Investopedia Shares New List of Top Home Improvement Projects by Value

For many families, 2014 will be the year of home repairs and renovations. Many people put off home improvements during the recession. With a little more money in their pockets, homeowners are now looking for ways to add value to their homes and future home selling prices. Not all home improvements, though, have the same resale value — an important fact to keep in mind for those who see renovations not just as an improvement, but as an investment as well.

Investopedia has just released their list of top home improvements for 2014, based on average return on investment. They point out that, contrary to popular belief, “Most home improvement projects do not return more than your investment when you sell.” While homeowners will get a higher selling price, they won’t earn back all the money they invest — for this reason, it’s a good idea for families to invest in the areas use the most, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Midrange projects fared the best when it came to recouping money spent. Adding a wooden deck to your home, for example, might cost $9,500 on average, but 87% of the cost will be recouped when the home is sold. Diana George, working with a California real estate brokerage, points out that garage doors, decks and windows aren’t always big-ticket items, but they help because they “give the home an instant facelift… which is exactly what potential homebuyers want to see.”

Many homes in the U.S. could use a facelift before going up for sale — of 130 million existing households in the U.S., approximately 80 million are in need of repairs or renovations. In addition to adding resale value to homes, home improvements can help ensure that homes on the market sell quickly, and for close to their initial asking price.

What projects didn’t make the cut? One of the least worthwhile projects in terms of ROI is remodeling a home office. At $28,000 it’s not a cheap endeavor, and recoups just 48.9% once sold, according to the latest data tracked by Investopedia.

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