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Guide to Home Improvements

Many appraisers decline to answer questions on the value of particular home improvements because each situation is unique and no information should be regarded as a guarantee. As a service to you, we offer our opinion on the cost effectiveness of a few of the more common improvements, as seen through the eyes of an appraiser. These are general guidelines only.

As a homeowner, you will want to make whatever changes are necessary to enhance the enjoyment of the home for you and your family, but be aware that the cost of the improvement will often not be totally recaptured in an appraisal or sale of your home.

Typically, neutral decorating (new carpet, paint, wallpaper, etc.) is money well spent. Larger improvements, such as additions and four-season porches, must be considered on a case-by-case basis. Be sure to take a look at your neighborhood when planning changes and try to keep improvements in line with other properties in the area.

The following guidelines are rough estimates based on Forsythe’s over 70 years of experience. Only a complete home appraisal can tell the value of such improvements on your particular home.

These guidelines are based on a single-family home in the median category for the community in a ‘typical’ neighborhood.

Home Improvement Guidelines

Improvement % Return
Fireplaces (zero clearance) 100%
Cosmetic changes (carpet, paint, etc.) 90-110%
Central Air 90%
Deck (10' x 12') 80%
2-Car Garage 80%
Kitchen & Bath Updates 65%
3-Season Porch 60%
Finished Basement 60%
Landscaping 50%
Main Floor Addition 50%
Permanent Storage Shed 50%
New Furnace 50%
New Roof 50%
Plumbing 50%
Electrical 50%

We’re ready for your next appraisal. Contact us at 651-486-9550 and let’s get started.