Anna Andersson Fotografi/Shutterstock
Riding the Trend
Farmhouse and mid-century modern are undoubtedly cool interior design trends but Luis Dominguez, a realtor with Douglas Elliman Real Estate has some advice before installing ship lap on every wall or converting a spare room with a Mad Men-inspired bar that would make Don Draper proud. “A homeowner should be careful to not fall for a trend that will most likely come and go. I would personally give them time to settle and would pick the best option once it’s matured,” he says. Of course, if you own a home built in the mid-30s to mid-60s, mid-century modern makes sense, but if your house is a Victorian, probably not so much. These clever home improvements will never go out of style. Plus: Don’t do these things if you want to sell your house.
Frogs and Ivy
When it comes to outdoor renovations, extensive maintenance and unforeseen expenses are what usually leads to regret. For example, a koi pond is a lovely element in your garden, but it requires a lot of hours to maintain and they tend to attract frogs. Another green feature Dominguez sees as regret for some is climbing ivy. Sure, it’s charming and ever so quaint when it’s creeping up a stone exterior, but people on the east coast will be the first to tell you ivy is a pain in the butt because it’s invasive. “It will require a lot of maintenance, not to mention that it may cause structural damage over time,” he says.
Converting the Garage
“It can go 50/50 when it comes to re-purposing a garage into additional living space,” says Mary Ann Graboyes, a real estate agent at Long & Foster Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. All that square footage is tempting to convert to a family room or gym, especially if you don’t use the garage much for parking your car. But then that unexpected season of rain or harsh winter comes along and you’re singing a different tune when you’re hauling groceries into the house. And what if you want to sell the house later? Prospective buyers may not be too crazy about not having a garage to park cars and store the lawn mower and kid’s bikes. “Homeowners should think about the home’s potential resale value prior to making that commitment,” says Graboyes. Speaking of resale, here is how to lock down an offer fast.