As a realtor and homeowner, I generally recommend only doing a major renovation if you plan to stay place and enjoy the results of the project. If you are thinking about selling you need to consider the fact that you may have different taste and needs of a potential buyer. Not all upgrades (see Globe article here payoff) will be worth the time and cost and be recaptured when selling.
According to the NAR the impact of remodeling for buyers and sellers shows that 75% of owners want to stay in their home after completing a renovation project. The most valued interior renovations are in the kitchen and bathroom, while exterior ones include a new roof, windows and a a garage door. There is a news release on this subject from September 2017 here.
Before making any decisions on a home improvement project do your homework. The major components of this should include soliciting competitive bids before selecting a contractor, be sure your contractor does all the required permitting (check local permit regulations), get an estimate in writing for the project and establish a plan for any variations as well as final approval at the end of the project.
We just did a work in progress repair to replace rotted wood on our deck. Our original goal was to preserve the integrity of the deck so that when we do sell in a few years, preventatively there would be no rot issues if inspected. Our painter last year recommended replacing a few rotted ballisters before returning to do another coat of stain.
What started out as a minor project using our regular contractor ended up costing 3 times what we planned. We did not follow any of the above tips and learned the hard way. The contractor started out replacing the identified rotted ballisters and it mushroomed into basically replacing all of them, the under-base and two sets of steps. My husband told him to use the best materials and although we were in some communication we did not have a written proposal. The contractor was working on a time and material basis and we went along with allowing him to proceed as needed. A big mistake on our end was not to get an estimate in writing up front or to get interim progress reports of his spending. Although he did an amazing job and the deck looks brand new it is not the place I would have spent money. We do plan to downsize in a few years and this renovation money would have been more beneficial to upgrade a bathroom.
Below are some other articles and ideas:
Angie's List Remodeling project
Top renovation projects for resale
Home improvement budget
Wendy is a realtor with Coldwell Banker Needham and a home owner. She enjoys sharing her life lessons in this blog to help others make the best decisions possible for their real estate interests. For more information visit her website at www.wendybcb.com or her facebook page @wendybcb. She is always interested in referrals.