Home Improvements and Return on Investment

Real Estate

Home improvements are a fun way to make your home feel like new again and they can be a way to increase the value of your home, but which improvements offer the best return on investment (ROI)?



According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, Americans are spending more on home improvements this year to the tune of $316 billion!  Last year the amount was $296 billion.


Investing in home improvements slowed way down after the housing crisis, but it is picking up speed now.  The reasons behind this surge in home improvement activity include pent-up demand, deferred maintenance for fear of not being able to recoup the cost of the improvement, and the current housing shortage.


Many homeowners are choosing to invest in home improvements rather than selling and buying an upgraded home.


Home repair


While it’s true that many home improvements increase the value of the home and may make the home more competitive when it comes time to sell, some of the best return-on-investment improvements according to Realtor.com may surprise you. 


When you think home improvements you may think new flooring, remodeling the kitchen, putting in a new bathroom, or replacing windows, but have you ever thought about installing loose-fill fiberglass insulation in the attic???




No kidding! According to Realtor.com, you can expect a 107.7% ROI.


Next on their list is replacing unattractive, cheap front doors with high quality doors.  One can expect an ROI in the neighborhood of 90% for this one!


Front door


Adding a bathroom will only give you about 54% ROI, while adding a master suite may bring up to 64%.

Making your home user friendly for the elderly and/or disabled by adding ramps, doors that are wheelchair friendly, and grab bars might bring as much as 68%.


Elderly man


And, get this…


Exterior improvements, such as doors and siding, which create great curb appeal, have been shown to bring a higher ROI than interior improvements!


House siding


So, how does one decide which home improvements are worth the time and investment?


Start by asking yourself this all-important question:


How long are you planning to stay in the home?


If you answered more than 5 years, enjoy all the home improvement projects you want to.  After all, you are the one who will be enjoying those improvements.


If, however, you plan to sell in the next few years then you may need to be more strategic in your improvement planning.


Check out this chart from Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Values Report.


Home Improvement Chart


You may also be interested in our blog post titled Real Estate Trends: Life Cycles of Neighborhoods to help you determine how much improvement to do to your home based on the neighborhood conditions


If you need help choosing whether now is the time to sell, to buy, or to remodel, reach out to us; we’ll do our best to help you make a decision that is right for you and offers the best ROI!


If you would like to view some homes to get an idea what others are doing for home improvement, check out our Market Insider page.


To learn more about the various communities that we serve in the Portland/Vancouver and Woodland areas visit our Communities served page.


Ron and Sherry Patterson