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5 Upgrades to Increase Your Lifestyle but Not Your Home’s Equity

Monday, July 16, 2018   /   by Marion Franke

5 Upgrades to Increase Your Lifestyle but Not Your Home’s Equity

Some people think adding lots of fancy upgrades will make their home look awesome to others – including prospective buyers when it comes time to sell.  The truth can be quite different.  Some very inexpensive upgrades can yield impressive style results.  Relatively inexpensive upgrades can add zeros to your bottom line when you sell.  Let’s go over some brilliant ideas and their corresponding mistakes when it comes to return on your investment (ROI).

Landscaping is the quickest way to impress the neighbors and your friends.  Curb appeal is listed in any advice for selling your home.  It’s easy to impress with a clean, simple, colorful front yard.  However, adding complicated koi ponds, terraced gardens and expensive lawn ornaments do nothing to add value to your home in the minds of the buyers.  In fact, some will see your hard work to improve a big headache to maintain.

High End Kitchen Appliances are highly desired by some home cooks.  However, if your home is in the average price range, these upgrades may be a wasted investment.  Just know if you get above average appliances in an average home, it is for your own enjoyment.  The buyer market cannot reward you for your good taste in this area.

Swimming Pools are an addition many families will absolutely love in our part of the world.  Some would say a pool is essential to get through our hot summers.  This is an addition of style and pleasure your friends will enjoy as well.  However, when it comes to getting your sizable investment back and selling time, don’t count on it.  Most of the time you will not be compensated at the closing table.  Some buyers will only buy a home with an existing pool for this reason.  Other buyers will never consider a home with a pool - or the pool expense/maintenance.

Adding Rooms and Major Features can make your life easier as your family grows and changes.  When these improvements exceed the type of features in surrounding properties, you are assured the money spent will not be returned to you.  It’s called “overbuilding for the neighborhood.”  While you think you are boosting value, you may be better off simply moving to a home with the features you want and where the neighborhood reflects your new lifestyle choices.

Invisible Improvements are the expensive projects you know are needed but are not seen as improvements by others.  Projects falling into this category are things like replacing your air conditioning or plumbing system.  While this improvement may be required for you to be comfortable and safe in your home, nobody else will even notice.  Potential buyers simply expect these improvements to be done prior to their purchase and consider the project normal maintenance.

When you are shelling out thousands of dollars to enhance your home, it is hard to imagine others will not place a value on the project.  Whether you want to impress your family and friends – or plan to sell your home within the next year or two – carefully think about your ROI.  Don’t trust the advice of the contractor regarding home value.  Instead, ask a real estate professional who knows the market.