It's the magic phrase uttered by almost anyone who's ever considered the cost of home remodeling: "We'll use our home equity and get it back when we sell."
Unless you keep those projects practical, though, you might just be kidding yourself.
- Steel front door: Good.
- Master suite addition costing more than the average American home: Bad.
Every year, Remodeling magazine looks at the hottest home upgrades and renovations and calculates just how much owners get back when they sell.
Upkeep is more popular than upgrades these days, says Sal Alfano, editorial director for Remodeling. These are the projects that often recoup the biggest slice of expenses at resale. But prices and returns do vary regionally, he says.
Ever wonder what brings the lowest return when you plant that "for sale" sign? Think high-dollar, high-end and highly personalized add-ons that make you drool. Like a totally tricked-out garage built from the ground up. Or a super luxe master suite addition. Or the home office redo designed just for you.
Here are the six improvements that, in their 2010 report, ranked dead last nationally when it comes to getting those renovation dollars back at resale.