Not all home improvements will add value to your home. Some things that are done to a home must be considered personal and the enjoyment of the family members may be the only return ever received for the expenditure.
For example, a swimming pool or a built-in spa may not cause the home to sell for any additional money. In lower price ranges, it may even hurt the sale of the home. As the price goes up, more of the cost may be recovered but as a rough rule of thumb, you can generally only expect to get half of what the pool cost.
Other examples of items that don’t increase value include wool or other high quality carpet, oak paneling compared to ash paneling, solid brass plumbing fixtures, and slate or aluminum roofs. The logic is that the new buyer expects the quality to be good but will not usually pay for the top of the line.
On the other hand, there are some improvements which can cause the home to sell for more money and should be considered by homeowners when updating is appropriate.
Kitchens and bathrooms will date a home quicker than anything. And an updated kitchen with new appliances, counter tops and attractive cabinets will make buyers get excited and can make the difference when deciding between two homes.
A tremendous change can be made in a bathroom by adding new light fixtures, new mirrors, and attractive wallpaper to complement the tile colors.
Don’t expect a buyer to have the imagination to be able to see what your home will look like if they replace the carpet, paint, or add new wallpaper. Take the time and spend the money to make these improvements before you put your home on the market. It will sell quicker and for more money than if you give the buyer an “allowance.”