A lot of people ask me if it’s a good time to remodel and if they do, will they get their money back.  At a time when real estate values are in flux, these are very legitimate questions.

At the risk of sounding like a politician, the answer is almost always “it depends”.  If someone is planning to sell in the relatively near future, I usually don’t recommend spending a lot of money on remodeling.

Paint and floor coverings – maybe, but I’d be careful beyond that. Fact is, you may do something a prospective buyer doesn’t like and isn’t willing to pay for. In today’s market buyers are very likely to make a low offer anyway so recouping remodeling dollars is challenging at best.

However, if someone is planning to stay in a home for several years, the real question is: “What am I willing to pay to improve my lifestyle? No one knows what real estate values will be 5 or 10 years from now, so the decisions revolve more around personal and family considerations than resale.  A good remodeling firm should be equipped to help its customers uncover those needs and find creative ways to meet them within a reasonable budget. And, this doesn’t mean automatically adding space to a home. Most homes can be adapted to changing lifestyles within the existing shell.

The construction and remodeling industries are hungry for work and interest rates are still low, so if you’re planning to stay put now is a great time.

If you’re looking for more in depth analysis check out Remodelers magazine for cost vs. value comparisons on different projects

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