CommunityEstimating remodeling costs and value

Estimating remodeling costs and value

I’d been considering some pretty major home improvements before the housing market started turning upside down. Got a crystal ball I can look into to see whether or not what I have in mind is likely to pay off a few years down the road?
The Money Pit Answer

You're wise to take a moment from your home improvement dreams to reconsider their value. Renovations and redesigns of any magnitude call for careful planning, and this is even truer in difficult market conditions.
The best source for determining the value of various remodeling projects is Remodeling Online's Cost vs. Value Survey, which predicts the return on investment for a wide variety of remodeling projects.
Beyond that, several websites offer free home improvement calculators that'll give you a general idea of project investments as they relate to your home's location and present value. This'll at least give you a start, and from there it's wise to do your own research on home values in your area and the sales impacts of related improvements (a local real estate professional is a good resource for this). Site's like AOL Real Estate can also help your compare market value to others.
Also remember that beyond estimating remodeling costs, keeping the improvement neutral will help make sure those expenses hold the best value. Any redo you consider should be free of overly personal design features and over-the-top color schemes. Keep things neutral for appeal to a wider range of home buyer tastes.