What does it cost to make old hardwood floors look new again? Let’s say it costs $3,000. That’s a lot of money, especially for owners who just want to get their house on the market and be done with it. But of all the remodeling projects homeowners can do to increase the resale value of their house, refinishing the floors is right up there at the top.
Of course, no one can predict with certainty if an investment will pay off, but recent research suggests owners who redo their floors will get their investment back, and maybe a bit more. New windows and a new roof are also cost-effective ways to get a higher sale price when the home goes on the market.
The cost-effectiveness of almost two dozen remodeling projects is analyzed in research NAR put out a few weeks ago in partnership with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. The findings are detailed in the latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR.
The video also looks at why NAR is concerned with the tax reform framework that members of Congress and the Trump administration are looking at. The framework seems like a win for middle-income households because it calls for a near doubling of the standard deduction, but what often gets lost in the debate is that it also calls for the elimination of the personal exemption and the exemptions for dependents. Depending on family size, whatever gains one gets from the higher standard deduction would be wiped out by the loss of the exemptions. Meanwhile it calls for eliminating most itemized deductions, including the deductions for state and local taxes, which means many households that now itemize would be better off taking the standard deduction. As a result, they would in many cases end up paying more taxes.
On the plus side, the framework leaves the mortgage interest deduction in place, but that’s not going to be enough for most homeowners to itemize. Without the state and local tax deductions, many would still find themselves choosing the standard deduction—and paying higher taxes as a result.
The video also looks at why 1031 like-kind exchanges are so beneficial to commercial real estate, why home sales are expected to drop despite continuing strong demand, and what to do to keep your transactions on track in the weeks after a natural disaster.
Access the video.