10 cash-wasting home improvements

You may be itching to upgrade, but only one of these is likely to raise your home's value enough to cover the cost. The worst will lose more than half the money you put into it.

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332Comments
Dec 13, 2012 8:51PM
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I am suprised a, "Bomb Shelter" was not listed!
Dec 13, 2012 8:34PM
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I hope my roof replacement nets me 12 grand on my $5500 investment.

Nov 20, 2012 7:38PM
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I'm with everyone else -- this article is nuts!  The price quotes are bizarre to say the least. Over the last dozen years or so we have spent about $90,000 that includes a 240 sq ft sunroom, new roof, a 3/4 bath that used to be a closet, a completely redone family bath with jacuzzi tub,  a remodeled basement that included moving a wall,  building a walk in closet and adding a 3/4 bath,  new windows, new electrical in several rooms (pod lights, etc)  and a new electrical 'box',  new kitchen cabinets, and new stair railings and paneling in the living room.  About 90 percent done professionally.  The house was a 'builders special' during the boom of the late 70's and nothing had been upgraded.  Oh, yes, and the extra bedroom that became the home office?  Store bought filing cabinets and bookshelves for about $400 and a hand-me-down desk and sofa.  They will go with us and the room is once again a bedroom at no further cost. We are enjoying the results and  expect  it will retain it's value and be easier to sell when we are ready.
Nov 20, 2012 5:54PM
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OK, who is STUPID enough to spend $40,000 for a new bathroom?! My husband and I did most of the work ourselves: he's build a home before, and I have experience with architectural drafting. We designed our own bathroom, and did 95% of the work. We spent our time to find the right fixtures, cabinets and accessories.Since we own our own business, we ran a lot of the supplies through our company at wholesale cost. We had an electrician friend double check our wiring, and a plumber double check our plumbing work. We spent about $8,000 for a 6' x 12' bathroom -- and it looks effing great!

Nov 20, 2012 3:39PM
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With the home office a few things are not calculated in...or considered... At least it was not presented as such. The reduction of wear and tear on your vehicle, cost of maintence and insurance. Further, how much time did/do you spend behind the wheel and away from your family traveling to/from work. If you really use your home office you can avial yourself to some other tax write offs as well.
Nov 20, 2012 1:06PM
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Since they have admitted now that they have a 'shadow inventory' (off the books inventory), the National Association of Realtors wants you to buy those instead of improving the home you have. I wonder how many fools will fall for this ?
Nov 20, 2012 11:22AM
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Let consider roofing.  If you live in the midwest, you will replace you roof about every 20 years (shingles).  Only a sucker will replace with shingles, the only way to go is metal (it will last a min. of 50 years).  Always choose a quality material for you replacement roof, (asphalt shingles are worthless as are wood shake) metal, ceramic, even plastic are all good alternatives depending on the part of the country you live in.  I have a metal roof that is 45 years old and it is in excellent condition.
Nov 20, 2012 10:18AM
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What a ridiculous article.  To think this author has any influence on those of us who love our homes is absurd.  Inground pool costs and upkeep are so inflated it's nuts.  My midwest, inground pool takes no where near $2000 plus to maintain.  Adding a second bathroom is "underwhelming to buyers"???  Seriously?  This author/article missed the mark completely on every level.
Nov 20, 2012 8:46AM
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58K for a 26x26 garage??? Are the walls gold and the floor imported Italian Marble??
We just had a 28x24 garage installed that includes an enclosed laundry room, attic trusses designed as a "walk in " attic with drop down stairs, R34  insulation, high end insulated garage door and a new driveway for 19K.
At 58K for a 26x26 garage that would be $80 a sqft... You can build a freaking house for that.

Nov 20, 2012 8:13AM
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Some of the upgrades discussed are in most cases needed. Maybe resale is not the reason because it may be for comfort. Doubtful many folks would do any of these upgrades for resale only. Lived in New England many years ago and had an inground heated pool. Huge expense and very little swim time. We now live in the Phoenix area and have an unheated inground pool. We use it six and even seven months of the year. Not all homes have a pool of any kind however when you get over 3500 square feet with 4,5,6 or more bedrooms not having an inground pool will actually lessen the homes value. Heavy thinking on any of these improvements should be made before the expenditure is made.
Nov 20, 2012 8:00AM
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The person who wrote this article apparently has never dealt with a reputable pool company.   We have been building pools for 34 years and the "inevitable cracks"  that appear haven't been showing up in our pools.  We have had interiors last for 25 or more years, mostly due to the upkeep by the homeowner.  Our personal pool was a great investment for out kids when they were growing up and had friends over to swim and play pool.  We knew where they were.  Please get your facts straight before bashing an entire industry.
Nov 19, 2012 11:28PM
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Seems everyone has an opinion, if we didn't care about owning a home we'd all live in caves because who knows what a homes value is at any given time, the recent real-estate bust confirms that.  So, as a homeowner and remodeler I can't think of to many things more satisfying than making that house your castle, if that means a new bathroom, big master, a nice office, etc. etc. go for it, you only live once and

and who knows the market may be back and you'll recoup all that investment.

