Home Improvements: What Gets You the Greatest Bang for the Buck?

Clients and friends often ask me what home improvements are the smartest ones to make, both short-term when listing a home for sale, as well as generally over the long-term. The question is always – will I get this money back when I sell?
When listing a home for sale, my experience has convinced me that for most homes a relatively small investment in handyman fix-ups is some of the best money homeowners can spend. Though often minor and cosmetic, even the smallest of defects can embed in a buyer’s mind the idea that this home is not well cared-for. Eliminating this possibility is critical for a successful sale. Other listing priorities are a fresh coat of paint and the oft-mentioned de-cluttering.
As for longer term investments, my first advice is always if a home improvement will give you and your loved ones a better quality of life, then it’s a good investment. I also a look to Remodeling Magazine, which publishes a well-known Cost vs. Value Report annually. As compiled in the 2018 issue of this report (www.costvsvalue.com), the best recoupment for the Washington, DC metro area are, surprisingly, stone veneer (104.9% recoupment), garage door (102.0%) and front door (101.3%). The lowest recoupment cost projects are an upscale (as opposed to midrange) master suite addition (51.2%) and a backyard patio (54.9%). These figures no doubt vary by house and scale of project, and I am always happy to offer my insight and experience to neighbors and friends in Arlington and throughout the DC metro area.