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Home Upgrades with the Lowest ROI

Posted by Matthew Singleton on July 31, 2018
| Blog
| 0

File these six upgrades under wish fulfillment, not value investment.

Life is a balancing act, and upgrading your home is no different. Some upgrades, like a kitchen remodel or an additional bathroom, typically add value to your home. Others, like putting in a pool, provide little dollar return on your investment.

Of course, homeowning isn’t just about building wealth; it’s also about living well and making memories — even if that means outclassing your neighborhood or turning off future buyers. So if any of these six upgrades is something you can’t be dissuaded from, enjoy! We won’t judge. But go in with your eyes wide open. Here’s why: 

1. Outdoor Kitchen

The fantasy: You’re the man — grilling steaks, blending margaritas, and washing highball glasses without ever leaving your pimped-out patio kitchen.

The reality: For what it costs — on average $12,000 to $15,000 — are you really gonna use it? Despite our penchant for eating alfresco, families spend most leisure time in front of some screen and almost no leisure time outdoors, no matter how much they spend on amenities, according to UCLA’s “Life At Home” study. And the National Association of Home Builders’ 2013 “What Home Buyers Really Want” report says 35% of mid-range buyers don’t want an outdoor kitchen.

The bottom-line: Instead, buy a tricked out gas grill, which will do just fine when you need to char something. If you’re dying for an outdoor upgrade, install exterior lighting — only 1% of buyers don’t want that.

2. In-Ground Swimming Pool

The fantasy: Floating aimlessly, sipping umbrella drinks, staying cool in the dog days of summer.

The reality: Pools are money pits that you’ll spend $17,000 to $45,000+ to install (concrete), and thousands more to insure, secure, and maintain. Plus, you won’t use them as much as you think, and when you’re ready to sell, buyers will call your pool a maintenance pain.

The bottom-line: If your idea of making it includes a backyard swimming pool, go for it. But, get real about:

  • How many days per year you’ll actually swim.
  • How much your energy bills will climb to heat the water ($760 to $1,845 depending on location and temperature).
  • What you’ll pay to clean and chemically treat the pool ($20 to $100 per month in-season if you do it yourself; $75 to $165 per month for a pool service).
  • The fact that you’ll likely need to invest in a pool fence. In fact, some insurance carriers require it.

3. In-Ground Spa

The fantasy: Soothing aching muscles and sipping chardonnay with friends while being surrounded by warm water and bubbles.

The reality: In-ground spas are nearly as expensive ($15,000 to $20,000) as pools and cost about $1 a day for electricity and chemicals. You’ll have to buy a cover ($50 to $400) to keep children, pets, and leaves out. And, like in-ground pools, in-ground spas’ ROI depends solely on how much the next homeowner wants one.

The bottom-line: Unless you have a chronic condition that requires hydrotherapy, you probably won’t use your spa as much as you imagine. A portable hot tub will give you the same benefits for as little as $1,000 to $2,500, and you can take it with you when you move.

4. Elevator

Your fantasy: No more climbing stairs for you or for your parents when they move in.

The reality: Elevators top the list of features buyers don’t want in the NAHB “What Buyers Really Want” report. They cost upwards of $25,000 to install, which requires sawing through floors, laying concrete, and crafting high-precision framing. And, at sales time, elevators can turn off some families, especially those with little kids who love to push buttons.

The bottom-line: If you truly need help climbing stairs, you can install a chair lift on a rail system ($1,000 to $5,000). Best feature: It can be removed.

5. Backup Power Generator

Your fantasy: The power in your area goes kaput, but not for you. You were smart enough to install a backup power generator. While the neighbors eat cold hot dogs by a flashlight beam, you’re poaching salmon in your oven and pumping out Red Hot Chili Peppers tunes.

The reality: Power outages may seem to go on forever, but they don’t. Fifty dollars worth of batteries can power portable lights, radios, and TVs; a car adaptor will charge your cell phones and iPods; and some dry ice will keep freezer food cold for at least a couple of days.

The bottom-line: If you live in areas where power shortages are the rule, not the exception, spend the money for reliable backup power: Your still-frozen steaks, home office fax, and refrigerated medicine will thank you. But if the power goes out rarely, then installing a standby generator is overkill.

