The Final Tally

by Nancy M. Lee


Century 21 McAlpine Associates

My family is closing this week on a cute little bungalow in Surfside Beach, SC. It is located only 4 blocks from the beach and is on a beautiful wooded lot.  It has 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths.The home is presently loved and well cared for and has that comfortable family “feel”. The only problem is that the house is over 30 years old and needs some face lifting. What items do we spend money on that will be recoupable when the time comes to sell?


This is the same question home owners ask us all the time. For example, if you really want a pool, can you get your investment back? In most cases “NO”. In my experience, only about 50% of your investment will be recuperated when you sell the home. This percentage will be higher if you are in a beach front community and rent your home on a weekly basis. Tourists like a pool just like if they were staying in a motel and will rent your house for more money with that amenity.


In our case, we would like to paint or change the outside of the home from wood to vinyl for fresh color and low maintenance. According to residential specialist, that will be an investment that you can get 80% of the value back for your expense. We may also do some minor kitchen remodeling and should get 72.8% of that expense back in value. We also plan to add an additional bath and outside shower. I really want that part, even though the experts say I will only get 53% of my investment back. The upgrades that you do to the exterior will be the most profitable. Curb appeal is still the main attraction for buyers of your home.


In the final tally, you need to know that not all of the money you will spend on your home will be realized back in value when you decide to sell.