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What Remodels Give the Best Return?

Answered by Brendan ~ January 22, 2010 ~ Comments

I recently purchased several foreclosed homes in Las Vegas, Nevada. All of them need work, and I want to accomplish the remodels on them as cheaply and quickly as possible to make them salable. What remodels give the best return on investment in this area--kitchen, bathroom, deck, master suite, or home office?

Joanna W. ~ Las Vegas, Nevada

Brendan Fowler

Newly Remodeled HouseThere are several guidelines that I would follow with your homes. My first piece of advice is that you VERY quickly reach a point of diminishing returns. It is very easy to over build the home you intend to resell.

Never underestimate the value of a very thorough deep cleaning. Many times a home that appears to have been well maintained and is very clean will sell just as well as home with some cheaper not-so-special upgrades. In a nutshell a $1,000 deep clean which fetches a $20,000 increase in sale price or a $15,000 remodel that fetches a $34,000 increase in sale price represents the same outcome, you make $19,000 either way.

If there are aspects of the house that truly need to be remodeled, kitchens and baths typically add the most value. However the improvement of, or addition of, outdoor living space like a deck or a patio can add the most value overall. Especially in a climate like Las Vegas, increasing outdoor living space is almost like increasing the amount of inside living space.

I would stay away from bedrooms and home offices as a means to improve a home's value.

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