6. New Windows

The fantasy: Brand new windows that don’t stick, and slash energy bills.

The reality: A $15,000 vinyl window replacement project will return about 80% of your investment at resale, according to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. And if they’re Energy Star-qualified, they can save you around $300 in energy bills per year.  So, plan to live in your house about another 10 years to recoup the cost of new windows.

The bottom-line: We get it — new windows are sturdy, pretty energy savers. But unless old window frames are thoroughly rotten, most windows can be repaired for a fraction of replacement costs. And if you spend about $1,000 to update insulation, caulking, and weather-stripping, you’ll save 10% to 20% on your energy bill.

 

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Published: August 26, 2013

Article From HouseLogic.com

  • Events

    ___________________________________
    Road to the Horse
    Friday, March 22, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, March 24, 2019 – 06:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    ___________________________________
    Paul Frazer Memorial Combined Test & Dressage
    Saturday, March 30, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 05:00 AM
    Dressage Complex
    www.ckrh.org
    859-231-7066
    ___________________________________
    KHP Foundation Cross Country Schooling Days
    Sunday, May 05, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Monday, May 06, 2019 – 04:30 PM
    Cross Country Course
    khpfoundation.org
    859/255-5727
    ___________________________________
    Kentucky Spring Horse Show
    Wednesday, May 08, 2019 – 07:00 AM to Sunday, May 12, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Parkwide
    www.kentuckyhorseshows.com
    859.233.0492
    ___________________________________
    Johns Run Local 8K
    Saturday, May 11, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 10:00 AM
    Parkwide
    www.johnsrunwalkshop.com
    ___________________________________
    Kentucky Spring Classic
    Wednesday, May 15, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, May 19, 2019 – 04:00 PM
    Parkwide
    www.kentuckyhorseshows.com
    859.233.0492
    ___________________________________
    KDA Spring Warm Up & Annual Dressage Show
    Friday, May 24, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, May 26, 2019 – 04:00 PM
    Dressage Complex
    www.kentuckydressageassociation.com
    859-351-4137
    ___________________________________
    MayDaze Horse Trials
    Friday, May 24, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, May 26, 2019 – 04:00 PM
    Parkwide
    www.champagnerun.com
    Maggie Wright: 859.621.2478
    ___________________________________
    Scott County Schools Graduation
    Friday, May 24, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    www.scott.ky12.ky.us
    502-863-3663
    ___________________________________
    Glo Run
    Friday, May 24, 2019 – 09:00 PM to 11:00 PM
    Parkwide
    lexington@theglorun.com
    www.theglorun.com
    224-757-5425
    ___________________________________
    Vintage Market Days – May
    Saturday, May 25, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Monday, May 27, 2019 – 04:00 PM
    Covered Arena
    lexington@vintagemarketdays.com
    www.vintagemarketdays.com/market/lexington
    ___________________________________
    Woodford County Schools Graduation
    Saturday, May 25, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    www.woodford.kyschools.us
    859-879-4600
    ___________________________________
    Franklin County High Schools Graduation
    Saturday, May 25, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    www.franklin.kyschools.us
    502-695-6700
    ___________________________________
    Country Heir I Hunter Jumper Show
    Wednesday, June 05, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, June 09, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Hunter Jumper Complex
    kittykatstark@aol.com
    www.countryheir.com
    Frankie Stark – 513-875-3318
    ___________________________________
    Festival of the Bluegrass
    Thursday, June 06, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Saturday, June 08, 2019 – 10:00 PM
    KHP Campground
    www.festivalofthebluegrass.com
    859-253-0806
    ___________________________________
    Country Heir II Hunter Jumper Show
    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, June 16, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Hunter Jumper Complex
    kittykatstark@aol.com
    www.countryheir.com
    513-875-3318
    ___________________________________
    Lexington Rodeo
    Friday, June 14, 2019 – 07:30 PM to Saturday, June 15, 2019 – 10:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    www.lexingtonrodeo.org
    859-577-2575
    ___________________________________
    MidSouth PC Horse Trials Rally
    Wednesday, June 19, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, June 23, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    erin@ponyclub.org
    midsouth.ponyclub.org
    (859) 221-3342
    ___________________________________
    Extreme Mustang Makeover
    Wednesday, June 19, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, June 23, 2019 – 07:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    stormy@mustangheritagefoundation.org
