Many people justify making home improvements by thinking they will increase the value of their home, but in reality, many of these turn out to be bad home improvements that never recoup the cash they spent. Some home improvements make sense in certain areas of the country and not in others and some just never make sense. Especially in the cooler climates we tend to go out and spend money on outdoor items when the weather starts warming up in the spring but you need to really think over your projects before you throw away your money on something that will not add to your homes value.
Here is a list of some common bad home improvements:
- A swimming pool – a good in ground pool will run you up to $50,000 and get you about 6-11% of the cost back when you sell. If you live in the northern US, you will recoup more like 6% and don’t forget the yearly upkeep cost of a pool which can be a few thousand dollars as well.
- An outdoor kitchen – if you live in a warm place such as Arizona this may add to your square footage and be an outdoor living space. In a warm climate you may be able to get back some 60% of what you spent to put it in, but in a cold climate you will recoup basically nothing.
- A new roof – everyone is focused on a new roof but a roof was meant to last a certain amount of time and unless you have severe storm damage or some other freak incident or your roof is truly old, you will only recoup about half of what you put into a new roof.
- A garage addition – is this really something that you need? You will be lucky if you get back a little more than half of what you spend adding on and then you have more space to heat, cover with roofing, etc. Even if you just have a single stall, get a new garage door – it is much less expensive and you will get your money back.
- A home office remodel – these days more and more people are working from home but actually remodeling a room into an office with built in cabinets, desk, flooring, doors, etc will not pay off. You will recoup less than half of what you spend. A better idea would be to use an existing room and purchase cabinets, shelving and a desk that you can take with you when you move. There are still plenty of people that enjoy driving to their office and not working from home.
As with most projects, if it is something that you really want and you are not concerned with getting your money back when you sell, by all means remodel but if you are remodeling with the hope of adding to your sale price make sure you calculate it out first.