EIFS – Synthetic Stucco Cost – Price – A Lucrative Investment

Whether you’re planning to renovate your house to increase curb appeal for potential buyers or live in your home for the rest of your life, renovating with synthetic stucco will give you the greatest ROI (return on investment) for your money. The aesthetic value of EIFS alone causes a home to stand out as a gem among it’s neighbors to create a lasting first impression. However, it doesn’t stop at first impressions, as a new siding on your house is ranked the top home renovation in terms of “Cost vs. Value”. If that wasn’t enough, any money not initially recovered via increased home valuation is made up by significant reductions in your heating and cooling bills, putting money back in your pocket for years to come.

The most obvious benefit of synthetic stucco is it’s beauty. No siding exists which can match it’s wide range of textures, colours and design options. From your charmingly basic EIFS with flat trim, right through to the dentil’d cornices, columns, pilasters, keystones, flowers and elaborate moldings of multi-million dollar homes clad in synthetic stucco. This “aesthetic value,” although difficult to translate into actual dollars, is invaluable in it’s ability to bolster that all-important “first impression” of your house and make it stand out to potential buyers. This curb appeal is not only for potential buyers however; home owners with recently finished EIFS happily recount (with a big smile) instances of hitherto unseen neighbors stopping by their house to pay them a compliment, express their envy and seek a referral.

From your charmingly basic EIFS with flat trim, right through to … multi-million dollar homes clad in synthetic stucco.

Many factors of EIFS (such as aesthetic value and being safe from mold) cannot be measured in dollar value, but there is a direct cost vs. value according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2007 “Cost vs. Value Report.” In this highly-regarded report detailing costs of various home remodeling projects and their return on investment at resale time, fiber-cement siding (like EIFS) come in at the (not surprising) number one position, with an astounding return of 88.1%. This means that on a $15,000.00 EIFS renovation, your home’s value increases immediately by $13,215.00 vs. $9,900.00 for a comparable $15,000.00 bathroom addition (66.0% cost recoup). In reality, a synthetic stucco renovation blows others out of the water in terms of value because…

This means that on a $15,000.00 EIFS renovation, your home’s value increases immediately by $13,215.00 vs. $9,900.00 for a comparable $15,000.00 bathroom addition

Adding EIFS to your home results in significant energy savings. Home owners typically report a 25%-40% reduction in their energy bills due to the higher insulation value of their walls. The method by which synthetic stucco reduces heat loss/gain is 2 fold. Primarily, it’s insulation prevents heat penetration through walls, and secondarily, acts as an air barrier — preventing air flow and therefore heat transfer. This means that less heat is lost during the cold season, and less heat penetrates into your home during the warm season — a double benefit for those living in Canada and the upper states. Looking at a typical annual heating/cooling bill of around $2,500.00 and a minimum of 25% reduction, the average home owner can expect to get back $625.00 every year. Again looking at our $15,000.00 EIFS renovation and subtracting the increase in home valuation ($13,215.00), it has only cost $1,785.00. At a rate of $625.00 per year in energy savings, you are “out of the red” in only 3 years ([3 * $625.00 = $1,875.00] – $1,785.00 = $90.00.)

Looking at a typical annual heating/cooling bill of around $2,500.00 and a minimum 25% reduction, the average home owner can expect to get back $625.00 every year.

Whether planning to renovate with EIFS to attract home buyers or simply to intelligently invest in your greatest asset, you can rest assured you’re making the right choice. After having fully paid off your investment in 3 years, you’ll have an asset which generates approximate 4.2% ($625.00 / $15,000.00) ROI for a 25% reduction in heating/cooling costs, and 6.7% ($1,000.00 / $15,000.00) for a 40% reduction (after 2 years). This energy saving is a huge plus for home buyers, who are also increasingly becoming environmentally conscientious and will adore the freshly renovated exterior of your home.

Home-Cooked Meals Are a Hot Investment

I married well.

After seeing a recent stat that 41% of first marriages end in divorce, I count myself lucky. I managed to find a mate who is smart, funny, responsible and compassionate.

And he loves to cook!

I picked up some basic cooking skills throughout high school and college. I can make grilled cheese, boil an egg and bake a mean chocolate cake for someone’s birthday. But I don’t stray too far from those easy recipes and skills.

On the other hand, my husband is the one in our family who makes the bulk of our meals. He’s the one who can explain the different cuts of beef at the grocery, and he’s the one who knows when to use dill and when to use rosemary. (I try to stay away from the spice rack completely.)

If food prices continue to shift the way they have over the past year, I think we will see more people like my husband cooking amazing meals at home rather than going out to eat… and that’s going to create some fantastic investment opportunities if you know where to look.

Back in the Kitchen

The government recently announced that the consumer price index (CPI) was unchanged for June, while economists were expecting inflation to tick up 0.1%. The 12-month CPI has dropped to 1.6% from 1.9% and is well off its five-year peak of 2.7% reached in February.

There’s a lot of hullabaloo going on right now about whether the Federal Reserve will lift rates yet again this year and whether the slowdown in inflation is far more than temporary, as the Fed has been claiming.

But I don’t care about the Fed right now. If the Fed is going to act, it’s unlikely to be until December, and there’s a lot of data set to come out between now and December that could sway the Fed.

If you dig a little deeper into the CPI report, there was a great nugget of data that no one is really talking about… and that creates a great opportunity for astute investors.

The government reported that grocery prices (food at home) fell in June. The price of food purchased in a grocery and prepared at home has steadily dropped since peaking in September 2015. We experienced a small run-up earlier this year, but it appears that prices are rolling over once again and headed lower.

By contrast, the price of food purchased at restaurants has steadily risen over the same time period and shows little sign of relenting.

Technology has worked to reduce costs in food production by increasing crop output. Low gas prices have cut transportation costs as well. The end result: It is now cheaper to buy food at the grocery than it was in 2015.

Meanwhile, rising labor costs and skyrocketing rents have forced many restaurants to lift their prices just to eke out a profit, making it far more expensive to eat out.

The United States Department of Agriculture reports that food-at-home prices dropped 1.3% in 2016 from 2015 levels and are expected to rise between 0% and 1% in 2017. Food-at-restaurants prices jumped 2.6% in 2016 and aren’t slowing in 2017.

The Market Has Changed

The race is on to make a profit off what’s hitting your table for dinner. We’ve seen a surge over the past several years of meal-delivery services such as Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Plated and Home Chef. These companies are catering to families (particularly millennials) who are looking for the comfort of cooking at home while still getting a unique variety of meals – far more than my awesome grilled cheese sandwiches.

Earlier this summer, Amazon announced plans to acquire Whole Foods. Imagine if Amazon could streamline Whole Foods the way it has done its other businesses, bringing costs down and luring customers in.

And of course, we have Wal-Mart going head-to-head with Amazon, which could create a price war that works in favor of consumers.

The market has shifted in favor of the grocer over the restaurant. Prices are dropping for food in grocery stores while restaurants are raising their prices just to get above the cost of operating. Meanwhile, wages for most Americans are stagnating, making the choice an obvious one.

Investors should be wary of restaurants and take a new look at grocery stores such as Kroger or even watch for new opportunities driven by millennials.

Preheat the oven. Sharpen the knives. Bust out the cookbook. It’s time to make dinner at home.