I'd have to strongly disagree that upgrades are a loss and you will
never get the money back. I've seen lots of articles by professionals
that show that there are some upgrades that can in fact return more in
resale value than they cost.
Some examples that can return 100% or more:
Adding a second bath to a home that has only one.
Redoing an outdated kitchen
A classic example that, in most parts of the country, has little or no
There is a current show on cable, think it's HGTV, called My House is
Worth What? They bring in an real estate agent/appraiser to go over
houses that folks are thinking of selling to figure out what they are
worth, and what changes they could make to increase the resale value.
I've seen lots of suggestions where they've told them to do things like
redo the kitchen for $40K, because it should bring $60K in resale. One
owner was considering adding a garage, (the home didn;'t have one,
similar homes did), and even the return on that was estimated to be
over 100% on resale. You should watch the show. I've even been
surprised. For example, there have been homes where the homeowners had
recently spent like $70K on a kitchen, with granite, wood floors, top
appliances, the works. The estimate was that they would get all the
money back, and I think possibly even more.
Now, in the case of a kitchen, for example, it obviously makes a big
difference in how old and dated it looks. I sure would't rip out a
presentable 10 year old kitchen on the hopes of getting a positive
return. But if it's 30 years old and looks it, then it could bring a
As for the upgrades continuing to appreciate with the house, in general