I was recently reading up on the HGTV site when something caught my eye; with the recent downturn in the market, those who were seeking to sell their Utah homes were looking for ways to make their home stand out, ways to separate them from the pack and maybe get them sold faster, possibly with more value. This isn't a bad idea, let's face it, sometimes you have to spend some money to make some money. But HGTV took it a step further, detailing some of the better ideas and what they might be worth, but also the flipside, ideas that might SOUND appealing, but in reality wind up costing more than they are accomplish. Here are the 4:
· Home Office - If you work from home, and plan on staying there for a while, upgrading your den or spare bedroom into a gadget-rich environment might make sense, but if you're looking to re-sell your home soon, then this one is a lost cause. At most you're going to average a 75% return on your investment, at worst 50%. Your home improvement dollars are better spent elsewhere.
· Upscale Master Suite - One of the biggest mistakes you can make when upgrading your home is over-upgrading, and this is one of the big ones. Sure, for many, your master bedroom is your retreat, the place you go to escape the everyday, it's important that your be both comfortable and easy on the eyes, but at the same time you don't want to go overboard if you plan on re-selling soon, because you won't get what you paid to get all those luxuries put in and if your neighbor, who didn't over-upgrade, is selling down the street, she might have a competitive edge on you in the price department.
· Family Room Addition - Consider the costs of adding say a 16x25' space, plus all the fixtures, and the finishing outside, and you're talking close to $50,000. Spending that same money on upgrading existing unfinished space in your basement or attic and you'll get a lot more back at re-sale. Consider what you've got already, before you go looking to add more.
· Upscale Kitchen Remodel - This one is usually very expensive and can sometimes set you back upwards of $80,000. If you're doing it because you're a hardcore chef and you like having the best and looking at it too, then that's fine; but if you're looking with an eye towards re-sale, it's too much to spend with too little return. While many home-buyers might ‘Ooo and aaahh' a cool-looking kitchen, only about 1 in a 100 actually factor such into their purchase decision.
Remember when you're planning on selling you have to keep an eye on what people are willing to pay in your area, not necessarily on what you want to sell for, and plan accordingly. Home sales may be down, but they haven't stopped completely, that means there are still buyers out there. Next time I'll detail some more ideas I found, some that you can even do on a budget.