It's that time of year again--the Cost vs. Value report is out. Each year Realtor and Remodeling magazines jointly pull together a metro area-by-metro area analysis of the cost of various improvements (add a deck, upscale kitchen renovation, basic bath renovation, etc.) and their relative worth if/when the house were to go to market.
Nationally, owners should recoup about 2/3s of the cost of their investments, across improvements and across regions. As you get closer to the Bay Area, though, the ratio improves, and, if you believe the numbers, goes positive for most improvements in the Bay Area. As has been the case in past years, "midrange" remodels pencil out more positively than do "upscale" remodels, though note that in some of our neighborhoods, buyers will frown if they feel a remodel was done with shortcuts and budget-savings paramount in mind.
Read the national report here, and email me (Kennedy@MaureenKennedy.Net) for a copy of the San Francisco Bay-specific results.