Home Improvements Do’s and Dont’s

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Home Improvements

When homeowners remodel homes they expect that the value of the house will go up. While that is true in most cases, it is not true in all cases. Indeed some certain home improvements might actually hurt the value of your home. It is also important to remember that cost does not equal value. So if you are thinking about home improvements it is important to consider which ones are worth spending on and which ones are not.

Do’s and Dont’s

Do Remodel The Kitchen, But Don’t Go Overboard

It is no secret that the kitchen is one of the most valuable spaces in a home. When a homeowner decides to remodel the kitchen it is a big project and one that, if done properly, will allow you to recover upwards of 60% of the cost in value.

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Unless you are a chef, don’t add a chef’s kitchen.

Do remodel the kitchen but don’t go overboard. The kitchen you put in your home should match the home. There is no sense in adding a chef’s kitchen with high-end accessories and appliances or using materials that don’t match the home and the neighborhood standard. You will not get your money back on luxury additions. Additionally if the kitchen is awkward for house the it may actually take you longer to sell your home.

Do Add a Bathroom or Remodel Them, Don’t Overimprove

If you your house needs an additional bathroom, adding one will add value. Experts estimate that upwards of 80% of the cost of a bathroom can be re-cooped. If you have enough bathrooms remodeling them will also add value to the home. However, just like with the kitchen you don’t want to overimprove the bathrooms.

Make sure you use materials and build or remodel the bathrooms to suit the style of the house. Using luxury materials or adding things like a jacuzzi bathtub are not improvements for which you can expect to recover much cost. And just like with kitchen improvements, awkward improvements may actually make it harder to sell the home.

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Do Paint, Don’t Use Off the Wall Colors

Painting is a home improvement that for a little cost can make a a big difference in a house.  If you are remodeling for yourself you can use off the wall colors while you live there. But, if you are improving the house in order to sell it, do repaint in neutral colors that are sure to please most buyers.

Do Add Energy Efficient Improvements

Energy efficient improvements are a great way to add value to your home. You can add energy efficient appliances, insulation and energy efficient windows. Homebuyers like to hear that houses have energy efficient upgrades. If you are selling, energy efficient upgrades can help justify your asking price.

Don’t Add a Swimming Pool, Unless You Intend to Use It

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Don’t add a pool unless you intend on using it.

Swimming pools are a great addition if you are going to live in the house and use it. But don’t expect to add a $50,000 pool and have your home value go up by $50,000.

Depending on the neighborhood, adding a pool may mean that you raised the house to the expected standard for the neighborhood. So now instead of your house being worth less than the others, it is been raised to the level of being par with the neighborhood values.

Consider also that if the pool is unusual for a neighborhood the cost of maintenance may actually prove to hurt the value of your house.

Ask First

If you are considering remodeling your house, and are unsure how the improvement may affect the value of your property, ask first. It won’t cost you anything to ask and as the saying goes “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure“.


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About the Author

Désirée is a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism and to helping others with their real estate endeavors through education. Désirée Ávila was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology.  Désirée is a lifetime local resident of South Florida and is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

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