garage doors

Steel carriage garage door. Photo: NTX Garage Doors

This is the second installment of a new occasional column called Getting Real About Renovations. We’re looking at renovation realities for all sorts of projects, from hardwood floors and open floorplans, to master suite additions and kitchen upgrades. We’ll give you the unadulterated truth about options, costs, effort, Realtor opinion, and estimated ROI for these projects. You can read the last one about hardwood floors here.

Generally speaking, homeowners remodel to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials; to add features and improve livability; because it is time for a change; and because they’re selling.

Garage door replacements may not sound like a big deal, but in fact, they are one of the easiest ways to quickly boost a home’s curb appeal if the garage faces the street (a front-facing garage door can be almost 20 percent of your home’s front facade). They are also ranked among the top five most profitable projects nationwide, and in Dallas, according to the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report by the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine.

Midrange garage door replacements recoup 100.7 percent ($1,544) of the total project cost in Dallas. Upscale garage door replacements are quickly gaining, too — in 2015, they increased 19 percentage points year-over-year to recoup 82.2 percent ($2,550) of the total project cost.

“I think we often forget to consider that a garage door is not only a functional feature but can be a design feature as well,” said Robin Moss Norcross with Nathan Grace Real Estate. “A garage door update, especially if front facing, can certainly continue the exterior design scheme.”

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Much is said about creating curb appeal when you put your home up for sale. But is it really that important in our sizzling real estate market? And what projects will get the biggest bang for the buck and attract the right buyer?

Why not ask Realtors? They’re on the front lines with buyers, hearing comments and seeing what works and what doesn’t.

“Curb appeal is one of the most important factors when it comes to the marketing of your home,” said Brandon Travelstead, a Realtor with Dallas City Center Realtors. “It’s all about what the potential buyer sees when they pull up out front, get out of the car, and walk to the front door—you really have 30 to 45 seconds to capture that buyer’s attention before they form their first impression.”

Dennis Hammett, Ebby Halliday’s 2015 “Rookie of the Year,” considers curb appeal one of his areas of expertise and offers specific recommendations for clients.

“I work with a wide range of buyers, sellers, and investors in the readiness and prep to get the most of the home’s appearance,” Hammett said. “Whether listing a $200,000 or a $2-million property, you only have one chance to make that first impression—I’m always looking for that ‘wow’ factor that will attract potential buyers.”

We asked top Dallas Realtors to weigh in on curb appeal improvements sellers can make to their properties. We’ve divided their answers into budget-friendly, mid-range, and high-end so you can easily see where to best spend your money. Let’s hear what they have to say!

 

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