October 12, 2006

Zillow on the value of home improvements

Filed under: House Blog — marcstober @ 12:38 pm

There’s some good information on Zillow about the value of home improvements.

It shows a lot of specifics, including multiple levels (mid-range, upscale) for certain improvements, details of the work performed, and job cost and cost recouped. The numbers match what we’ve heard locally. The kitchen renovation we’re planning fits in between their mid-range and upscale descriptions and costs; some architects and builders have told us that a two-story addition with a bedroom/bathroom will add more value than just a family room; and I’ve sense that to complete the upscale window replacement (which the previous owners did upstairs only) isn’t a particularly great investment.

Whenever I hear payback numbers I wonder where they come from. We are improving the home with the intent to live in it for a while, after all, so it’s not all about resale. Zillow’s business of making this information free is appealing, but I still don’t know what’s behind them and their numbers.