Home Renovations That Don't Pay
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Do Your Research

Think about what you'd really like to do on your vacation and create a list to narrow your choices - whether it's hitting the beach, going shopping, climbing a mountain or visiting a museum. Consider whether you can do this somewhere nearby, or whether you know anyone who has done your chosen activities before on a similar budget. Alternatively, travel agencies or even chat rooms on the topic can provide great advice on accommodations, places to dine, things to do and tourist traps to avoid. Internet sites such as Yahoo! Travel, Expedia and Priceline are often useful when seeking reasonable fares.

Home Upgrades That Don't Pay

If you're getting ready to put your house on the market, you have my condolences. It's no secret that the real estate market is extremely tough right now, particularly for sellers. Because the U.S. housing market is flooded with unsold inventory, homebuyers have countless choices available to them - which gives them all the power. If your home doesn't suit their fancy, they'll simply move along to next house on their mile-long property list.

Making Improvements

While it's certainly a smart move to make a few improvements, don't overdo it. If you spend stacks of cash on remodeling expenses, you'll probably never recoup your investment - especially in this buyer's market.
So how do you know which upgrades are worth the hassle and which ones aren't? For the most part, real estate experts agree that new kitchen countertops and appliances, bathroom remodels and energy-saving improvements will pay off in the long run. On the other hand, pros point out that the following four upgrades aren't worth your time and money.

1. Over-the-Top Improvements

Before you invest tons of money in an elaborate full-house renovation project, consider what the competing properties in your neighborhood have to offer. While you want your house to stand out from the competition, you shouldn't make unwarranted upgrades that greatly exceed other properties in the area. Not only will you end up losing money, but you may even scare off potential buyers.

Find out how similarly priced homes in your neighborhood measure up, and make improvements based on your specific marketplace

2. A Swimming Pool

Believe it or not, a swimming pool rarely adds value to a home in this day and age. First of all, it usually costs a small fortune to have an in-ground swimming pool installed. Secondly, you're probably not going to recoup your investment. Why? Because many homebuyers view an in-ground swimming pool as a high-maintenance hassle and safety hazard.

3. Replacing A Popular Feature

Before you consider making a major home change, such as converting your garage into a game room, take a look around. If every other home in your neighborhood boasts a two-car garage, you should probably think twice. Do you really want to be the only house in the area with no garage? Most homebuyers would prefer to have a sheltered place to park their car than a room to play ping pong and darts.

4. Daring Design

We all want to design and decorate our home so that it reflects our unique style. However, if you're trying to sell your home, now is not the time to incorporate bold design choices into the décor. If your home already beams with your eclectic tastes, try to tone it down before you plant that "For Sale" sign in the front yard. Homebuyers should be able to imagine themselves living in your home.

Before You Sell

Overall, it's good to put some work into your house before you try to sell it, as it can add value and make it more attractive to potential buyers. However, there are some things that will have the buyer running for the door - or will at least not add anything to the house's closing price. Keep these things in mind when you're getting ready to put up that "For Sale"sign.


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