Creating a home that is uniquely your own is a tricky process. On the one hand, you want to add personal touches that match your taste. On the other hand, you do not want to harm the value of your home by doing too much. When it comes to home customization, I have seen my share of mistakes. Allow me to share some of what I have learned in the real estate industry.
Avoid remodeling your home in a way that makes it too personalized. While you may love black tile, concrete counter tops or purple carpeting, consider how these choices will be viewed by future buyers before committing to them. It can cost thousands of dollars to add these elements, and you may find they need to be changed before you can market and sell your home. I have seen this happen to many a homeowner, and the result is a home that sits on the market for an extended period of time and a frustrated seller. Instead of making extreme changes, I recommend adding touches of a favorite tile, throw rugs in a favorite color or a removable island with concrete accents. These are simple and inexpensive ways to show personality in a home without making expensive commitments.
Another mistake to avoid is remodeling a home in a way that is not conducive to the neighborhood. I would view it as somewhat of a waste to add an expensive slate outdoor space when neighbors have concrete patios and small wooden decks. Increasing square footage beyond any other house in the neighborhood is also financially unwise. If you know you will stay in your home for a lifetime and want to make these changes, they might be worth the price. However, if there is any possibility of resale in your future, consider smaller upgrades to avoid owning a home that is upside down in value when the time comes to sell.
Finally, consider your project carefully if it includes a pool. I have seen buyers walk away from beautiful homes simply because they did not want a pool. Buyers with young children often view pools as a liability, and elderly buyers seldom want to deal with the work and cost needed to upkeep a pool. Before installing a pool, realize that you will eliminate a number of interested buyers in the future, and you might have to take on the expense of getting rid of the pool in order to sell your home.
Home customization is not something homeowners should enter into lightly. I recommend careful consideration of any projects to reduce the possibility of eliminating buyers and reducing a home’s resale value when the time comes to sell.
Image Credit: By Rugby471 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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