10 Risky Home Improvements

Press Coverage
Written by MainStreet.com   

MainStreet.com featured ForSaleByOwner.com in a slide show published on August 5, 2010, about home improvements that don't really add value. 

Here are the two tips with our advice:

Illegal Repairs

Even those intent on living in their home forever need to make sure their upgrades are installed legally. Many major renovations require permits from your state due to the safety risks involved. Marston recommends contacting your local Building Inspections Department before completing any major renovations to ensure proper permits are obtained and you understand the safety codes thoroughly.


“Chances are illegal improvements will be flagged by a buyer's home inspector or appraiser,” Joanne Cleaver, Senior Content Provider for ForSaleByOwner.com, says.  “Then you not only pay municipal fines to get after-the-fact permits and inspections, but you've destroyed the trust your buyer has in the house—and in anything you say about the house.”
Home improvements should be in tune with your neighborhood, but they also need to fit the style of your own abode as well. For example, if you own a ranch house, don’t install an ornate iron doorway trimmed with gold leafing. Combining two discordant styles is what Marston calls “muddling,” and it may make prospective buyers pass on your listing.

“Never make upgrades just for bragging rights,” Cleaver says, referring to those coveted granite countertops. “If [they] make the rest of the kitchen look tired and shabby, better spend the money on new appliances that add flash and functionality.”



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