Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Don't platinum-plate your house

This may seem ludicrous in this market, but some people do like to spiff up their homes still—even I once had my kitchen redone (in the Wayback).

Ellen James Martin, Universal Syndicate, says the key is to not “over improve” and not be able to get your money back when you sell.

Now, with many houses mortgaged for more than they can sell for, this is a real danger.

The other side of this is dumpster houses—with not even cosmetic improvements made. They sit on the market, too.

Don’t renovate without consulting a real estate professional. Make sure the person has worked your neighborhood for 10 years or more.

Keep projects within neighborhood norms. No garages in your nabe—don’t build a 3-car special.

If you are not planning to stay long, buy good quality but nothing too personal and eccentric.

Those faucets over the stove for filling spaghetti pots—to me these are over the top.

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