Home-Remodeling Is on the Rise

Home-Remodeling Is on the Rise


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wooden deck

Add a wooden Deck

According to a new report out Tuesday from real estate website Trulia, a household earning the median income of $54,000 can afford just 22% of homes in L.A. County on 31% of their income or less. Only in San Francisco, at 15%, can fewer middle-class families afford to buy. Six of the seven least-affordable markets in the nation are in California, including San Diego (25%), Orange County (26%) and Ventura County (33%).

Maybe that’s why the Wall Street Journal reported on November 20th that while Wednesday’s report on housing starts suggests a steady trend for construction, new houses aren’t the only support to economic growth as home-remodeling spending has also climbed back.

Some families are remodeling for several reasons. They like their neighborhood. They might find that compared to remodeling, selling and moving to another house is expensive. It might be cheaper to remodel and keep the existing house.

Marine Cole, at The Fiscal Times, suggests several things homeowners can do to upgrade their house and increase the value of their house in case they do decide to sell.

  • Installing a steel entry door. Replacing your front door has been a long-time favorite for those who want to boost their home’s value. This is the only project to return more than 90 percent of cost (it returns 96.6 percent.).
  • Adding a wooden deck. Building a wooden deck onto your home adds living space as well as an area to host outside. This project returns on average 87.4 percent of the initial cost, though the ratio is more than 100 percent in some 25 U.S. cities, Remodeling magazine said.
  • Changing your garage door. If you replace your garage door, whether with a midrange or upscale version, it can usually be done at a low initial cost. It has a strong positive effect on curb appeal, returning close to 84 percent of your investment.
  • Remodeling your attic bedroom. With a national average remodeling cost of $49,438, this project has a cost-to-value ratio of 84.3 percent. Unlike building an addition on your home, remodeling the attic bedroom is an inexpensive way to add living space, says Remodeling magazine.
  • Kitchens and bathrooms also increase the resale value; kitchens more than bathrooms.

The WSJ also points out that remodeling is good for employment, saying that every $100,000 spent add almost one full time job over the course of a year. Americans will spend $155 to $160 billion on remodeling in 2014 and possibly more in 2015. That’s a lot of jobs!

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