Money-Losing Home Fixes


As a contractor and a homeowner myself, I love performing little upgrades around my house to make it more livable and attractive. Extra hanging shelves in the garage for my tools? Sure. Putting in ceiling fans before the hot summer months arrive? Absolutely. Adding a deck in the back? Well… maybe.

When the projects (and budgets!) start to get bigger, I want to look at more than just making the house more comfortable for me – I want to ensure I’m going to see at least a decent return on my dollar when I sell the place.

I know a lot of you out there are like me, so I wanted to pass on some important information for anybody considering a home renovation. The following is a list of remodels, repairs, and renovations that all have one thing in common: they give you a horrible return on your investment.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t move ahead with the job if you really want to do it. But you should go into it knowing the improvements are for your own enjoyment since you definitely aren’t going to get much of that money back when you put it on the market.

Dream garage. From time to time, everyone has probably gotten frustrated with their garage because there’s just not enough space and it’s hard to find ways to organize everything efficiently – I know I have. Well, now there are companies selling “dream garages” with all of the organizational built-ins you can imagine as well as windows for great natural lighting. Oh, and you can even fit a couple of cars in there. The problem is it costs around $90,000, and the return on investment is only about 53.6 percent.

Adding a bathroom. Surprised to see this one here? Everyone says that bedrooms and bathrooms sell houses, so more should always be better, right? The problem is that actually adding on space for a new bathroom is fairly expensive – just under $22,000 on average – for an addition that’s using materials of only moderate quality. You can do it, but you’re only going to get about 53 cents back for every dollar you spend. If you really want another bathroom, the better option is to see if there’s any way to get it by reconfiguring existing space.

The perfect master. Do you ever wake up in the morning and think, “Boy, I sure wish that I could head over to my attached kitchenette for a snack and then spend the morning in my spa-style bathroom without leaving my master suite”? If so, you’re probably not all that concerned with spending more than $200,000 on one of these so-called “Dream Master Suites” and only recouping 52.7 percent of your cost, but better you know now than discover it later.

Backup power. If you’ve lived in Los Angeles for any length of time, you know how taxed our power grid is. Because of this, it would seem like a no-brainer to add value to your house by investing in a backup generator. Sadly, that’s just not the case. If your goal is safety and security, then maybe spending the relatively reasonable amount of $15,000 on one is worth it. Just don’t look at it as a monetary investment, because on average, people are getting back only 48.5 percent of what they spend.

A real home office. These days, more and more people are working from home as good-paying traditional jobs become harder and harder to get. Unfortunately, finding a space to work in at home isn’t always easy. Even if you’re lucky enough to have an actual room that you can call an office, chances are good that it bears little resemblance to a real office. Because of this, people want to remodel to add in things like built-in shelves, drawers, desks, and so on. Unfortunately, the average price of a big remodel like that runs almost $29,000, and you’ll only get a paltry 45.8 percent of that back when you sell.

Final Thoughts. Don’t despair, though. There are plenty of renovations and remodels out there that will help you to realize a much better return – you just have to look a bit before you leap.

A Call to Action.

Visit my site ( to learn more about my company.



Have a great Fall!

Comments are closed.