We all do a mental survey before preparing to enter our home in the Kenai Peninsula Real Estate home listings. We ask ourselves something like, what should I improve that will pay for itself?

 Since anything that improves home listings can result in better offers, the answer can never be proven absolutely. But Remodeling magazine gives it a try. After delving into the year’s home sales numbers, their “Remodeling 2012–13 Cost vs. Value Report” ( highlights some remodeling ideas that don’t return anything like what the investment is likely to cost.

Among midrange projects, boosting the “# Bathrooms” that appears in the Kenai home listings might seem to warrant the expense, yet that usually isn’t the case. A Bathroom Addition returns just 54.8% of the average cost of $37, 501. On the other hand, a more minor bathroom remodel of $15,000 or so averages more than a 10% greater return for about half the outlay.

Less costly (but still a dubious proposition) is putting in a Backup Power Generator. Count on just 52.7% of the $11,000 investment to be returned at sale.

Second worst result in terms of percentages (but far and away the most costly) was the idea of putting in a Sunroom Addition. An average cost of $72,179 added just $33,529 at resale. That hefty price tag is probably too high a hurdle for many prospective buyers.

The Home Office Remodel weighed in as this year’s biggest loser. Nationally, homeowners spent an average of $27,293, yet could expect to recoup only about 42.9%. Ouch. I suggest that if you’re considering a remodel, opt for something that can be readily converted back into a bedroom or den, and call it a study, den or hobby room when it hits the Kenai home listings. Buyers like functional space they can reshape to their own family’s needs.

What are the best remodeling projects? Siding, garage door, and window replacements tend to head the list.

Please feel free to contact me before you spend a single dollar on renovations. I’m here to help guide you in the right direction — and toward a top return!

Real Estate Websites by Cherie Young