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.