    www.extrememustangmakeover.com
    512-869-3225
    ___________________________________
    Lexington Carriage Classic Pleasure Driving Show
    Thursday, June 20, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, June 23, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Covered Arena
    ___________________________________
    Silverama Region 14 Arabian Championship
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, June 30, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Covered Arena
    www.aha14.com
    Cindy Clinton 937-935-1753
    ___________________________________
    Robert Murphy Hunter Jumper Show
    Thursday, July 04, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, July 07, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Hunter Jumper Complex
    www.olivehillsporthorses.com
    859-255-3422
    ___________________________________
    83rd Annual Junior League of Lexington Charity Horse Show
    Monday, July 08, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Saturday, July 13, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Rolex Stadium
    www.lexjrleague.com
    859-252-8014
    ___________________________________
    Champagne Run Horse Trials
    Friday, July 12, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, July 14, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Hunter Jumper Complex
    www.champagnerun.com
    Maggie Wright 859-621-2478
    ___________________________________
    Breyerfest
    Friday, July 12, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, July 14, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Covered Arena
    www.breyerhorses.com
    800-413-3348
    ___________________________________
    Man o’ War “Run for Big Red” 5K/10K
    Saturday, July 20, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 10:00 AM
    Parkwide
    nicole.rivera@ky.gov
    runsignup.com
    859-259-4219
    ___________________________________
    Rood & Riddle Grand Prix
    Saturday, July 27, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
    Rolex Stadium
    http://www.roodandriddle.com
    859-233-071
    ___________________________________
    USEF Pony Finals
    Wednesday, August 07, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, August 11, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Parkwide
    ponyfinals@usef.org
    www.usef.org
    859-233-0492
    ___________________________________
    Lexus Smooth Jazz Fest
    Saturday, August 10, 2019 – 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM
    KHP Campground
    www.aafinc.com
    859-255-2653
    ___________________________________
    Bluegrass Festival Horse Show
    Wednesday, August 14, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, August 18, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Parkwide
    www.kentuckyhorseshows.com
    859-233-0492
    ___________________________________
    Pyramid Society Egyptian Arabian Event
    Wednesday, August 28, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Saturday, August 31, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Covered Arena
    info@pyramidsociety.org
    www.theegyptianevent.com
    859-231-0771
    ___________________________________
    Bluegrass Classic Dog Show
    Friday, August 30, 2019 – 09:00 AM to Monday, September 02, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    stbuxton@windstream.net
    www.bgclassic.org
    ___________________________________
    MSEDA Dressage at the Park
    Friday, September 06, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, September 08, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Dressage Complex
    www.mseda.org
    859.221.3462
    ___________________________________
    New Vocations Charity Thoroughbred Show
    Friday, September 06, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, September 08, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Hunter Jumper Complex
    sarah@horseadoption.com
    www.newvocations.org
    ___________________________________
    CASA 5K Superhero Run
    Saturday, September 07, 2019 – 08:30 AM to 12:00 PM
    Kentucky Horse Park
    www.lexingtoncasa.com
    859.246.4313
    ___________________________________
    KMSHA/SMHA International Grand Championship
    Wednesday, September 11, 2019 – 10:00 AM to Saturday, September 14, 2019 – 08:00 PM
    Covered Arena
    www.kmsha.com
    859.699.3000
    ___________________________________
    KHJA Fall Show
    Saturday, September 14, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, September 15, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Hunter Jumper Complex
    www.khja.org
    ___________________________________
    Chuck Givens “Born 2 Win” Horse Sale
    Saturday, September 14, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    lagivens@roadrunner.com
    www.chuckgivens.com
    ___________________________________
    Franklin County Cross Country
    Saturday, September 14, 2019 – 10:00 AM to 03:00 PM
    Kentucky Horse Park
    dlawhorn@kheaa.com
    ___________________________________
    Special Olympics of Kentucky
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 04:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    ___________________________________
    KY National H/J Show
    Wednesday, September 18, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, September 22, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Kentucky Horse Park
