8 overrated home improvements

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From the MSN Real Estate web site.
http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid $921642&GT15000
So you don't have to wade thru: 1. Whirlpool bath 2. Adding a room 3. Ornate kitchens 4. Marble counters 5. Bedroom deck 6. Home Theaters 7. Hot Tub 8. Complicated Home Automation
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I thought they were going to say- don't do this because you'll never get your money back. But instead they go at this angle-- "not every project delivers on its promise of luxury and enjoyment."
I added a couple rooms 25 years ago- and I've certainly gotten every bit of enjoyment out of them that I promised myself.
The hot tub went in almost 2 years ago. For me, it has been some of the best money I've spent in years. Granted- I didn't go for the $20K monstrosity right out of the box. $500 on Craigslist for a 6 yr old- 1 owner tub with a bad pump. $500 for the pump, insulation, and electrical hookups.
Maintenance averages a few minutes a day. Costs about $30/month to operate. I use it every morning for 1/2 hour & it allows me to stand upright before noon. [and saves me $1-3/day on muscle relaxers] My wife doesn't care for it much, but will hop in when friends come over.
I think the better article might say- 'Think before you spend $10 grand. Don't just buy crap to keep up with the Joneses." Maybe *that* article was already written.
Jim
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So what would the 8 (or ten?) *under*rated improvements be?
Ahm thinkin 1. a bidet, 2. good privacy shrubbery, landscaping, fencing/metalwork 3. mini-split A/Cs all over 4. baseboard h/w heating... 5. Full multi camera security system...
--
EA

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On Tue, 27 Jul 2010 10:08:44 -0400, "Existential Angst"

A good cheap one is motion controlled lighting. Use low level lighting for this and switch controlled task lights where you need them. Once you get used to the lights coming on in front of you as you walk around the house you start wondering why you were fooling with switches all your life.
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wrote:

Bidet, in the USA? If they are so under rated, why do hardly any homes have them?
Landscaping and privacy shrubbery I would agree are important, but they are already highly rated, just ask any real estate agent
Mini splits you don't really need or want all over if the house has a correctly designed AC system. If it's a house that lacks that, then yes minis are a good idea for a couple spots that need them.
Baseboard heating isn't so much superior to other alternatives that are just as good or better.
Multi camera security system might be under rated if you live in a high crime area or are a drug dealer. Otherwise, it ain't worth squat and is just another maintenance headache.
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On Tue, 27 Jul 2010 16:45:38 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

So few that it's a big negative.

Yes. Even the builders here do quite a bit.

It's better to not live in a high-crime area. ;-) If you are, a fancy security system isn't going to fix it.
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Alot of improvements depends on why you are doing them. If you are selling the house and you think installing Home theater will help you sell it, I think that is a bad investment, whereas, you might not and Home theaters are a big selling point in the area of the U.S. where you live.
However, Kitchen makeovers, garage makeovers may be the ticket because everyone (esp. women) wants a nice kitchen, and all guys want a nice garage. Am I wrong here? But, don't invest too much if you are planning on selling. If you plan on staying there, do it right the first time.
Hank
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wrote:

Yes. DH cares more about the kitchen than I do, since he's a foodie and I couldn't care less. Neither of us cares about the garage. All that's in it is the cars and the deck furniture and camping gear during the winter. When we bought the house it didn't have a garage. We only built one because it snows 5-6 months of the year and we got tired of scraping off the cars. What do you keep in yours that "all guys" care about?
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wrote:

it's not what's kept in the garage,it's the ability to USE the garage as a workspace;to maintain and service autos,and for other DIY projects. Hobbies,construction projects,etc. Stuff you would not usually do inside your home. A garage is just not a "place to keep stuff".
By "nice garage",I believe they mean one that is clean,well- lit,uncluttered,with a workbench and tools easily accessible,with organized storage for oils,paints,materials,etc. Just having a "nice" garage floor can make cleanup easier.
--
Jim Yanik
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wrote:

As for "construction" projects, I do all of them in the house, since it's always work on the house. Can't exactly fit the house in the garage.
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wrote:

perhaps your DH is the exception to the -general- rule. (*I* wouldn't have used "all guys".) ;-) There's always someone who doesn't go by the usual standards. Doesn't make it wrong,just different.
BTW,"construction projects" might include building a cabinet or shelves for inside the house,or a wine rack.Doing it in the garage keeps the mess,noise and fumes there instead of in your house.Plus,you can do bigger projects than will go through your house doors,and still get them outside thru the garage door. Heck,some people keep a nice garage so their kids can play in there,less wear and tear on the house.
--
Jim Yanik
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Ah...the stuff I do in the driveway, so I can sweep up the crap and not have it flying up into the air in the garage. And our neighbors are so far away I can do this at 6am (if there's enough light) and not bother anyone. I SOOO wish we had a barn, but they knocked it down 100 years ago when they built the "new" one about 200 yards further away from the house. It's still there. The parcel we own is just the 200 year old house and a bit over an acre including the stream. The real land (600+ acres) was sold with all the adjacent parcels when they broke up the farm in the 70s. We've only been here since 1985. But, we're the first people to own this house who were not direct descendants of the Dutch settlers who built it! The side road is named for the family of the woman from whom we bought the house. She gave us a bunch of photos of the different stages/configurations of the house going back to the 1890s. Great wall art! Was also very useful to the architect every time we made changes to the structure!
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[...]

My dishwasher died a while back and I chose not to replace it. I cook slapdash for myself and housemate uses one cereal bowl. So I decided to handwash, and use the $$ for something more important. (like re-tiling the (*&&%^$ kitchen counter!)
A friend suggested I have the dishwasher taken out and replaced with shelves or drawers. I can use the storage space! And I figure if/when I sell, the buyer will want to put a new dishwasher in anyway. What do you think?
Also, if anyone has done this, could you post whether it's very expensive? IOW, worth it?
Tx
[...]
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If you sell the house, a broken dishwasher is likely to be a liability. Not having a dishwasher is not going to help either.
I would replace it. News ones range from $200 to $1200. Installation is pretty easy but delivery and haul away of the old dishwasher may be an issue depending on what type of vehicle you have. So you may need to pay for a delivery/installation/haul away service.
--
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| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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NEVER, EVER buy a house with no place for a dishwasher. Not as bad as the house up the road where some 20-something re-muddled his grandmother's house so that there was NO PLACE at all, for a stove/oven. I asked the realtor where the stove was, and she pointed to the plug-in microwave on the countertop. I said, "ok, so what if I want to actually COOK something. Where can I put a real stove? Dead silence. Apparently, after SIX WEEKS on the market, I was the first person to ask the question. OMG. Probably why one of my realtor friends wants me to help flip properties. Too bad I think that's immoral.
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About 5 years ago I bought a $ 170K home. I was with the home inspector while he checked things out. The dishwasher made a lot of bad noise and he said it probalby would not work. For me that was ok as my wife and I had planned on replacing the stove and refrigerator anyway and that ment we could also replace the dishwasher at the same time so everything would match.
I would not take it out and replace it with anything else that could not be removed very easy. Many people will want a dishwasher. If you plan on staying at the house for say another 5 or more years, you may want to just leave it as is if you do not miss the use of it.
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wrote:

Garages are not for cars.
They are for illegal apartments and shops -- and chaotic storage, of course.
--
EA



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Existential Angst wrote the following:

My garage storage is not chaotic. I always leave a clear path from the front to the back of the garage. Going from one side to the other is another story.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Okaaay. Don't get that at all.
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Heh.... just poll yer neighbors.... :)
--
EA

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