Housing Upgrades That Don't Pay
Before you getting started on a major renovation project to give a house your special signature, consider how long you're likely to stay in the house. A lot of people get into trouble by going into a home they're only going to be in for a relatively short period of time, and they start doing renovations and additions that are sort of on their fantasy list, but they're not going to be there long enough to really enjoy.
When the time is right and you do decide to go ahead with upgrades, it is important to consider is how best to spend money that maximize your chances of a profitable resale later on.
3 Reasons to Proceed with Caution:
1. High maintenance - If your upgrade requires too much upkeep, buyers may view it as more of a nuisance than an asset. A prime example is an in-ground swimming pool, which can cost a small fortune to install, secure, heat and clean.
2. Overdressed - Luxurious amenities can be a good selling point, but only if they blend in with rather than outshine what the neighbors have. Having the nicest home in the neighborhood can be a bad thing when it's time to sell. A prime example would be upgrading the kitchen in an entry level home to reflect remodeling from high-end home magazines.
3. Unpopular - If no one else on the block has a room like the one you're adding, or all the other houses boast the very feature you're getting rid of, watch out. For example, although converting your garage into an office, bedroom or playroom can be a less expensive way to add square footage and create more living space, it can have drawbacks. Potential homebuyers might miss the sheltered parking more than they welcome the additional room, especially if other homes in the neighborhood have garages. I've seen cases where sellers have to put up $10,000+ to convert garages back to their intended purpose to attract a buyer.
When you are shoping for a house your buyer's agent can help you look out for things that will be smart upgrades when it comes to future resale. For example, hardwood floors almost always add value.