Home Upgrades that Deliver the Biggest Bang for the Buck at Resale

May 23, 2011

Sprucing up your house can lead to a payday when it comes time to sell. Real estate consultant Barbara Corcoran highlighted her picks for the three best and worst home improvements during a recent appearance on NBC’s Today Show. Here’s what she recommends:

Worth the Money

1. Welcome potential buyers with a new front door. An updated kitchen and bath can sell a home, but curb appeal is what brings buyers through the door. Don't turn them away with an unimpressive first impression.

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2. A garage door upgrade is another affordable improvement with big impact especially if the garage door faces the street. Corcoran reminds homeowners that the garage door can take up nearly 50 percent of a home’s exterior, particularly on ranch-style homes. The findings in the Remodeling 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report ( indicate that, on average, spending $1,291 on a garage door can yield a $1,083 return – nearly 84 percent.

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3. Add a deck. It not only creates a visual extension of the actual living space, it gets buyers thinking about celebrations and summer entertaining and how they can enjoy it. Emotional connections can lead to a sale.

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Waste of Money

Corcoran says adding these things to an existing home can leave your profits in the minus column. The cost is high and buyers just aren’t willing to pay a premium for these types of upgrades, leaving you with little bang for your buck in the end.

1. home office

2. sunroom

3. bathroom

To learn more about Barbara's picks watch her segment online at or check out the Remodeling 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report ( to gauge the value of home improvements in your city.


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