    www.thekentuckynational.com
    615.838.7560
    ___________________________________
    National Mounted Police Colloquium
    Tuesday, September 24, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, September 29, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    lisa.rakes@ky.gov
    859.259.4250
    ___________________________________
    Jump Start Horse Trials
    Friday, September 27, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, September 29, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Hunter Jumper Complex
    www.jumpstarthorsetrials.com
    859.621.6522
    ___________________________________
    KHP Foundation Battle in the Saddle
    Friday, September 27, 2019 – 05:30 PM to 11:00 PM
    Covered Arena
    www.khpfoundation.org
    859.255.5727
    ___________________________________
    Thoroughbred Makeover
    Thursday, October 03, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, October 06, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Covered Arena
    info@retiredracehorseproject.org
    www.retiredracehorseproject.org
    ___________________________________
    UPHA Chapter 9 KY Fall Classic Horse Show
    Thursday, October 03, 2019 – 01:00 PM to Sunday, October 06, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    www.kentuckyfallclassic.com
    859.333.1406
    ___________________________________
    Lexington Catholic XC Meet – (people)
    Saturday, October 05, 2019 – 09:30 AM to 03:00 PM
    Kentucky Horse Park
    www.ktcca.org
    859.276.5086
    ___________________________________
    Good Guys Car Show
    Friday, October 11, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, October 13, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    www.good-guys.com
    925.838.9876
    ___________________________________
    KY Dressage Assoc. Fall Classic
    Sunday, October 13, 2019 – 07:00 AM to Monday, October 14, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Dressage Complex
    www.kentuckydressageassociation.com
    859.276.8993
    ___________________________________
    Hagyard MidSouth & Team Challenge
    Thursday, October 17, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, October 20, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Hunter Jumper Complex
    hmf@iglou.com
    859.621.2479
    ___________________________________
    Vintage Market Days
    Friday, October 25, 2019 – 10:00 AM to Sunday, October 27, 2019 – 04:00 PM
    Kentucky Horse Park
    amy@vintagemarketdays.com
    www.facebook.com/vintagemarketdaysoflexington
    (859) 300-1564
    ___________________________________
    Octoberfest
    Saturday, October 26, 2019 – 07:00 AM to Sunday, October 27, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Hunter Jumper Complex
    www.champagnerun.com
    859.621.2478
    ___________________________________
    National Horse Show
    Saturday, October 26, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, November 03, 2019 – 08:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    www.nhs.org
    (561) 753-3389
    ___________________________________
    USMGA – Fall Finale
    Saturday, October 26, 2019 – 09:00 AM to Sunday, October 27, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Rolex Stadium
    www.usmga.us
    859.502.863.4589
    ___________________________________
    CKRH Halloween Trail Ride and Used Tack Sale
    Sunday, October 27, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 03:00 PM
    CKRH & Trail Ride Course
    www.ckrh.org
    (859) 231-7066
    ___________________________________
    US Dressage Finals
    Thursday, November 07, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Sunday, November 10, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    www.usdf.org
    859-971-2277
    ___________________________________
    KHSAA Cross Country Meet (people)
    Saturday, November 09, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 03:00 PM
    Kentucky Horse Park
    www.khsaa.org
    859.299.5472
    ___________________________________
    Southern Lights Stroll
    Thursday, November 14, 2019 – 06:30 PM to 09:30 PM
    Kentucky Horse Park
    www.khpfoundation.org
    859.255.5727
    ___________________________________
    Kentucky Book Fair
    Friday, November 15, 2019 – 09:00 AM to Saturday, November 16, 2019 – 04:00 PM
    Kentucky Horse Park
    www.kyhumanities.org
    859.257.5932
    ___________________________________
    Kentucky Horse Park Rodeo
    Friday, November 15, 2019 – 07:30 PM to Saturday, November 16, 2019 – 10:30 PM
    Alltech Arena
    www.kyhorsepark.com
    859-259-4200
    ___________________________________
    Snowbird Dressage
    Saturday, November 16, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
    Covered Arena
    www.kentuckydressageassociation.com
    859-846-4889
    ___________________________________
    KHSAA State Cheerleading Competition
    Friday, December 06, 2019 – 08:00 AM to Saturday, December 07, 2019 – 05:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    www.khsaa.org
    859-299-5472
    ___________________________________
    KAPOS
    Saturday, December 14, 2019 – 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
    Alltech Arena
    www.kapos.org

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