Remodeling Cost vs. Value

Will Remodeling Pay Off?


Every year, Remodeling Magazine evaluates which projects bring the most return at resale in different markets around the country in their “Cost vs. Value” report. While returns have dipped nationwide due to growing costs and consumer anxiety, Seattle still saw better pay-off on remodeling than the national average. The chart below shows cost vs. value on the most common remodeling projects…


Cost vs. Value for Common Remodeling Projects


When looking at the full list of projects, curb appeal projects seem to bring the most bang for your buck.

According to Remodeling Magazine, these are the six top projects in our region that currently have the best return on your investment when it comes time to sell. To see the full report, click here.


Manufactured Stone Veneer

As long as the new stone veneer is consistent with your neighborhood’s overall look, this siding accent was rated the most profitable project in the Seattle area.

Stone veneer can replace your home’s existing siding, adding a fresh, modern look that conjures a cozy vibe all the way from the street, before buyers ever step foot inside. In Seattle it can recoup 118.5 percent of the cost when you sell.


Garage Door Replacement

In the Seattle area, replacing your garage door will cost an average $3,882, but will increase your resale value by $4,136, recouping 106.6 percent of what you paid for it.

Due to its size, a garage door can have a big impact on a home’s curb appeal. But adding to your home’s aesthetic is only one advantage; the warranty that comes with the new garage door is also a selling point for potential buyers who can trust that they likely won’t have to deal with any maintenance issues in the near term.


Wood Deck Addition

While building a deck might seem like a big undertaking, it’s actually a pretty cost-effective way to add to your enjoyment and positively impact your home’s resale value. Seattle-area homeowners can expect to pay about $19,000, but they’ll recoup 95.1 percent of that when they sell.

Adding a deck extends the living space of your home and provides even more area for entertaining, relaxing, and enjoying the outdoors. Whether you choose a natural wood deck or a low-maintenance composite deck, you can pick from a variety of styles based on the lay of your land and the areas of your backyard you wish to highlight.

Siding Replacement

Depending on the size of your home, replacing the siding can be an expensive undertaking. However, it’s a project that comes with high returns. For the Seattle area, sellers can expect 94.9 percent of the costs recouped.

Not only is siding one of the first things a buyer sees, but it also serves as an indicator of the overall health of the home. Broken or damaged siding could mean that there are other problems with the home, such as pests and rot. Replacing old siding is a cost-effective way to boost your home’s curb appeal and ensure buyers are going to walk through your front door.


New Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows can add an instant update in both appearance and energy efficiency. The average cost to replace 10 windows is about $19,501 but you’ll recoup 89.5 percent of that cost when it’s time to sell. If any of your windows are fogged from broken seals then replacement will probably be a must before it’s time to sell.


Minor Kitchen Remodel

No need to move walls or appliances around, a minor kitchen remodel will do the trick to recoup 89.1 percent of the cost in our area.

An outdated kitchen can go from drab to fab and become a focal point with a fresh palette. Replace the cabinet doors with new shaker-style wood panels and metal or metal-looking hardware. Switch out the old counter tops with a cost-efficient option that matches the new look. Think about adding a resilient flooring option, then finish the project with a fresh coat of paint to the walls, trim, and ceiling.



We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.



© Copyright 2020, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Adapted from an article originally posted on Remodeling data © 2020 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2020 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at

Posted on February 4, 2020 at 12:26 pm
Windermere MI | Posted in Infographics, Real Estate Trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Should I Wait to Move Up?

While only you can decide when it’s the right time to purchase a new home for your family, there are some compelling reasons to consider a move now rather than later… 

Did you know that sellers moving up to a more expensive home actually fare better when prices are low?  As you can see in the chart below, even move-up sellers who bought in the peak of the market will come out ahead.  This is because the money you save on your more expensive home will outweigh the loss of value on your current home.  

While waiting may increase the value of your current home, it will also increase the purchase price of your new home.  According to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices–the leading measure of US home prices–prices are already up 7.4% year-over-year in the Seattle Metropolitan area.  If you’re moving up to a more expensive home, this means you’ll actually have less net gain by waiting to sell and purchase your new home.

