7 "Money Pit" Home Improvements You Might Regret

Being a new homeowner comes with the freedom of making renovations to personalize your space. Many of these adjustments may be minor, but even minimal changes can give an old house a facelift. Before you start remodeling, especially if you plan on selling the house in the future, there are a few improvement projects you should know to avoid. Check out these projects that just aren’t worth the money.

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  1. Built-in Aquariums


    Built-in aquariums look stunning, but they can also turn off potential buyers. Sure, they add a touch of luxury, but not everyone wants to deal with the upkeep. According to Daniel Fries, Atlanta, GA based home appraiser, it’s just not a practical investment. Aquariums top the list of improvements with poor return on investments.


  2. Built-in Electronics


    At the rate that new technology is growing, today’s shiny new gadget quickly becomes a thing of the past, which makes built-in electronics a bad investment. They tend to dominate the room, and if not properly soundproofed, can impact adjoining rooms.


  3. Eliminating a Bedroom


    A walk-in closet and expanded master bath is a selling point, but only if that space isn’t hijacked from a third or fourth bedroom. The rule of thumb when renovating is to stay within neighborhood standards. If the neighborhood norm is three bedrooms, a two-bedroom house is at a severe disadvantage.


  4. Overimproving the basement


    Below-grade improvements never pay back as much as renovations or added upstairs. Compare the cost of a finished basement to renovating the attic, adding a dormer or even raising the roof, before committing to a high-end basement remodel.


  5. Expansive Outdoor Renovations


    Outdoor kitchens with grills and wood counters can be used up to ten months a year in warmer climes, but further north, a fireplace would be a much cozier investment. Make sure your renovations are appropriate for the area. As you calculate your project budget, keep the total tab no more than 10% of the current value of your house. If you spend more, count the payback in terms of personal enjoyment.


  6. Home Offices


    Even though more and more people work from home, adding in a home office is generally not a good idea. Buyers may be turned off by a room that can no longer function as an extra bedroom. If you already have a home office, keep the area basic, a desk, chair, and good lighting. Potential buyers should be able to easily visualize the room being utilized for another purpose.


  7. Pools, Hot tubs, Spas and Luxury Showers


    Much like the built-in aquarium, these novelty amenities will only attract a limited number of people. In most scenarios installing a pool or hot tub will not help increase the value of your home. It does add a luxury value, but you will most likely not regain your investment.


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