Renovation can help homeowners protect their investment in the face of a nationwide
decline in house values, according to RenovatorsPlace.com,
the source for home renovation resources. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange predicts
housing value losses around the country of up to 8.2 percent. However, renovation
projects often recoup more than 100 percent of their costs, which means that
carefully planned home improvement offers some protection for home value.
"As the housing market declines in many cities, homeowners should focus
on improvements that will help keep their home values from falling," said
Allison Beatty, founder of RenovatorsPlace.com. "By updating your kitchen
or bathroom, adding new siding or replacing inefficient windows, you can help
ensure your home value stays strong."
Trading in housing futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange indicates drops
by late next summer of at least 5 percent for 10 leading markets. This projected
value decline is not limited to any geographic region. With cities like Miami
(-6.8 percent), Boston (-7.6 percent), Chicago (-5.9 percent), and Los Angeles
(-8.2 percent) all facing significant drops, the weakening of housing values
will be felt nationwide.
According to Realtor Magazine's "2005 Cost vs. Value Report," the
four home renovation areas pointed to by Beatty often show returns of over 90
percent. On average, a window replacement, for example, retrieves 90 percent
of its original cost. A mid-range kitchen remodeling rewards the homeowner with
91.1 percent returns. Siding replacement brings back 95.5 percent. Bathrooms
recover 102.2 percent.