as resale value. If you want to remodel because you can afford it, do it, but consider it an expense.
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stoptothink
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Re: Home upgrades, timing and cost

Postby stoptothink » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:00 pm

This is very market dependent, but generally, unless you are adding something that isn't there that almost all buyers are expecting (such as a 2nd bathroom), you almost never get your money back with home renovations. The kitchen and bathroom remodel likely costs you 5-figures and gets you nothing in resale. I definitely would not do it thinking it is an investment, do it only if it will increase your own quality of life. Considering you are likely to move out in 3yrs, it's probably not worth it.

FWIW, we bought a totally "renovated" home just over a year ago. Former owners completely upgraded the kitchen, bathrooms, hardwood floors, custom closet cabinetry...that "investment" probably cost them $40k+ and netted them $0 when they sold it to us.

mortfree
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Re: Home upgrades, timing and cost

Postby mortfree » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:08 pm

kamikazekid wrote: We purchased home for $260k, current valued by the county assessor at approx 330k. Our area (in general) has very limited inventory and prices have been going up.


Given the above info I wouldn't do any major renovations. paint and landscape are a nice touch.

If you are in a seller's market why give someone else a really nice bathroom (for free)?

of course if you really think the house will not sell b/c of the current conditions of the bath/kitchen, then you may want to do some work in each of them.

otherwise, up 70k is good for that duration you've lived there (IMHO).

corysold
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Re: Home upgrades, timing and cost

Postby corysold » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:16 pm

I think there is a big difference between "upgrade" and "update".

You used upgrade, so I'm assuming you have somewhat modern kitchen and bath, but whose style isn't the most current trend. Others are right in saying these sorts of upgrades, while helpful, don't bring back full value and sometimes not much at all.

However, updating can be a different story. If you have a kitchen from the 60's/70's with dark oak cabinets, green appliance, yellow/orange tiled floors and a titled counter, updating this can be beneficial and bring back some return on your investment in my experience.

guitarguy
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Re: Home upgrades, timing and cost

Postby guitarguy » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:39 pm

corysold wrote:I think there is a big difference between "upgrade" and "update".

You used upgrade, so I'm assuming you have somewhat modern kitchen and bath, but whose style isn't the most current trend. Others are right in saying these sorts of upgrades, while helpful, don't bring back full value and sometimes not much at all.

However, updating can be a different story. If you have a kitchen from the 60's/70's with dark oak cabinets, green appliance, yellow/orange tiled floors and a titled counter, updating this can be beneficial and bring back some return on your investment in my experience.


Who's to say that an outdated kitchen can't be upgraded as well as updated?

We changed the layout, added lots of cabinet and countertop space, etc in our kitchen. Definitely an upgrade in function and usability.

Our house was built in 1942. So were the cabinets we replaced. Definitely also an update in terms of style and appearance.

guitarguy
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Re: Home upgrades, timing and cost

Postby guitarguy » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:42 pm

kamikazekid wrote:Hello,Plan to move out in approximately 3 years


That alone, IMO, is enough reason to avoid doing any major renovations whatsoever. The only exception being that the kitchen/bathroom/etc is in such shambles it would be a major factor and derail you selling the place.

Smaller upgrades like paint, maybe some new tile, etc, would be a better area of focus.

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lthenderson
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Re: Home upgrades, timing and cost

Postby lthenderson » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:02 pm

kamikazekid wrote:Hello,
We are looking at replacing the countertops, adding a backsplash, refacing our wooden cabinets and adding SS appliances. In the bathroom, we plan to replace the countertops.


I remodel houses as a hobby and my first inclination was to agree with some of the others that remodeling a kitchen and bathroom probably won't get your money back. However, after re-reading your post, changing out countertops and tiles along with adding new appliances is probably a good way to way to get most of your money back if not all. But it really depends on comps in your market area.

In my experience, the best way to make money fixing houses is to buy one undervalued for the area, fix it up to par for the area and sell it for the value as determined by comps in the area. To buy a house that is at value for your area and fix it up to a higher level than your market area almost always guarantees a loss in money. Few people want to live in the most expensive house in the neighborhood.

So to determine if it is a good idea, you need to find some comparable houses in your neighborhood with the changes already done, and compare that to other houses in your neighborhood that are more like your house currently. I use the local county assessors website to determine sale pricing and real estate ads to see pictures so that you know what you are comparing.

Phillies2008
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Re: Home upgrades, timing and cost

Postby Phillies2008 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:15 pm

We will probably be moving out of our house in a year and a half. We are in a similar situation regarding a bathroom update however we plan on renting our house out. In my opinion, if we were selling I would not retile the bathroom/replace shower door. However, because we are renting our house out, I plan on updating the bathroom in (hopefully) a cost effective way that will be both appealing and durable in the eyes of future renters.

PVW
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Re: Home upgrades, timing and cost

Postby PVW » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:25 pm

Based on the numbers in the link below, most home improvements have negative ROI. So I would suggest only doing improvements that you are willing to lose money on. But there might be some small scale or focused improvements that have positive ROI - e.g., painting, countertops, window treatments, floor refinishing, etc.

http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2016/

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just frank
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Re: Home upgrades, timing and cost

Postby just frank » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:35 pm

^^^^^^^^^^^

If all the work was negative ROI, would you still do it for <3 years usage?


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