Rising interest rates will also have a direct impact on your bottom line. Our current 3.4% interest rate represents a phenomenal low. How low? Buyers now actually pay less monthly interest on a median-priced $399,950 house in Seattle today than they did on a median-priced $265,000 house back in 2000. Considering wage inreases since then, that's pretty incredible!  However, rates have started slowly creeping up since December and are expected to rise to 4.4% by the end of the year. Even this small change can mean a huge difference in both your monthly mortgage payment and the loan amount you can can qualify for…

A shortage of homes for sale in the current market means less competition for sellers. Right now, there are less homes for sale in the Seattle-Eastside area than we've seen in the past 15 years (as long as we've been keeping record!). While that might make it harder to find the right home to purchase, it will also reduce the time it takes to sell your current home. Buyers are quickly snapping up homes as they become available, and we're even seeing multiple offers on homes that are strategically priced and well-prepared for market. Selling your house faster will minimize the typical household disruptions–such as showings and open houses–that you would typically have to contend with during a slower market.

Have questions? Contact me any time…I am never too busy to help!


*1: Projected increase based on current 7.4% year-over-price gains for the Seattle area as shown in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.
*2: Projected average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate in Q4 2013 based on the Mortgage Bankers Association predictions.

S&P Dow Jones Indices Press Release, January 29th, 2013

© Copyright 2013, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.

Posted on February 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm
Marianne Parks | Posted in Hot Trends, Infographics, Real Estate Trends |

May Reports Show Home Prices Up

New listings in the month of May lowered absorption rates slightly in Seattle, the Eastside and King County while pending sales remained strong. Mercer Island saw a decent decline in pending sales…likely due, in part, to the lack of inventory for sale in key price ranges. Median sales prices are up in most areas and average sales prices are varied. By far, the strongest spring market we have seen in years.

2012-05 Seattle Metro

2012-05 Mercer Island

2012-05 Eastside

2012-05 King County

2012-05 Summary


Data prepared and analyzed by Julie Nugent for Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. For questions or comments, email Julie at

Posted on June 13, 2012 at 8:19 am
Marianne Parks | Posted in Hot Trends, Infographics | Tagged , , , ,

Pending Sales Soar in Greater Seattle

The absorption rate based on pending home sales continues to be off the charts with listing inventory very low and sales activity brisk. Overall, prices have continued to slip slightly in all areas except Seattle Metro–which actually saw prices rise. Of note however, is the fact that distressed properties have sold for significantly less than non-distressed homes for sale.

2012-02 Seattle Metro

2012-02 Mercer Island

2012-02 Eastside

2012-02 King County

2012-02 Summary

Data prepared and analyzed by Julie Nugent for Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. For questions or comments, email Julie at

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm
Marianne Parks | Posted in Hot Trends, Infographics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Be More Interesting

(In 10 Simple Steps)

1.Go exploring.
Explore ideas, places, and opinions. The inside of the echo chamber is where are all the boring people hang out.
Go Exploring

2. Share what you discover.
And be generous when you do. Not everybody went exploring with you. Let them live vicariously through your adventures.

3. Do something. Anything.
Dance. Talk. Build. Network. Play. Help. Create. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it. Sitting around and complaining is not an acceptable form of ‘something,’ in case you were wondering.
Do something

4. Embrace your innate weirdness.
No one is normal. Everyone has quirks and insights unique to themselves. Don’t hide these things—they are what make you interesting.
Embrace your innate weirdness

5. Have a cause.
If you don’t give a damn about anything, no one will give a damn about you.
Have a cause

6. Minimize the swagger.
Egos get in the way of ideas. If your arrogance is more obvious than your expertise, you are someone other people avoid.
Minimize the swagger

7. Give it a shot.
Try it out. Play around with a new idea. Do something strange. If you never leave your comfort zone, you won’t grow.
Give it a shot

8. Hop off the bandwagon.
If everyone else is doing it, you’re already late to the party. Do your own thing, and others will hop onto the spiffy wagon you built yourself. Besides, it’s more fun to drive than it is to get pulled around.
Hop off the bandwagon

9. Grow a pair.
Bravery is needed to have contrary opinions and to take unexpected paths. If you’re not courageous, you’re going to be hanging around the water cooler, talking about the guy who actually is.
Grow a pair

10. Ignore the scolds.
Boring is safe, and you will be told to behave yourself. The scolds could have, would have, should have. But they didn’t. And they resent you for your adventures
Ignore the scolds

Source: Jessica Hagy,

Posted on February 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm
Marianne Parks | Posted in Infographics, Living Life | Tagged , , ,