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

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    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.

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  2. Built-in Electronics

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    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.

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  3. Eliminating a Bedroom

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    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.

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  4. Overimproving the basement

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    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.

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  5. Expansive Outdoor Renovations

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    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.

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  6. Home Offices

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    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.

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  7. Pools, Hot tubs, Spas and Luxury Showers

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    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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