Rick BissonThree back-to-back Nor’easters in one month may have tossed a white blanket on thoughts of spring and summer’s arrival, yet the extended afternoon daylight and the arrival of the official first day of spring has winter’s grip waning. Soon bright yellow, purple, and white crocuses will almost miraculously sprout from the earth – even if juxtaposed to a covering of white snow.

As the season transitions, so do homeowners’ thoughts. It’s a time to finalize plans for spring projects in or around the house. Projects that may be based on the pure pleasure of their ultimate enjoyment or as a means of building equity for immediate or eventual resale.

Regardless of the project’s final goal, a look into the 2017 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors will shed some light on specific projects and the potential financial and emotional impact they may have on homeowners once they are done.

According to the report, after completing a remodeling project, 75 percent of owners have a greater desire to be in their home, 65 percent have increased enjoyment in their home, and 77 percent feel a major sense of accomplishment when thinking of their completed project. Fifty-six percent feel happy when they see their completed projects, and 39 percent say they feel satisfied.

For homeowners focused on projects aimed at improving the home’s potential sale, Realtors named complete kitchen renovations, kitchen upgrades, bathroom renovations and new wood flooring as the interior projects that most appeal to potential buyers.

When asked which interior projects yield the largest financial return upon resale, Realtors named hardwood floor refinishing (recovers 100 percent of project costs upon resale), new wood flooring (91 percent of costs recovered) and insulation upgrades (76 percent of costs recovered). Bathroom renovations and adding a new bathroom yielded the smallest financial return upon resale, recouping approximately 50 percent of project costs.

Moving to outside projects, Realtors said new roofing will recover 109 percent of costs upon resale, more than any other project in the report. New roofing was also named the exterior project that most appeals to buyers, followed by new vinyl windows, a new garage door and new vinyl siding.

Comments from William Brown, 2017 president of the National Association of Realtors reminds consumers that exterior projects are just as, if not more, important than interior projects when it comes time to sell. “A home’s exterior is its first impression to potential buyers, so any project that improves curb appeal will yield plenty of bang for the buck,” he said.

When it comes to the enjoyment homeowners get from projects, results from the survey indicate several projects received a perfect Joy Score of 10. Joy Scores range from 1 to 10, and higher figures indicate greater joy from the project. Projects with a perfect Joy Score of 10 included both interior and exterior projects of all price ranges, such as the addition of a new master suite, with an estimated cost of $125,000 for a full makeover, and new steel front doors, with an estimated cost of $2,000.

While Americans spent $340 billion on home remodeling in 2015, many homeowners find the idea of attempting a remodeling project too overwhelming to take on. Thirty-five percent of homeowners in the U.S. said they would rather move than remodel their current home. Owners in urban areas are the least likely to take on a project, with only 52 percent saying they would be willing to remodel their home, compared to 55 percent in suburban areas and 70 percent for owners in rural areas.

As evidenced from above, even despite some potential reluctance from some homeowners to take on a remodeling endeavor, there are financial and emotional gains. These advantages typically outweigh the intimidation of getting started.

If you, or someone you know, is contemplating or planning home improvement projects this spring, talk with your trusted, expert Realtor. Whether you are remodeling with the hope of impressing potential buyers, bringing in higher offers or gaining more equity in your home, your Realtor’s insight will help guide you as to which remodeling projects and home upgrades will bring you and your home the most value.

This column is produced by Rick Bisson and his family, who own Bisson Real Estate with Keller Williams Realty of Midcoast and Sugarloaf.

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