LESLIE: If you’re thinking about selling the house, that’s what Jay in Alabama is doing and we can help you all with that. Welcome, Jay.
JAY: First would be doing a kitchen upgrade. We’ve got – the appliances are all three years or younger. We’ve moved in three years ago and we’ve replaced the dishwasher, the stove and the refrigerator; so they’re all newer appliances. The question is should we invest our money in replacing countertops, tile – they’re custom cabinets that my wife’s grandfather built for our house doing, you know, the faux finishing; or would our money be better served by investing in – we have a back deck – taking and redoing that deck to put a roof over it, enclosing it with a screen so you can have ceiling fans and making more space in Alabama that you can use on these hot evenings and mosquito-infested nights, I guess?
TOM: Is the deck makeover a popular project in your part of the world? I mean do you see a lot of homes that have these screened-in back porches?
JAY: Yeah, about 50/50.
JAY: Lot of times, you know, in new construction they just go in and do just the deck …
JAY: … where it’s just an open deck where the added benefit would be if it were covered then also you could sit out there any time of day and with the screen keeping the insects away no matter what time you’re sitting out there.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Well, I’m looking in the cost versus value report for 2007 …
LESLIE: … and for east south-central, which encompasses the Alabama state area, we’re looking at a 91.4-percent return on investment for a deck addition.
LESLIE: So that’s pretty good and for a kitchen remodel on the minor end we’re looking at an 85-percent return on investment.
TOM: So for all intents and purposes they’re pretty similar, so I’m thinking you could do a combination here; you know, doing a little more – spruce up in the kitchen to make sure it’s presentable for sale and then if you’re telling me 50 percent of the homes in your neighborhood have screened-in porches and you don’t, then certainly that’s a good improvement and one that will be attractive to a buyer.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.