Does that mean homeowners have found the key to economic prosperity — expensive renovations that pay dividends at resale?Unfortunately not…In fact, the average amount recouped for home remodeling projects is on the decline. According to a survey of real estate professionals by Remodeling magazine, this year’s average return on 21 popular remodeling projects came in at 66.5% nationally, down from 68.6% in 2019.

Joint Center for Housing Studies / Harvard University (Oct. 2020)

Nevertheless, as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, 76% of real estate agents say that home renovation activity is on the rise. Many homeowners who would rather not brave a real estate world with rock-bottom inventory are choosing instead to reconfigure their current residences.

The key then is knowing what upgrades increase home value when the time to sell inevitably comes, as your ROI “really depends on the type of house you’re selling and whom you’re selling to,” said Alexandra Isham, program manager, design, with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in Washington, D.C.

Using research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the NAHB, and out-in-the-field resources like top Atlanta real estate agent Leighann Russell, we put together this list of 19 home remodeling project recommendations so you can make better decisions about where to invest your money.