Editor's note: This is a transcript of the audio file.
These days, upkeep is more popular than upgrades. If you keep thinking, "We'll get it back when we sell," you need to think again.
I'm Janet Stauble with the Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.
If you're ready to remodel, don't expect to get your money back unless you keep your projects practical.
This year's biggest loser in resale value is a stately home office. Who needs that if you have an iPad and a Starbucks nearby? Instead, opt for remodeling the room so it can be easily converted back into a bedroom or den for the next buyer.
Another money pit? The five-star bedroom suite complete with an attached spa and kitchenette. The average cost for a deluxe master suite addition is about $232,000. While the next buyer may appreciate your luxury accommodations, chances are they won't pay the full tab for your remodel.
A backup power generator may seem like a practical upgrade given this year's crazy storms, but you're not likely to recoup the installation costs. Go for a less expensive model or having a simple installation.
Avoid flushing money down the can with a bathroom addition. You'll get plenty of use out of an extra commode, but at the cost of some serious coin. You'd get back 53 cents on the dollar for adding an extra bathroom.
To learn more about the housing market, visit Bankrate.com. I'm Janet Stauble.