I admit to being a bit nostalgic. I love people, places that bring back great memories. Most of those memories include a time, place, people, and things I’ve learned that I still rely on and build upon personally and professionally. In fact, my best memories and experiences bring back some of the most educational and useful data and resources that I have been using and sharing to keep growing, improving, and educating clients, their friends, family, and colleagues. A special resource that harkens back to my Hanley-Wood special projects days is the annual Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine.
It happens often. In fact as recently as a few weeks ago, a past client sent a description and photos of his fantastic kitchen and bath renovations. I was initially impressed with the photos that looked great. We didn’t get into specifics until I see it in person after an additional family room upgrade happens soon. So, when he asked–and I get this a lot– if these projects would help with resale value prior to a sale, I responded as I typically do with this: “… according to the Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com) …” and then this: 2016 Cost vs. Value Report for Virginia and MD clients. Remodeling magazine is a trade journal published by Hanley-Wood, Inc., utilized as a key resource among licensed, professional remodeling contractors across the U.S. You’ll find a systematic, descriptive, and data-filled report broken down by region right down to the city in which you live.
For my relocating clients, military families and Foreign Service folks who live outside of the South Atlantic states identified, you’ll find a drop-down menu for each region in the U.S. It covers 30 markets and 100 projects from mid-range to upscale. You’ll find project descriptions along with estimated costs and projections of your potential return on your investment.
The measure of quality and value of any resource, report, or metric is how you utilize the data. I’ll break it down into 3’s so you can better understand which clients find it helpful, how, when, and why you may use it as you plan and prepare for your next remodeling project.
Hopefully, the Q & A format will keep it simple and you can easily decide how to work with the report for positive results. Here we go:
Q: I’VE HIRED A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL. HOW IS THE REPORT STILL USEFUL FOR ME?
A:Remodeling magazine is the leading industry resource among licensed contractors nationwide. The report AND the magazine provide industry trends in project scope, pricing, and product information. I also recommend that you review and consider previouse reports for a retrospective approach to the data. You can compare not only prices and estimated values over time. It’s interesting to note how the projects and products have changed and/or improved how you can live in the space. Then, you can better set your own expectations for your own project, contractor, and life in your home when its all said and done:
Q. HOW DOES THE INFORMATION APPLY TO ME IF I JUST BOUGHT MY HOUSE?
A. I provide this for buyers who have just moved so they can plan ahead in a few ways. First, you can get familiar with project scope and pricing. That way when you’re ready you’re more familiar with what the professionals will assess and how they may price your requests. Plus, you’ll find that the report includes advertisements of remodeling products as industry standards so you can educate yourself on products and materials.
Q. I OWN AN HISTORIC HOME. DOES THE COST VS. VALUE REPORT CONSIDER THE DELICATE NATURE AND MANY REQUIREMENTS FOR REMODELING AND/OR RENOVATING AN HISTORIC HOME?
A. Every remodeling project or home renovation has its own nuances and delicacies when dealing with design, architecture, city and homeowner standards, of course. Historically, the Cost vs. Value Report addresses estimates and average projects that can guide homeowners and their contractors to work toward a positive end result in price, project, and completion. In an effort to provide help for clients remodeling an historic home, I did ask the editor, Craig Webb, Editor-in-Chief, Remodeling and ProSales Magazines, Hanley-Wood, Inc. And while he’s not seen any data specific to historic homes and notes that this report may not be useful for such specific properties, He offers, “…We all like to say that every house has unique qualities and unique repair/remodel issues. For historical properties, I’d think that is doubly true…”
Q. I own a home on or near the water. How can this help understand the nuances of an addition or garage on the water?
A. Waterfront and historic properties are unique in location, restrictions and nuances in general. So, the best approach is to identify licensed, professional remodeling professionals with knowledge, experience, resources, and references for similar properties and projects.
Q. DOES THE REPORT IDENTIFY TRENDS?
A. Yes, in fact, I have used this element of the report for my own edification about what’s trending year over year in terms of types of projects, scope of projects, and the average return on these projects across the board. It’s been interesting to take a step back and look at all of this from a National level and how it lines up with resale pricing and sold prices across the U.S. compared to the regional and city data over the years.
Report content © 2016 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at http://www.costvsvalue.com.