June 25, 2019

If you plan to live in your Connecticut home for the long term and want to make changes to suit your lifestyle, and don’t care about a return – do as you wish with your home! But if you plan to sell one day, and want to spend money wisely, beware these “improvements”!




Buyers simply expect to have a home with functional roof, siding, windows, heat, water and waste disposal. These items will all need to be replaced over time and doing so will not add any additional value to your home. If it’s time to replace your furnace, replace it. Just don’t expect your home to be worth $5,000 more as a result.



Many improvements are certainly worthwhile! Updating the kitchen and bathrooms or building an addition may certainly improve the value of the home but beware of going too far! Only improve to a condition your neighborhood home sales will support.   For example – if you and your neighbors’ homes are all 1,500 square feet, do not build a huge addition that makes yours 4,000 square feet! If you truly need a 4,000 square foot home, but still want to get the true resale value of a 4,000 square foot home one day when you sell, move to a neighborhood of 4,000 square foot homes! Same goes for extreme remodels – gourmet kitchen, expensive luxury finishes, specialty rooms, etc. Pay attention to what is happening in the homes around you. If you end up the only one in your town with an outdoor poolside kitchen, you are guaranteed not to get your money back. If you’re not sure if a certain remodel makes financial sense for a home like yours – just ask a Realtor!



You can’t get enough of the color purple, and hand painted wall murals, and all distressed wood finishes. You want to fill your home with these special things! You can certainly customize your home to suit whatever fancies you, but don’t expect anyone to share your tastes. If you want to sell one day and get the best bang for your buck, skip extreme custom anything. If you want an accent wall of imported birch bark in your bedroom – that is your right! Just know that a buyer doesn’t care what it cost you, and in fact may devalue your home by how much it will cost them to take it all down. If resale value is important to you – keep it neutral!



If a pool suits your lifestyle, add a pool and enjoy it! However keep in mind pools (at least in Connecticut) don’t generally add any additional value to your home and some buyers will even be turned off by a pool. Adding an in-ground pool is a major expense, and one you will never recoup at resale.



Sigh…I don’t want to hate on the  solar panels…I really don’t. In fact, I want them on my home saving me money on electricity, but I want them for free! Buyers – at least in Connecticut, simply do not value solar panels yet. They will not pay extra for them, and even worse – if your panels are leased, and you want a buyer to take on your lease, you will end up selling your home for LESS – NEVER MORE. Having leased solar panels may even prevent your buyer from getting their loan. I know the solar salesman will tell you differently, but he doesn’t sell homes for a living, and he will tell you whatever you need to hear to get you to sign up for solar! One day your investment in solar panels may pay back at resale, but that day has not yet arrived!

If you’re considering selling your Connecticut home, and want to know what your home improvements are worth, we are happy to swing by and give you a personal estimate. If you need advice on what projects should be on your improvement list for a future sale, we can help with that too!

Last Updated on June 25, 2019 by Minna Reid

About the author 

Minna Reid

Minna Reid is The Broker - Owner of Reid Real Estate Group. Reid Real Estate Group is a full-service Connecticut residential real estate brokerage, specializing in helping homeowners with legal and financial challenges including short sales, probate sales and tax lien complications.

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