Renovation missteps can cost you when it's time to sell your house

  • Time to sell your home, so you better get that bathroom remodel done, right? Wrong. Be smart with renovations at selling time so that you will recoup your money in the sale.

    Time to sell your home, so you better get that bathroom remodel done, right? Wrong. Be smart with renovations at selling time so that you will recoup your money in the sale.

Posted12/2/2016 12:01 AM

If you plan to sell your home this year, the right renovations can make the difference between "For Sale" and "Sold."

But before you start tearing up the carpeting, make sure you're investing in upgrades that will give you a return on your investment. You don't want to get in the home improvement trap of shelling out a lot of money for upgrades that you won't get back at resale, said Rana Nissan, Real Estate Loan Officer, of Consumers Credit Union based in Lake County with service centers in Lake County and Northwest Cook County.


Making the right renovation decisions can help sell your house quicker and for more money. But keep in mind that not all home improvements are created equal.

Some of the best renovations are those done on the exterior of the home because they immediately improve a home's curb appeal. And some of the worst improvements are the big-ticket projects such as a major renovation of the kitchen or bathroom.

Here are some winning home improvements that will give you a good return on your investment.

WIN: Front door

A new steel entry door will change the face and feel of the front of your home, make a good first impression, improve energy efficiency and provide a good payback.

WIN: Garage door

A new upscale garage door gives your home a big dose of curb appeal at a modest cost and is ranked as one of the highest returns on investment. Hot now is the carriage-style door that looks like it is handmade.

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WIN: Insulation

Although not as glamorous as granite countertops, adding fiberglass insulation into the walls of the attic will improve energy efficiency and result in lower utility bills. You will also recoup more money than you spend.

WIN: Minor kitchen remodel

More than a coat of paint, but less than a gourmet chef's kitchen, will increase your kitchen's resale value without a hefty price tag. Replacing cabinet fronts and hardware, installing energy-efficient appliances and upgrading your sink are simple, DIY ways to get more out of what you put into your kitchen.

WIN: Fiber cement siding

This is a popular product for new construction that will be a recognizable feature on your home and add to its curb appeal. Made from a mixture of wood fibers, cement, clay and sand, it is favored because of its durability, low maintenance and weather resistance.

Here are some losing home improvements that will give you the worst return on your investment.

CAUTION: Home office

Many people work from home, but most don't need a full-blown office. If you do convert a flex room to an office, go for removable furniture rather than built-in cabinetry. Built-in furniture gives the buyer fewer options for use of the room.


CAUTION: Swimming pool

This amenity may be a wonderful luxury to you, but it lacks universal appeal. Many buyers may think of it as a hassle rather than a perk because of high maintenance and insurance costs.

CAUTION: Backup power generator

It's nice knowing you're never going to be without power, but for most people that security isn't worth the cost.

CAUTION: Sunroom

A sunroom can be a great space to enjoy the outdoors without the elements, but it only adds value to a target audience. Many people don't have the need for a sunroom and would rather spend the money on other upgrades for the home.

CAUTION: Roofing

Buyers think of a roof as a basic feature to protect the home, not a luxury for which they want to pay extra money. As long as they're satisfied that it's in good shape, that's where their interest ends. Of course, if it's old and in poor condition, it should be replaced.

This article is sponsored by Consumers Credit Union.

For more information, contact Rana Nissan, CCU Real Estate Loan Officer, at (847) 672-3419.

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