DEAR BERNICE: We’re planning on remodeling our two-bedroom, one-bath house and were wondering what upgrades will produce the best return on our investment. The house needs a new kitchen, and another bedroom and bath. We also thought of putting in a pool. Where should we begin? –Andy K.
DEAR ANDY: A common misconception about upgrades is that they always increase the value of the property. Upgrades normally make a house more saleable (i.e. easier to sell.) They don’t necessarily increase the property value. For example, assume that you upgrade your property with cherry cabinets and green granite countertops. You sell the home to someone who wants white European cabinets and black countertops. Your upgrades made your home more attractive to more buyers, but in this case, the upgrades are not worth much if the buyer intends to tear them out. When deciding what to upgrade, the smart decision is to upgrade your home for your own enjoyment.