Orlando Real Estate

Which home improvements give the best payback?

If you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, or finishing your basement, you probably want to get your investment back when you sell your home. But when it comes to payback value of home improvements, some are definitely more profitable than others. As a general rule, kitchen and bathroom projects usually get a nice return on investment, typically 90% or more.Things like adding rooms or finishing basements tend to pay back the least.Finishing a basement usually returns less than 50%, so it’s not a project likely to show profit at selling time.

There are a number of factors that go into determining how well a project will pay back. Payback value depends a lot on the current market conditions in your area. If the market is hot and homes are selling fast, you can expect a higher payback value than you would get in a slow market.  


The type of project you do and how it fits in with other homes in the area can have a big influence on payback too. If you put your money into the wrong type of improvement, you won’t get your money back. But if you're smart about what you do, you can make money. The payback will be better on improvements that are in demand and conform to neighborhood standards. Adding a second bathroom in a neighborhood where most homes have two bathrooms will give a high return on investment.  Building a large addition that makes your home twice as big as the other homes on the block probably won’t pay back very well. Likewise, the popularity of a project will factor into how much it pays back. An improvement heavily customized to your wants and needs won’t pay back as well as something more common to other homes in the neighborhood.


Another factor to consider is the cost of the improvements. If you can do the work yourself, you can save significantly on the cost of the project and greatly improve the chances of getting a good return on the investment.

Flowers are a great way to add Curb Appeal inexpensively. While you're at it, don't forget The Back Yard.


The list below is compiled from several published surveys and shows typical payback for some popular remodeling projects:


  • Kitchen remodeling – 90%
  • Add a bathroom – 90%
  • Bathroom remodeling – 80%
  • Install central heating – 90%
  • Install central air – 75%
  • Add a deck – 70%
  • Replace windows – 70%
  • Add a room – 55%
  • Build a pool – 45%
  • Finish a basement – 40% (not a lot of this in Orlando)
by David Welch
Orlando Real Estate
Posted by David W. Welch on May 15th, 2017 7:50 AM
I have often joked that I have such an odd profession. I have literally been in thousands of peoples homes, usually when they are not even there. I've looked in their cabinets, poked around in their closets, taken photos of their bathrooms and kitchens. What? Your home may be your castle, but when you put it up for sale, even your shower will end up on the internet. It does not end with the photos of your home, because the purpose of all those photos, measurements, and exposing the intimate details of your property is to attract strangers. Yes, strangers!

Selling your home is all about attracting the most strangers to your property, so they can check out your property in person. These people are guided through your home by another stranger that has probably never been there before. This guide is usually pointing out the pros and cons of your home, and helping the other strangers decide if your home is right for them. This guide makes an appointment with you, through your own guide, so you will know they are coming.

Here is one of the weirdest parts of selling your home. To prepare for the strangers coming to your house, you do everything the opposite of what you normally would do when you leave. You turn on all the lights, open all the blinds, turn the AC a little cooler (here in Orlando), turn on some smooth jazz, and if you have a security system - you turn it off.

Yes, selling your home is so weird.
Posted by David W. Welch on April 20th, 2017 7:53 AM
First, it's all about the buyers. This may be hard for some sellers to accept, but buyers are the market. As with anything you may be selling, if you don't have buyers there is no market for your product. That is not to say that every house should sell on day number one, because it does take time to reach potential buyers. Timing is also a factor, because buyers for your property may not be able to drop what they're doing to see your house today. Have a little patience, but if you property is sitting much longer than others in your area take a look at your condition, availability and price.Selling your home

Second, you also have to be aware that buyers have other options. The higher your price range, the more options potential buyers probably have available to them. This is why higher priced homes often take longer to sell. Properties sold by Orlando Realtors® last month took 69 days to get to contract. There were over 3,375 closed sales total, only 130 homes sold for more than $500,000. These higher priced properties took just over twice as long to go to contract at 141 days on average.

Finally, not every buyer is going to love your home. I know that may be hard to hear, but it is true. From floor plan to flooring, cabinets to curb appeal, paint color to price, there are aspects to your house that may not appeal to some buyers. Some of these factors, can be changed easily, others like floor plan not so much. Do what you can to make sure your home will appeal to the greatest number of people.

Orlando Real Estate
Posted by David W. Welch on September 8th, 2015 9:21 AM


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