ROI on Architectural Design | Home Values and Doing Thing Right

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Design BlueprintsBuilding and remodeling projects usually involve some discussion of value, or the return on investment.  One of the often overlooked, and most valuable investments of any project is design.  At every step, Architectural, Landscape and Interior Design have great return.  Builders employing good design are finding success, even in today’s challenging real estate market.

Everyone wants to save money; do-it-yourself home owners, house flippers, speculative builders, even private remodeling projects, we all look for opportunities to cut costs.  Especially in tighter times, we all want to do more with less.

But when success depends on profits, as is the case in speculative (spec) building, or house flipping, or even in private homeowners who want to increase home equity through home improvements, design is a critical component that can make all the difference.

4517 Rutledge Edina MN New Spec HomesTwo examples of successful Minneapolis builders using design to build better homes and beat their competition are Replacement Housing Services* and Great Neighborhood Homes.  Working primarily in Edina, MN both of these builders continue selling new construction spec homes in the most challenging market conditions ever seen.  What’s their secret?  If you ask me, its good design.  The neighbors love these projects, as do the investors and lenders financing them.  Look at the homes on their websites.  The difference is clear. 

Imagine two home built with similar budgets, sizes, features and amenities.  The first one being well designed, architectural, based on other neighborhood housing styles, inspired by classic designs, complemented by modern features.  The other home, simply built on the same standard builder “McHome Plans” used in millions of suburban communities throughout the country.  Which would you prefer?

There is a fee for good design, of course, but the return is a home that stands head and shoulders above its peers. 

While most builders face hard times (bankruptcy) today, the few who are building on spec successfully (and who still get funding to do so) are employing good designers at every step of their projects.

*The author is a member of the Replacement Housing Consortium, and provides real estate services to Replacement Housing Services.



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Theresa Anderson
A New View Staging and Redesign, LLC - Brooklyn Park, MN

Great posting! We need to remember not to focus on short term profits. Rather we must keep our eyes on the long term gains!

Sep 15, 2009 11:39 PM #1
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Ben Kolkman

Real Estate Author & REALTOR, Southwest Minneapolis & Edina Minnesota
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