We've all heard about the home improvement projects that boost home value, and it wasn’t so long ago that remodeling a home by taking out a home equity loan was a no-brainer as far as investing in the value of your home. Of course, that was before the housing market bubble burst, leaving a whole lot of people with a whole lot of bloated debt, super-fancy kitchens, and no one willing to buy them but for pennies on the dollar! Most seem like great ideas at the time, but you usually find in retrospect that they were great big wastes of time and money, and could lead to some serious financial troubles if things don’t work out the way you expected them to!
The “Home Office”
In today’s tech-savvy world, home offices might look cool, but they’re utterly unnecessary, and eat up what could be valuable space for the home’s next buyer. Imagine for yourself the thought of having to remove all that beautiful cherry cabinetry and shelving to make way for another kid’s room. After all, when you work away from the office, what do you really need? How about your smartphone or at most, your wifi-enabled laptop. This article is being written in a library, after all! The simple fact is that people today don’t need home offices, but if you’ve got to have space for your desk, consider setting it up as a library or a multi-purpose room. That way, you’ll avoid the permanent built-ins that can cost a fortune, have your space, and not burden the next buyer with having to rip out the remodel that may only recoup you about 46% of your investment!
The “Master Suite”
Who among us hasn’t wanted one? A quiet retreat from the world that is just precisely what we want, personalized for our every whim! Well, the next people to buy the house, that’s who! Professionals often try to steer remodelers away from overly personalized spaces, like the master suite, that can cost as much as the house itself if you’re not careful! Usually, buyers want to see a cozy bedroom with space to move around, ample storage space in a walk-in closet, and perhaps at most, a nicely appointed bathroom. That’s about it. Does the room need a mini-bar? No. They aren’t going to want to pay extra for that. How about the built-in entertainment system? Nope. Not that either. It’ll probably just end up holding knicknacks rather than the 72” plasma television screen anyway!
Every guy needs a man cave. A place to get away, but what if that getaway runs north of $100,000? Well, that might just be going a little overboard, particularly if your home itself nears that price tag. While on a million dollar home, you can expect potential buyers to appreciate a maxed out garage, but if they’re only going to stuff it with the stuff they don’t want to lug into the attic, then what’s the point? The big loss here comes in when you’ve invested a huge chunk of change on a cool new bedroom for your collectible cars (or car,) and you don’t have anyone willing to buy it later. Pros suspect that this home improvement project will only bring a return in the neighborhood of 50% or less!
If you’re looking to enjoy your home, and don’t plan to move any time soon, then it’s always a great idea to personalize it and make it a comfortable place to be. If, however, you plan to sell within the next five years or so, then major renovations will almost certainly lose you money, regardless of how awesome you think they are!