Stop! Before you remodel your home, read this! You might end up doing more harm than good with a remodel, thus, hurting your chances of selling it. Not all updates are good updates to your home. Remodeling the kitchen might bring you a good return on your investment, but converting a patio into a den for extra living space probably won’t. Here are some updates that aren’t worth it. For ones that are, check out my post from earlier this month.


  1. Skip luxury and stick with mid-grade upgrades in the kitchen and bathroom. Unless you are in a high-end home, high-end upgrades won’t be appreciated by buyers and might even look out of place.
  2. Think twice before changing the layout of your house. Adding a second story to your home when it is on a street full of bungalows will not bring in buyers looking in that neighborhood. Additionally, turning your porch into a den might give you extra living space but if it takes away the view from your dining room, the value of that room might go down.
  3. If your home is newer, don’t worry about upgrades. By newer, I mean 5-10 years old.
  4. Don’t spend your entire budget on one room and leave the other rooms out. If you make one room spectacular, it might make the other rooms look more shabby. Try and stay equal and consistent throughout the home.
  5. Stay within the price range of your neighborhood. You won’t get a return on your investment if you upgrade your home to a value more than the average selling price in your area.

Home improvements can have both positive and negative effects on the value of your home.  If you are trying to sell your home its important to know what you should spend your money on and what you shouldn’t when it comes to freshening up the interior.  Here are a few things you can do to give your home the extra push it needs to compete on the market.


  1. The kitchen is where you get your most money per square foot, so if the appliances are out of date (more than 5 years old), the cabinetry is lacking or the countertops are beat up, it is time to invest.  Opt for wood over laminate and add crown molding to your cabinets. For countertops, concrete and granite are thought to be top of the line, while plastic laminate is considered low-end grade.
  2. Because everything ends up on the floor, make sure yours is durable and long lasting. Wood, tile and natural stone are the most popular and you get the best return on your investment.
  3. A cheap fix that goes a long way is changing out the hardware in your kitchen and bathrooms. Going from standard grade fixtures to higher end finishes is relatively cheap. Plus, you can really unify your home or a room if you pick pieces that coordinate with each other.  The rule of thumb is that if your fixtures are more than 10 years old, replace them.
  4. The master bedroom and bathroom should be a retreat. Turn these rooms into a spa with simple color changes and de-cluttering them. If you have the budget, spend a little more in the bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub or oversized garden tub and tile floor.
  5. A clean and organized garage goes a long way. You don’t have to spend much money to accomplish this. Simply clean yours out and add some wire shelving for organization and you will have an appealing garage.
  6. Clean and organize your closets. Buy some storage boxes with labels to organize hall closets, take out off-season clothing to help bedroom closets look bigger.


Look for my next post that lays out upgrades that may negatively affect the value of your home.