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Home Renovation130 Bil*
March 10, 2004
Home Renovation Can Be Iffy Value
By JANE J. KIM
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Fireplaces are hot; home offices are not.
It's long been known that when it comes to renovating your home, it isn't how much you spend. It's how you spend it. Bathrooms and swimming pools have always added value, but some other home improvements are more susceptible to fading in and out of fashion.
A study sponsored by the National Association of Realtors analyzed the effect of various housing characteristics on residential property values these days, shedding light on what renovations have integral value and what kind of housing styles are gaining or losing popularity.These days, homeowners are willing to pay more for homes with central air conditioning and fireplaces and are placing less value on square footage (although people still value lot size as much as they did in the mid-1990s), the study found. Home buyers also are placing more value on eat-in kitchens and utility rooms while placing less importance on having a dining room, a den or a study.
There are certain projects that you may not want to waste your time on since they typically have little effect on a home's value. Intercom systems, kitchen pantries and above-ground swimming pools added little value, for example. (Although an in-ground pool adds about 8%.)
Certain attributes actually detract from a home's value. A home office or an in-law suite lopped off about 5% from the homes' prices, although less than 2% of the homes in the sample had either type of room.
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