Time to Winterize is Now, Appraisal Institute Tells Homeowners


CHICAGO – November 3, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today encouraged consumers to winterize their homes now for cold weather ahead to increase comfort, save money and possibly increase value.

“Fall is an ideal time for homeowners to take stock and make the appropriate updates for the cold months ahead,” said Appraisal Institute President M. Lance Coyle, MAI, SRA. “Routine improvements can make a winter indoors more enjoyable and, in some cases, increase the value of a home.”

According to the Hanley Wood 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, projects with the highest cost-to-value ratio include entry door replacement (steel), garage door replacement (mid-range and upscale) and window replacement (wood).

The report indicates that replacement projects, such as new doors or windows, generate higher returns on value than major room remodels including those of kitchens and baths. For example, at the time of resale, a bathroom remodel recoups 70 percent of its cost, but a steel entry door replacement recoups almost 102 percent, according to Hanley Wood’s report.

Equally important is protecting assets outside of the house. Taking simple winterization steps can protect homeowners’ investments in landscaping, decksand roofs, all of which can potentially add to property values.

The Appraisal Institute recommends that consumers consult with an appraiser before making decisions on which winterization projects to undertake. “Improvements, such as winterization, can increase the enjoyment of a home and might add to its value,” Coyle said. “A qualified appraiser can make recommendations on improvements, keeping in mind community norms.”

According to the Energy Saver Guide, produced by U.S. Department of Energy, the typical American family spends at least $2,200 a year on home utility bills, with heating taking up to 42 percent of that amount. Homeowners can save on utilities by taking some simple, cost-efficient steps:

· Check for air leaks around walls, ceilings, doors, lighting and plumbing fixtures, switches and electrical outlets.

· Look for ways to use controls such as sensors, dimmers and timers to reduce lighting use.

· Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed; make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.

· Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads.

· Close curtains and shades at night to protect against cold drafts; open them during the day to let in the warming sunlight.

For additional information on home improvements that can be made throughout the year, see the Appraisal Institute’s Home Improvement Tipsfact sheet.

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The Appraisal Institute is a global professional association of real estate appraisers, with nearly 21,000 professionals in almost 60 countries throughout the world. Its mission is to advance professionalism and ethics, global standards, methodologies, and practices through the professional development of property economics worldwide. Organized in 1932, the Appraisal Institute advocates equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the appraisal profession and conducts its activities in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Individuals of the Appraisal Institute benefit from an array of professional education and advocacy programs, and may hold the prestigious MAI, SRPA, SRA, AI-GRS and AI-RRS designations. Learn more at www.appraisalinstitute.org.

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