The Best Investments to Make in Lafayette CA Homes for Sale

by Ron
February 24, 2015
Kitchen Lafayette CA Real Estate

An example of a new, high-end Lafayette kitchen

Before investing any money into improvements to your home, you should think carefully about the return on investment (ROI). If you spend money on a major change, will you receive more for the house when and if you decide to sell?

ROI isn’t something that comes to mind when people are buying Lafayette CA homes for sale. Usually, they are considering what house meets their needs, that appeals to them, or is simply “the one.”  You may walk through a home with thoughts of things you might change in the future, but they aren’t always your main considerations at that time unless you are buying a home that falls into the “fixer upper” category.

Cost vs. Value

Each year, Remodeling magazine releases its Cost vs. Value report, the latest evaluation for cities across the U.S. Lafayette is not on the list, but both San Francisco and San Jose are listed, which gives a relatively accurate representation of what home improvements are providing a resale value to their homes.

For 2015, mid-range projects that provided the best return during resale were entry door and garage door replacements. Their study stated that newly installed steel entry doors yielded a 221-235% recoup of the cost of the door. Fiberglass door replacements had approximately 150% of the cost recouped. Garage door replacements showed about 159% cost recovery.

With the Lafayette CA homes for sale that we encounter on a professional basis,  we often find clients wanting to understand where they should invest their dollars in home sale preparation, often many months or even a year or more before selling.  Paint, carpet and flooring are often the cheapest things to focus upon with the most positive value impact.  And, as you might expect, the rooms that buyers care about the most are the kitchen/family room, bathrooms, and master bedroom.

Cosmetic “facelifts” are often the most cost-effective means of increasing the perceived value of the areas in need of the most work.  In kitchens, this can include replacing all of the appliances with stainless steel models, painting older cabinets white or another neutral color, changing out the cabinet knobs to designs that reflect a more updated look, replacing tile counters with granite or quartz, installing complementary tile back-splashes, and repainting the walls.  The look of a brand new kitchen can often be achieved for a fraction of the cost of one with brand new cabinetry.  The prices for granite have plummeted over the last several years, making it a very cost-effective replacement for older tile counters.  Most importantly, buyers often attribute a much higher value to the home because of this “facelift” than what the actual cost was to do the work.  Furthermore, an updated home will appeal to a broader market, thus pushing its price upwards as demand for the home is increased.

Making the Decision

How do you decide whether to invest in a remodeling project?  Remember that recouping the cost is only one part of the equation.  Our Lafayette real estate team can assist you with evaluating what improvements, including additions and accents, will provide value the highest ROI when you decide to join the Lafayette CA homes for sale.

Another consideration is whether the project will make your life in the home more comfortable or pleasurable.  Not every investment in your home should be tied to its eventual ROI upon sale.   The quality of your life in your home is the first consideration in any home improvement project, unless a sale is imminent.