Alan L 2008

Renovations & 2016 Trends

New cabinets, new tiled shower, second bathroom, replace carpet with hardwood, new windows, and a new front door. Oh, don’t mind me! I’m just making my Renovation Wish List.

I am sure everyone has something in their own home they’d like to upgrade or replace; and when it comes to selling real estate, there are many among you who would like to recommend certain things before a house is listed, or even for your buyer to do after the house is purchased, but how can you determine which project will get the most return on investment? Is money all that matters? How much is owner satisfaction worth?

NAR and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry released their first-ever Remodeling Impact Report in December 2015, which looks at the cost, resale value, and customer satisfaction of 12 interior projects and 8 exterior projects. Spoilers: new roofing and hardwood refinishing had the greatest cost recovery, but owners were happiest when they added a bathroom, renovated their kitchen, put in new fiber-cement siding, or installed a new front door. Home buyers seem to appreciate upgraded kitchens and bathrooms, and a new roof the most.

Michele Turbin 2012

Michele Turbin/flickr/2012

Beyond the new report above, we have turned to Remodeling often in the past to compare the average cost with the resale value across U.S. markets. Taking this information into consideration allows home owners to make pragmatic decisions when it comes to prioritizing projects. The Cost vs. Value Report even lets you compare the trends over a 15 year period.

If you do decide to undertake an interior remodel project and want to stray from classic styles into trendier arenas, make yourself aware of design trends for 2016. Apparently, metallic is a thing now.  Though, other outlets report that stainless steel is out and black stainless steel is in, which is at least better than the years of avocado. I can get onboard with heated entryway floors, and sustainable products like bamboo, unfinished woods, and stone!

Alan L 2008

Alan L/flickr/2008

If you aren’t the DIY type, make sure you do your legwork looking into contractors before you hire. Take your time and read contracts carefully before signing on. If you have a buyer who is interested in renovations, perhaps they should look into a mortgage that allows borrowers to purchase and renovate under one loan. Whatever you do, keep the lines of communication open with any partners involved in your remodel project! A recent study, Remodeling & Relationships Survey, from Houzz says almost half found the experience with their partner to be “frustrating,” while 12% said it was “painful!” On the upside, nearly every surveyed said it was worth it in the end, so not all hope is lost.

Keep in touch and informed: Follow Information Services on Twitter (@asknar) and Facebook (NAR Information Services). Contact us next time you have a research project or question toll-free at 800.874.6500,, Skype narinfoservices, or text AskNAR to 66746.

Abby Creitz

NAR Web Content & Information Specialist

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