While it has been said over and over again that you should make your home look as good as it possibly can in order to get a faster sale, there hasn't been a lot of discussion about over-improving your home. When you live in an area that is full of modest and older homes, the money that you invest into major improvements may not come back to you when you decide to sell your home.
What Makes a Home Improvement Bad?
For example, if you live in an area where the average price of a home is $400,000 and you modify your home to bring it up into the $600,000 range, you may have a difficult time selling it based on its location. A person that is interested in spending $600,000 on a home is going to be more focused on looking in communities where other homes in this price range are available.
If your house is surrounded by other modest homes, you'll want to pay attention to the types of modifications that you make. It's a good idea to fix up things in your house to make it more appealing to buyers without overextending your goals. If, for instance, your laminate countertop is scratched and has a few holes in it, it would definitely be a good idea to replace the countertop before putting your home on the market. This doesn't necessarily mean that you should look for a high-end marble, quartz or granite countertop to take its place. A new laminate surface that's clean and shiny will do.
If you do put your money into a granite countertop, you definitely shouldn't expect to see this money returned to you upon the sale of your home. You would only want to put in a granite countertop if you have a high-end home with luxury homes surrounding it where the potential buyers would be specifically looking for an expensive countertop.
Why Some Home Improvements are Worse Than Others
Some home improvements can be worse than others. Highly specific renovations, or getting rid of a small bedroom to make one room out of two can reduce the value of your home. Improvements that are very expensive for only small changes often aren't worth it either. While you can customize your home to your own liking, a home that is too specific in the design isn't going to be attractive to the average buyer. Know what you are getting into when it comes to your home improvements and set your goals. If you want to add value to your property, you have to find the improvements that are worth spending money on.
Think Hard About the Best Home Improvements
If you live in a modest community and are considering having an addition put onto your home, you might want to think again. While you will be adding extra square footage to the home, if the other houses around you don't have a lot of square footage themselves, your home will stand out like a sore thumb in the neighbourhood. People that are searching for more square footage will be looking, for the most part, in other parts of town where larger homes are available. While it's okay to add an addition to make the house more livable for you and your family, don't expect to see a lot of the money that you have invested into the addition come back to you on the resale in a community where smaller homes are the norm.