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Square Eye 01-20-2006 06:41 PM

Will improvements add value?
As you are looking at your house and thinking of all of the things you would like to do, consider this. Will the improvements you make, add to the value of your house?

I have a friend who decided to landscape his back yard. He went nuts and way over-board. Fountains, a fish pond, flowers, a stone patio, a flag pole with lighting installed everywhere, a man couldn't cut the grass. Seriously, you couldn't get a lawnmower to the grass. There were obstructions everywhere. So, he and his wife in their pride began to learn a lesson, but wouldn't admit it. They could be seen out there cutting the grass with scissors. They claimed to enjoy it. They divorced and put the house on the market a year later. The house sat for a year with no takers. Finally, the real estate agent recommended wrecking the landscaping. Six months later, he finally gave in and removed it all from the property. The house sold.

The same could be said for above ground pools and flower/garden plots that are not properly installed or cared for. Inside the house is not immune to this sort of home abuse. Extreme home make-overs style bedrooms with wall treatments that are built around specific furniture or alternative materials designs are a hard sell. These things are seen as limits or obstacles to the potential buyers. New cabinets in the kitchen are fine, unless the floors are buckled or sagging. One major improvement is heat and air. High efficiency units and upgraded systems are good. Alternative heat sources aren't always welcome. Geothermal heat is a long-term investment that takes years to see the returns. If the system is installed properly though, it's a gold mine find in a new house. Wood pellet burning furnaces on the other hand, aren't the thing that the average potential buyer is looking for.

Structural maintenance is a major improvement. It's not fun or especially attractive, but the LACK of maintenance is repulsive to most people. A rotten, sunken place in your roof is an attention getter. Cracks and water stains on dry-wall, not attractive. Stained carpet, rips and holes in Vinyl flooring and deep scratches in hard-wood flooring will throw up red flags.

To sum it all up, make sure that the improvements you make, really are improving something.

Tom in KY, no nonsense.

AustinDC 02-01-2006 08:12 PM

It's all about the kitchens and bathrooms.

destiny4065 04-04-2006 10:24 AM

An excellent blog for home imporvements
I am new to this forum so hi all. I found a blog that has loads of information on home imporvements and the cost of remodeling vs the return of the investment cost and which remodeling projects pay off more than others and information such as that where it was all compiled into come blog. I found it extremely useful and easy as all the articles were on the same website and also we did an FSBO and there was information on that as well. Just an FYI if anyone is looking for home improvement information that is complied into one site instead of having to spend hours searching :( the blog address is

vtfan99 04-05-2006 02:12 PM

I added a multi-level, 300-350 sq ft deck to my house that replaced a small cement patio. We recently had our house appraised and this added significant value. Depending upon the sizing of the deck and the structure (or lack thereof) that it is replacing, its definitely one improvement with a decent ROI.

John7447 06-15-2008 07:12 PM

Replacement windows add value.People know they save on heating and cooling cost plus easy to clean.
window replacement Boston

kok328 07-05-2008 08:22 AM

I agree w/Austin.

However, in the given economy, your only going to see pennies on the dollar in terms of value added.

Charlie 07-07-2008 06:22 AM

I think more importantly not fixing things you know are broken decreases value.

If you have something wrong with your home, it is going to become a bargaining point used by the buyer to bring your price down. Nine times out of ten the value you loose is more than it would have cost to fix it in the first part.

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