According to the Appraisal Institute, homeowners should take steps to winterize their homes in order to reduce energy costs, increase comfort in cold months and improve resale value.
“With the fall season coming to a close, now is a great time for homeowners to consider making seasonal updates to their properties,” says Appraisal Institute President Ken P. Wilson, MAI, SRA. “Not only can these types of home improvements make the cold weather manageable, many can provide a nice return on investment in resale value.”
The Appraisal Institute encourages homeowners to focus on three main updates this winter: windows, exteriors and furnaces.
Adding vinyl or wood windows to a home can have an average payback of nearly 80 percent, according to the Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report. Vinyl and wood replacement windows have a higher projected return on investment than many other home improvement projects, including a bathroom addition, family room addition, garage addition or roof replacement.
That same study found that a combination of interior and exterior replacement projects retained the most value in home improvements. For example, a minor kitchen remodel returned nearly 83 percent of homeowners’ original investment, while a wood deck addition returned more than 87 percent.
A furnace doesn’t just provide heat and comfort during cold months, but proactively tuning or replacing a home’s furnace can alleviate issues when considering resale. According to Consumer Reports, the average lifespan of a furnace is 15 to 18 years. Homeowners should keep this timeframe in mind when debating servicing versus replacement.
Homeowners should contact an appraiser before deciding on any winterization projects. “A qualified, competent appraiser can make recommendations about which updates will likely provide the most impact on resale value, as well as how to not exceed community norms for the local area,” Wilson says.
Source: Appraisal Institute