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Remodeling Magazine has released its 2010-11 cost vs. value report for home remodeling projects, and it's full of interesting bits of information.

The good news is that homeowners (in the Middle Atlantic region, where Long Island falls in this study) will get back at least 43.1 percent of their project cost on any renovation project. That represents what a homeowner would recover on a home office remodel. For a major kitchen remodeling, homeowners could expect to recoup 62.9 percent.

The bad news is that the percentage of costs recouped has gone down in all projects versus a year ago. The resale value data is based purely on estimates by 150,000 appraisers, sales agents and brokers, not on actual sales.

Some 22 home projects were analyzed. They range from the addition of a family room to installation of a backup power generator. The most expensive project is a two-story addition ($171,895 with a recoup level of 60.7 percent), and the least expensive is a steel entry door replacement ($1,279, with a whopping 97.2 percent recoup level). See all the figures at

The bottom line? Let the new steel entry door hit you on the way back from a visit to a real estate agent. - ANN SMUKLER


This East Marion house may be a small cottage with a spit of beach, but its vista is big. The .9-acre property's panoramic view of Gardiners Bay includes the Bug Lighthouse, which is about a mile away. "It's a direct view," says listing agent Julia Robins of Century 21 Albertson Realty. It is one of several in the area that overlook the lighthouse, which burned down in 1963 and was rebuilt three decades later. - VALERIE KELLOGG

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