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We’ve heard that board-and-batten siding, a black front door, a steam oven, and a swimming pool all have the potential to boost a home’s resale value—potential being the operative word. Through analyzing various data points (listing descriptions, sale prices, days on the market), companies like Realtor.com and Zillow have long been able to make suggestions for renovations that could put money back in your pocket when you decide to sell. But it’s always been one big maybe. Now there’s a more accurate way to determine not only how much a particular project will cost you but also gather a much better sense of what the ROI looks like. 

Realtor.com recently introduced its new Renovation Calculator, which provides free intel from Kukun, a home data and analytics company. To start, you “claim” your property by logging into Realtor.com, entering your address, and toggling over to the “Renovations” tab. From there, you can choose what room(s) and/or projects you want to focus on (e.g., refinishing doors or removing popcorn ceiling). After selecting a few additional details about one or a combination of upgrades, users are presented with estimated costs to make the change happen and the potential increase in their home value if they follow through with it. (Psst: If you want a more in-depth breakdown, you can even download a detailed report with itemized costs.)

At the end of the day, we’re all for making design decisions that bring you happiness, although we get the temptation to think about your home’s next life while you’re still in it. When Realtor.com recently surveyed people on the topic, they found that 18 percent of homeowners are renovating in preparation to sell their home. Of those looking to make changes to their home in the next 12 months, the most common plans include bathroom and kitchens (37 percent each), interior paint (35 percent), and flooring replacement (33 percent). Most of those updates don’t run cheap, but at least you’ll know just how much that final bill is going to hurt before your contractor hands it over.