Should You Renovate to Sell Your Historic DC Brick Home?

Jan 22, 2015 9:03:00 AM Christina Wilson

Owners who intend to sell their historic homes often undertake renovation projects to increase the value of the real estate. Many local realtors advise sellers that not all home improvement projects are equally cost effective. There are multiple factors to consider when planning a renovation to sell a home.

Neighborhood Market

Whatever renovation you undertake, the ultimate increase in value to your home will depend a lot on the other homes in your neighborhood. Avoid projects that will require you to price your home out of the local market to recoup your investment. And remember, some projects, like kitchen remodels, may make your home more marketable, but will not necessarily yield a higher sales price. If you are thinking about renovating your historic DC brick home in hopes of increasing its market value start with your realtor. Real estate agents know the neighborhoods, have access to comparable sales and can advise about specific renovations.

Curb Appeal

Many low to moderately priced projects that improve exterior curb appeal are solid investments. Front door replacements, garage doors and refurbished exterior facades, including walkways, and entry steps influence a buyer’s first impression. Inside the home, consider simple improvements—new appliances and countertops, new cabinet hardware, and fresh paint and flooring—rather than the grand renovations.

Return on Investment

Renovation or upgrade projects rarely recover 100% of the cost incurred. You can get the best return on your investment by carefully selecting the right projects. A very useful resource is the Cost vs. Value 2015 Report that gives data on job cost, resale value, and costs recouped for specific remodeling projects. For a complete list of the Washington DC projects rated and C/V ratios, see the Cost vs. Value report for the South Atlantic Region.

Renovating a historic home inside a historic district, whether in preparation for sale or not - can be an intimidating process. For information on permitting and architectural styles and material, contact the Capitol Hill Restoration Society.


Renaissance Development, a leader in historic preservation, specializes in the repair and restoration of historic DC brick buildings. We love old homes and are committed to preserving their historic charm and value. If your renovation plan includes masonry or brick repair, contact us for a free site visit and project quote.

Categories: Restoration

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