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How to reduce the ‘money pit’ effect

By - Last modified: May 29, 2012 at 10:49 AM

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Last week I talked about how not every dollar sunk into our properties will come back out at the resale, despite our best hopes and positive thinking. In that column I also made reference to the types of remodel work that may lead to a better resale. Here’s some specifics:

In order to reduce the “money pit” effect when sinking dollars into your property, the best approach is to stick to projects that have the best history of recouping cost. In fact, different publications do annual surveys to keep tabs on what exactly does recoup cost better. One such survey is the Remodeling Magazine study done each year in conjunction with the National Association of Realtors.

This year, for the PA/NY/NJ region, the top items to invest money in for most homes that will pay back were as follows (with my notes):

1. A steel entry door: Improve curb appeal and functionality.

2. An attic bedroom: One of the best ways to pick up square footage for resale.

3. A minor kitchen remodel: Up to $20,000, probably the best $20K you can spend.

4. Garage door replacement: More curb appeal and major functionality.

5. A wood deck addition: A simple outdoor project that adds living space and fun.

So, if any of these items are on your list, try to hit them first. In addition, a siding or window upgrade scored well if good materials were used. You can see the entire study at www.costvsvalue.com. It’s worth considering what work to sink your hard-earned bucks into before you stop in at the improvement store or sign that contractor estimate.

Jeff Geoghan is vice president of marketing and communications for Coldwell Banker Select Professionals and Select Services, based in Lancaster City, with 10 offices in eight Central Pennsylvania counties. Jeff lives in East Petersburg where he also serves as mayor. Jeff has been actively involved in local government and business and has been used as a source by local, regional and national publications.

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@cpbj.com

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