Home improvements that may not get you expected returns

Home improvements that may not get you expected returns

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For most homeowners, gearing up for home renovations is about making their dreams come true while adding more convenience and comfort to their space. But if your goal is to enhance the market value so that you can get a good asking price when selling your house, remember not all upgrades will be worth it. While some home improvements will clearly pay for themselves, other projects may be too expensive to maintain in the long run or may be too specific and personalized to have a broader appeal.

So, before your start planning your home improvements , understand the purpose of these initiatives. Are you taking a plunge because you want to transform your house into a pad of your dreams? Well, in that case remodel your house however you see fit. But if your goal is to simply add more value, here is a list of quick damp squibs that may not give you expected returns on your investments:

1. A swimming pool

A cool dip in hot summer days sounds very exciting and luxurious. But it is not at all surprising why adding a swimming pool is not likely to add perceived value to your home. It is a very high maintenance feature that has very high costs associated with heating, filtration, insurance coverage and installing safety features that go along with it. Having said that, assess the value and demand for a swimming pool in your local housing market before you install one. While in some high-end markets it may be a common and expected feature but more often than not average buyers will not be ready to take on this high maintenance asset simply on a whim.

2. High-end kitchen upgrades

It sounds a very attractive proposition, isn’t it? After all, who doesn’t appreciate a classy, high-end kitchen with state-of-the art appliances and other features that look straight out of glossy interior décor magazines? But is your kitchen in sync with the rest of your house or does it look out of place? And if it is fancier than other kitchens in the neighbourhood houses, it can even go as far as detracting your chances of selling your house or fetch an asking price that can compensate your upgrade spend.

3. High maintenance landscape

A beautiful garden with amazing landscape features paints a pretty picture. It also sounds like a great first impression to entice potential buyers. But for an average home buyer, maintaining a landscape may mean investing a lot of time, efforts and money. It may not sound so attractive to a homeowner who has not factored these additional costs in their home buying budget. The main idea is to give your yard a nice curb appeal that looks well-tended and well-cared for. But going overboard merely with the assumption that it will fetch good returns may not be a very good idea.

4. Wall to wall carpeting

While it is definitely a personal choice, like with others home upgrades we have discussed so far, most homeowners prefer solid flooring like hardwood floors and ceramic tiles. Oak floors and the use of reclaimed wood for that antique finish is clearly ruling the roost in more traditional markets. Other than that, what goes against carpets is that they are not as durable and easy to clean and maintain as the solid wooden floorings. In fact, many people avoid wall to wall carpets as they have the tendency to hold dust and dirt that may foster allergies. The trends in the real estate market suggest that hardwood floors are the top request from potential home-buyers and it looks like investing in solid wood floors may help you sell your house faster.

In a nutshell, have it the way you want and add all sorts of bells and whistles if you have long terms plans to stay in the house. But if the whole and sole purpose of your home improvement initiative is to add value and achieve great ROI, understand the market and explore what home additions will actually pay off and what projects would prove to be pointless from the ‘adding-value’ angle.

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