The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 10 No. 21 - February 17, 2010


Remodeling and repairing bring big returns

Last week, we talked about getting your home ready to sell during the traditional busy selling season. Most of that advice centered around minor improvements and basic cleaning and de-cluttering around the house. But what about actual remodeling or more costly repairs that may be needed? Are they worth the time, money and effort or will just a little nip and tuck do the job?

Before we move on to the big stuff, according to a survey released in December by, there are five home improvements recommended by real estate professionals that bring the best return when selling your home.

As previously mentioned, cleaning and de-cluttering continues to rank as the top suggested home improvement recommended by 98 percent of real estate brokers. The estimated cost can be as little as $200 and return a value of nearly $1,700 to the home’s sale price, a 872 percent return on investment.

Second is home staging with a cost of $300 and a return of $1,780, a 586 percent return.

Third is lightening and brightening, $230 cost and a $1,300 return, a 572 percent return.

Fourth is landscaping with an estimated cost of $320 and a return of $1,500, a 473 percent return.

Fifth is repairing plumbing, $385 in costs and $1,250 in returns, a 327 percent return.

All of the above is fine if you feel your home just needs some sprucing up, but if you’re looking at old kitchens, baths, heating and air conditioning, windows and floors you might want to consider a remodel. Conventional wisdom is that a homeowner will get back between 80 and 90 percent of the cost of a major remodel within the first year or two of the project. Freddie Mac has published some estimated remodeling and repair costs which could work as a guideline if you’re considering some of this work prior to sale.

New kitchens continue to sell homes and can cost a minimum of $8,000 and most of the time a lot more. Same thing with bathrooms which according to Freddie Mac range between $7,000 to $12,000. The addition of a half bath is estimated to be $3,500 to $5,000 and a full bath $7,000 to $12,000.

Windows, especially in Florida, which has specific guidelines when replacing windows because of hurricanes, range from $250 to $500 each. But hurricane proof windows can be a lot more if your renovation requires them.

Freddie Mac’s estimate to replace a central air conditioning system is $1,500 to $3,000 and an electric heat pump, $2,200 to $3,600.

Adding an addition on to your cottage is $70 to $120 per square foot, and a garage $6,000 to $9,500.

New flooring is estimated at $11 to $22 per square foot for ceramic tile, wall-to-wall carpeting is $3.38 to $6.61 per square foot and sanding and refinishing wood floors is $1.50 to $3.30 a square foot.

Keep in mind that these estimates are based on national averages, therefore, some of the numbers may be low and others about right. However, remember these are lean times for building contractors and anyone selling home improvement materials, so shopping around is definitely worth the time.

So whether it’s a nip and a tuck or a new kitchen that’s required, get it done before placing your home on the market. Either way, good luck and may the gods of real estate look favorably upon your de-cluttered countertops and leak-free faucets.

Real Estate Transactions
Closed sales between Aug. 10 and Oct. 10, 2009

Anna Maria

517 Blue Heron Drive        Lot        $1,100,000
125 Crescent Drive        Single family         629,900
210 Archer Way        Single family         600,000
207 Spruce Ave. #A        Duplex         304,000
428 Magnolia Ave.        Lot        287,000

Bradenton Beach

1911 Bay Dr. N.        Single family         $755,000
104 Gulf Drive S. 201       Condo         425,000
1900 Gulf Drive N. #6        Condo         400,000
901 Gulf Drive S. #5        Condo         300,000
901 Gulf Drive S. #6        Condo         265,000
1801 Gulf Drive N. 152       Condo         255,000
2101 Ave. B        Single family         140,000


No recorded transactions

Holmes Beach

615 Ivanhoe Lane        Single family        $850,000
607 Concord Lane        Single family         610,000
5200 Gulf Dr. #608        Condo         488,300
519 77th St.        Single family         472,500
6806 Gulf Drive        Condo         457,500
303 64th St. #A        Condo         450,000
7000 Gulf Drive #105        Condo         430,000
201 35th St. #4        Condo        390,00
214 67th St.        Single family         385,000
6250 Holmes Blvd. 45       Condo         359,500
4200 Gulf Drive #106        Condo         350,000
4102 Fifth Ave.        Lot         350,000
430 63rd St.        Half duplex         316,000
207 71st St. W.        Half duplex         298,000
3100 Gulf Drive #5        Condo         225,000

Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office

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