So, you’re planning a renovation. Congratulations. But while you’re checking the Yellow Pages for architects and thinking about digging out the basement, don’t forget about your neighbors.
After all, they’re the ones you’ll be competing with when it comes time to sell.
Look at it this way. If a major renovation will make yours the most expensive house on the block, you may never recoup your costs when you sell.
But if your house is the neighborhood embarrassment and you want to bring it in line with its fellows, then a major renovation is the way to go.
You might want to scope out the neighborhood before beginning the work.
You should also talk about the kinds of changes happening in the area and visit open houses.
Even better, take the dog for a long walk and check what other people are doing to their houses.
Have recently purchased properties been razed to make way for monster houses?
Are your neighbors making tasteful additions that expand their living space? Follow their lead.
That goes for fixtures as well.
Homeowners are often dismayed to learn that the fixtures, hardwood floors and soaring ceilings are just too rich for their neighborhood.
When it comes time to sell, you won’t recover the cost of granite countertops and maple floors, because the buyers who want this quality won’t be looking in your neighborhood.
A wise man once suggested that if you buy a poor house on a good street, you’re making a great investment. But if you buy a great house in a poor neighborhood, well, not so much.
Keep the neighbors in mind when you’re planning your renovation and you’ll make the right decision not only for now, but also for the future.