Willamette Living August / Sept. 2014

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Remodeling: Costs vs. Value By Heidi Powell

Dining room addition -- kitchen and dining room trade places

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concern that we often hear from homeowners who are considering a remodeling project, is that they don’t want to “over-build” for their neighborhood. Many people would like to add quality and comfort to their home but want to be sure they can recoup their investment if later they decide to sell. A well planned remodeling project should improve the livability of your home and enhance the day to day experience within the space. At the same time, this remodel should be working for you financially to help your home retain and increase its value. When we remodel our home to keep it up to date, refine traffic flow, accentuate curb appeal, improve lighting and comfort, and in some cases, add space, we bolster our home’s resale value.

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So what is meant by over-building for the neighborhood? If your house is twice the size of the neighbors or has no backyard because the addition fills the entire space, you may be over-building. Other things to consider are the finishes you are putting in your home. Nowadays homeowners are turning more and more to high end finishes such as quartz or granite counters, hardwood or tile floors, and stainless appliances. As your neighbors add these products to their homes it makes it easier to not have to worry about “out classing” the neighborhood. But if your assessment of the neighborhood is that higher end finishes aren’t warranted, there are also wonderful new options in finishes that are very affordable and look lovely. Laminate counters with edge inlays and flooring materials such as laminates and luxury vinyls that look like higher end

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surfaces, to name a couple. However, there are some items that shouldn’t be skimped on, such as cabinetry. Too often we are asked to re-do a relatively newly remodeled home that has granite counters set on worn cabinets. Expensive gadgets aren’t what make cabinets high quality, it is the structure and materials of the cabinets themselves. Be wary of cheap cabinets as the foundation of your nice new kitchen remodel. You may want to tune into what your neighbors are doing to their homes, while at the same time researching resale values. This begs the question, which types of projects bring you the greatest return on your investment? When you remodel your home what do you actually add to its value? These answers may play into your decision-making or you may just be inclined to

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