5 Home Improvement Projects That Don’t Pay

Home improvement projects are a great way to make your home more enjoyable and increase its value. However, some projects don’t pay, and getting stuck with the bill from home improvement projects without a future payoff.

Home Improvement Projects to Avoid - AgentHarvest.com

Kitchens With High End Accessories

Kitchen remodels can pay off well when looking to improve the value of a home, but don’t go nuts on high end accessories and appliances. Instead, focus on the basics like the paint job, the cupboards, and the countertops that people universally want to see.

Spend enough to do a good job. Real hardwood floors and granite countertops go a long way, and pre-tiled fancy backsplashes can add flair without breaking the bank. But don’t go too crazy on the fridge, stove, or microwave if you want your money back.

Whirlpool Baths

Jetted tubs are a nice touch in a master bedroom, but home buyers are typically not willing to pay extra for a the extra feature. If you are installing in your own home, be on the lookout for maintenance and operating costs before buying. You’ll be glad you did.

To really make a master bathroom pop, consider some fresh paint, new tile for the shower and tub, and a classy granite countertop.

Home Office Remodel

The home office is where business happens, but unless you are in the business of wasting money, don’t pour too much into a home office remodel when looking for return on investment.

According to Money Crashers, a home office remodel will run you about $28,000 on average, but only return 46% of what you put in. That means you will get less than a $14,000 home value increase from a $28,000 office renovation.

Garage Additions

Adding a garage or extra parking space is expensive. If you are looking to cover your car without spending too much, consider a carport instead. If you do invest in a new garage, plan to get about 62% of your money back.

In dollars and cents, a $15,000 garage addition would yield you about $9,300 in home value increase. Probably not worth it, unless you are a car enthusiast who doesn’t mind spending extra to protect your collection.

Expensive Landscaping

Buyers like curb appeal and a nice backyard, but are not willing to pony up extra dollars for a spectacularly landscaped home. If you plan to move in the next few years, don’t waste the money on a big landscaping job.

Instead, put in smaller landscaping upgrades that you will really enjoy, but don’t cost thousands of dollars to buy and install. Upward lighting and a variety of colors can add a lot of pop without adding a lot of bucks to the install job.

Before You Dig, Ask an Agent

You know to call the city and utility companies for permits and markings before bashing in a room or digging up your landscaping, but most people don’t think to call an agent. A trusted real estate agent is a great ally when upgrading a home, and is good to know when you are looking to sell the home, or buy a new one, down the road.

So before you start your work, consult with an agent who knows what pays and what doesn’t. If you don’t know an agent, we’re here to help.

Infographic courtesy of California Association of Realtors. Financial data provided by Money Crashers.

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