By Andy Meredith
At some point, most homeowners come to believe it’s a good idea to renovate or rehab real estate. As one who has been through this, I can tell you that the best approach is to do extensive research before jumping in. There are some upgrades you will likely want to avoid.
Here are a few we have run in to during our experience.
Keep Up With the Joneses
Whenever I get the urge to make improvements to my home, I think about what that’s going to mean in terms of the price I could get if and when I decide to sell. A home’s value is based on the median home price of the neighborhood in which it is located. While it is important to keep up with neighbors in terms of a home’s curb appeal, for example, it is equally important not to go overboard on improvements. If the time comes that I want to put my house on the market, certain upgrades might raise the price above the median for the community. I might find it difficult to sell and I might not get my investment back.
Be Careful With Colors
Among the easiest home improvements are fresh paint and new carpeting. I have always been a fan of accent walls, but unfortunately my favorite accent color is black. On a wall, I found that it comes off as too funereal, so I consigned black to things like end tables and pillows, and went with sage, my second-favorite accent color. My advice is to go with colors that have a little pop but that don’t scream, frighten or depress when friends and family walk into the room. Keep base colors as close to neutral as possible in both carpeting and wall colors.
Be Selective About Built-Ins
Things change, and this is something to keep in mind when investing in a built-in home entertainment center. Given that technology changes so rapidly, it is a good idea to plan for more room in which to house electronics during cabinet design. There needs to be proper soundproofing so that adjoining rooms are not impacted, and good ventilation to prevent the threat of fire. This will be an expensive upgrade and, like a built-in aquarium, might be considered a novelty amenity by a prospective home buyer who just isn’t into the home theater idea. In other words, you might not recoup your investment when the time comes to sell your home.
Pool and Hot Tub Issues
Living in an area with a great climate year round definitely has its advantages, and I can see how tempting it would be in such an environment to consider adding a swimming pool or a hot tub to your property. Again, the neighborhood’s median home price should be considered. If many other homes in the community have pools or hot tubs, fine, and that might be the case in places like Florida or Arizona. Otherwise, these upgrades, while adding luxury value, will probably not help to increase the home’s overall value and once again, you might not recoup your investment when it comes time to sell.
All things considered, upgrades are sometimes a necessity, depending on the age or condition of the home. Many major upgrades, however, are simply born of personal preference and require careful thought.