April 22, 2017 Josh Sprague

Annual Cost vs Value Report


One of the most common questions I get from clients is: what can I do to improve the value of my home? The first three things on my list would be to eliminate obvious defects (holes, dripping pipes, broken windows, deteriorated caulking around tubs, etc), enhance your curb appeal (landscaping, sidewalk, and front entry), and complete minor cosmetics (replace flooring and carpet, kitchen & bath tweaks, new paint, lighting, and window treatments).

Once that key work is completed, the question is: What major project should come next, and what will generate the best return on investment? That’s where the annual Cost vs Value Report comes in. It tells you the average percentage of value recouped from each type of remodeling project, and helps you determine your priorities.

This Year’s Cost vs Value Report

This year, the highest return projects from our West Central Region, and specifically the Minneapolis marketplace, include a variety of updates to both the interion and the exterior of the home:

    1. Bathroom Addition
    2. Bathroom Remodel
    3. Deck Addition (Composite)
    4. Garage Door Replacement


  • Major Kitchen Remodel
  • Master Bedroom Addition
  • Window Replacement


First Impression = Lasting Impression

Since first impressions of a home are often based on the exterior features, it may come as no surprise that garage door, entry, deck, and windows have a high rate of return — especially where the exterior has a lot of deferred maintenance.  As with previous years, bathrooms and kitchens are always high-value spaces for buyers, with remodeling generating a good rate of return for would-be sellers.   That is why I always advise clients who are coming close to sale time to consider minor kitchen and bath renovations to make the listing shine.


In the end, the choice between major and minor kitchen and bath remodels will depend on the price range of the home, and the length of time before sale (and how much use and enjoyment the seller will get out of the improvement). Sometimes a major kitchen remodel involves moving walls and reconfiguring in ways that can improve the flow of adjacent areas, a further benefit, but at a cost that is prohibitive. In a pinch and without a major budget, however, the minor kitchen or bath remodel will always pay off!

Final Note


If you’d like to read more, including return on upscale items, please visit the Annual Cost vs Value Reports Page.   And remember, I am always happy to walk through your home and help you decide where to allocate your dollars first. I do these “remodeling walk-throughs” almost every week, so don’t hesitate to contact me anytime to set one up.  Prepping your home for sale is the most important part of the selling process!


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