October 17, 2018
Homeowners should always focus on home enhancements that speak to their own preferences and desires. Whether you want a magnificent stone fireplace, a beautiful deck facing your backyard, or that new kitchen you have been dreaming of, if you have the means to do so, there’s nothing stopping you.
However, many homeowners understandably consider their homes an investment, particularly when they are planning on selling in the short- to midterm. This is why many residential property investors have long favored relatively quick-and-easy improvements, such as marble countertops or upgraded bathrooms. But the public has come to recognize these predictable enhancements for the relatively low value they offer, and now looks to other means for enhancing curb appeal.
A weakness of the tried and true approaches to beautifying existing homes is that they do nothing to boost curb appeal and immediate desirability. Your neighbors nor the house hunters scouting for prospects have any way of knowing about your immersive living room home theater, nor the newly installed walk-in bathroom.
This may explain why a variety of exterior home improvements top the list of highest returns on investment.
HouseLogic.com, a site published by the National Association of Realtors, has noted that new roofs and home siding boast two of the best ROIs. Investing $7,500 into a new roof produced an average return of $8,150 (109%), while replacement siding budgeted for $13,350 can be expected to return 75% of the initial investment.
Consumer Affairs has also recommended new front doors, while seconding the recommendation for new siding. HomeAdvisor.com has touted the financial merits of stone veneer and door replacement.
But there was a single point of agreement between all three home improvement outlets when it came to these various outlets: garage doors offer excellent return on investment.
The installation of a new garage door now offers the highest ROI among all home improvements, especially on the West Coast.
In the spring of 2018, a door systems association cited a study indicating that among 21 of the most common mid- to high-range home improvement projects, the average return on investment was 69% nationwide. Among these 21 project categories, upscale garage door replacement topped the list for best ROI, with an average of 98.3% of costs recouped.
This disparity even caught the eye of CNBC, given that the ROI of all categories of all home improvements decreased year-over-year. In an interview with Craig Webb, the editor-in-chief of Remodeling Magazine, which has commissioned an ongoing “Cost. Vs. Value” study for home improvement projects since 2002. In the interview, Webb noted, “Last year, the big-ticket items rose more in value than the smaller-ticket items in terms of the payback. We think the reason why they’ve changed is a general belief by Realtors that the more you spend on a house the harder it is to sell it.”
The luxury and immediate visual impact offered by high-end garage doors appears to generate significantly more appeal than more time intensive and costly home improvements, such as kitchen and bathroom remodels, deck additions, and the replacement of windows and siding.
Interestingly, the housing market appears to believe not all garage doors are created equal. According to data gathered by Remodeling Magazine, between 2013 and 2016, midscale and upscale garage door improvements were closely correlated in terms of ROI, across most markets, with midscale doors taking a slight edge.
But in 2017, high-end garage doors took a significant edge, and appear to continue be surging, with an ROI of 98.3% in 2018 (no data for midscale doors is available for 2018). But this is by no means the ceiling. In 43 of the 100 markets across the country surveyed by Remodeling Magazine, upscale garage doors recouped more than 100% of their initial costs.
The West Coast housing market has seen an even greater desire for high-end garage doors, with ROI topping 120% in 2018.
While the sudden shift in national interest over the past five years has been striking, this doesn’t even begin to compare to the West Coast’s taste for premier quality garage doors. In 2013, both mid- and high-grade doors were generating ROIs of just over 75%. But in West Coast markets, these doors were fetching more than 90% of their initial costs.
Interest in both grades of door continued to increase through 2015. However, demand for mid-tier garage doors collapsed from 2016 on, while upscale doors have surged to record heights. While midscale garage doors now offer a lower return on investment on the West Coast than they did in 2013, upscale garage doors yielded an ROI of 120.8% in 2018.
In particularly high-demand California housing markets, the appeal of new garage doors is even more evident. In Santa Rosa and San Francisco, high-end garage doors yielded ROIs of nearly 180%, while in San Jose the ROI topped out at 210%.
The evidence makes it clear that for homeowners who are considering buying the garage door of their dreams, but who are mindful about costs, realizing your dream may not only be satisfying, but profitable as well.