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When you're hunting for a home to buy, you focus on the condition of the home. What appliances are included? Are the bathrooms, flooring, or cabinets dated?

As a homeowner, you might think the more updates you make, the higher the value of the home, right? Wrong.

While there are a handful of renovations that might be worth making, there are many more that you should steer clear of. Though they make your home modern and convenient, you could actually be losing money!

I asked Keller Williams San Antonio Realtor Karina Gafford for some advice when it comes to updates and remodeling before selling your home. She said,

The golden rule for updates is to pay attention to your potential return on investment at all times by following the principle of conformity and not over-improving beyond what your neighbors have updated. Beyond that, investments in priority order are to focus on the kitchen first and then the master bathroom.

With this in mind, here are few high return-on-investment updates you might want to make in your home.

Which Home Renovations Are Worth Your Time and Money?

Which Home Renovations Are Worth Your Time and Money? 

1) Kitchen Updates

kitchen updates

The kitchen is the focal point of the home. Your family spends most of their time in this area and, more often than not, the kitchen is where you will entertain your guests. Putting money into remodeling your kitchen appliances, cupboards, counter tops and flooring will pay for itself.

MilitaryByOwner guest blogger and Brand Manager of Superior Shade, Jeff Caldwell, shares in his article 4 Easy Updates to Attract Renters and Keep Your Family Happy, that "a minor kitchen remodel brings a 98% return on investment if you sell, and you will see that it also makes the home more appealing to potential future renters." Not only is there a high return on investment, but a kitchen remodel is not considered a high risk for over-improving since every home has one. 

2) Attention to the Master Bath

bathroom updates

What’s the second most used room in the home? The master suite! And it deserves some love, too. While master bathrooms are becoming more common in homes, there are many older homes that do not have an en suite master bath. For those of you who have one, pay extra attention to this highly-sought after room. 

Update the counter tops, cabinets, flooring, and possibly the tub. Just like the kitchen, you don’t run the risk of over-improving your home beyond your surrounding neighbors when you remodel the master bathroom. In fact, an updated bathroom will help sell your home—especially if it is nicer than other homes for sale in the community.

Related: Which Popular Home Upgrades Are Worth Your Time and Money?

3) Home Maintenance Upgrades

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Upgrades throughout your home’s life that help it remain safe and durable are going to have high return on investment. Updating the roof, plumbing, or insulation, especially if you live in an extreme climate, will save you from other potentially huge costs and will pay off when it's time to sell. 

4) Tend to Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is an important part of selling your home.

Minor renovations are generally a good idea if it will give your house more curb appeal. Need some ideas to clean up the exterior? Apply a fresh coat of paint, replace old siding, update your front door, or invest in landscaping. These minor investments pay for themselves when it comes time to sell your beloved home.

Free Resource - PCS Ahead: Should I Sell or Rent My Home?

Any remodeling project that doesn't pay for itself is not worth putting the money into. Take a look around your neighborhood to get an idea of the standard. If your renovation puts you far out of your neighbors' standard, you will lose your money and gain little value. Over-improving will make selling your home painful.

Some home renovations could actually make you lose money!

1) Additions

While adding extra space to your home may appeal to you, it may not be worth the cost. Again, take a look at the homes around you. Experienced real estate agents often advise against purchasing a home with the largest or smallest floor plan in the neighborhood. If your addition will make your house higher than average in size, you won't get your money out of it when it's time to sell. 

2) Bells and Whistles

If you're wanting to update every room in your home to make it like new, think again. If you're located in an older, more developed neighborhood, chances are that, when it's time to sell, the people interested in looking at your home are those willing to buy an older home and make a few of their own modifications (because who doesn’t like to personalize their space?). 

If your home leaves little room for that and your asking price is listed high for your area, they will keep looking. If home buyers want a bells and whistles house, they're likely to search for a newer home. Understand your home’s limitations and embrace them.

3) Swimming Pools

Investing in a pool isn’t always a loss. However, it's important to research the area. Are back yard pools common? If so, it's probably safe to move forward with that project. If they're scarce, there may be a reason why. Meet with a local Realtor and find out. A swimming pool could end up being a money pit!

Before you begin your next renovation project, consider it thoroughly. Are you remodeling for comfort, to modify your home, or for resale value? You may be doing it for the wrong reasons. Consider the probability of your return on investment and start your renovation from there.

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