 

As for cost, I think some of these prices are inflated and with a little savvy shopping and a open minded contractor you can save some money with a little contributed effort on the home owners end.

Oct 10, 2012 3:02PM
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It depends on who are living on that house....ROOF is important if your roof is leaking & have a damaged inside the house the home insurance will not pay.  Better read or call your insurance. We did ours last summer it costs us closed to 11,000.  30 years roof & hoping in the future -we don't have to hire a contractor Like pool wasteof money , live in Oregon so we have a natural pool (puddles) it rains here so much fixing roof is very important.

Oct 9, 2012 10:33PM
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Who came up with some of these prices?? Unless you are dumb enough to go with the first inflated estimate you get, you could spend half of what they say and get fabulous results. $40,000 for a 6x8 bathroom addition? My entire bathroom better be made out of gold for that amount!

And just as an FYI to Dear Friends post about solar panels.  Here in New York, you get an energy "rebate" of $2500.00 if you install solar panels on your home. What they don't tell you until after you have spent a small fortune, is that your property taxes get a hefty increase as a result of you trying to "save money".  Same goes for installing a wood-burning stove to save on heat.  I am all for conserving energy and using natural resources for the home as much as the next person, but I will not be raked over the coals on my property taxes because I am "taking money" away from the utility company. 
Oct 9, 2012 2:05PM
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I never heard anything so crazy. Don't replace your roof? Would it be better to have buckets all over the house. My husband and I are on our third house and we have  added bathrooms in the first two. We definitely got our money out of them. We have remodeled the two baths in our present home and I'm sure it will help when it's time to sell. In the mean time we are enjoying the updates and that is what is really important. Any money you spend on remodeling should give you pleasure. I don't know where the author of this column is coming from.
Oct 9, 2012 1:37PM
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Share the last two comments with as many as you can!      How fast can savings news spread?

Test the internet!    Scholars! 

 

Obama likes putting people to work and saving money for the public!

 

Go for it!     How fast and educated are you about money!   Do you like money?  Why give it to the Electric company or utility company alone?

Oct 9, 2012 1:33PM
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Dear Friends:

Accountants,  Mathematicians,  Investors,  Insurance agents  people complain they only have 50-$150 or more utility bill a month.  If the cost of repairs is less than their current house payment and / or the cost of solar and other repairs is also less than their current payments,   If they took even $50 a month and put it into a compound interest bearing account that pays out daily interest would they make money?        How about with the rebates and tax credits?   

 

How about in a  bond that has no taxes on it?     People do not know they can save.

 

Lenders    and all above    can they save a months payment with a new loan.  Can they put energy efficient loans above the other loan amounts for solar or others?  or in another word can they increase the maximum loan amount by an amount for energy savings improvements?  PUrchases loan amounts?   How about equity loans? 

 

Then if they put this money into savings or investments would they make money and retirement accounts too?   IRA?     Tell them please the public has no idea.  Even in California where the sun shines year round.

 

Which banks have lenders and investment bankers that could explain this in their language?  or that are intelligent enough and educated enough to understand this themselves?

Oct 9, 2012 1:25PM
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Dear Friends:

Why put solar on your home?  Hey that could save you money!   Who wants a vacation or investments?     Pay through the nose!   Who wants to be energy concious? Certainly not California with the sun!   Certainly not Northern California with the sun?     

 

Spend!  Spend!  Spend!   On your Utility bill!    The more the merrier!  Your Utility company likes that.

 

Solar Energy!    Tex Coat paint!    Siding!   Insulation!  Doors!   New Roof!   Patio Covers!

 

What for!    Asians do not like to be energy concious or green.   Latinos do not!  Caucasians too few of those left in California to care!     African Americans  oh no not us!   Arabs no not us!  Hebrew not us!         Take your money   put it in a stack and mark it for the Utility company.  All in single dollars or pennies!   Who cares!     Who cares!      Go bankrupt is number 1 !  

 

Give it to the Mormons!   They like that!     Romney is a fool he wants it too!  

 

Save  please do not!                 clowns in the Circus give it to them!          Live in a nasty old broken down dump with the air flowing out the walls ,   doors and roof!       Fill it up!

Oct 7, 2012 11:54AM
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Please never replace your roof. Just put buckets all over the house its cheaper. As far as a pool, we would just wait until it rained and find a big puddle. One should never fix up a bathroom. If spackle buckets arent your cup of tea theres always the back yard. Oh and never buy a home with the intention of actually living in it for more than a month that would be down right costly.
Oct 2, 2012 4:16PM
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too much..., 
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