3 “Do Not Break” rules for decorating or landscaping

If it’s time to make some major changes in your living space, whether inside or outside the house, there are 3 basic rules that you should follow that will assure that you thoroughly enjoy the result AND do not destroy the essential value of your home.

1. Know your preferred style and stick with it.

There are 4 acknowledged fashion styles: the Classic, the Romantic, the Trendy and the Relaxed.  You probably already know what your style is, but how about your spouse or partner’s style?  If it’s different from yours, try to meld the two styles so both of you have the feel you can enjoy and be comfortable in.

2.  Whatever you decide to do, be sure it can be reversed easily if you should decide to sell the property.

Odd Update
Whose idea was this!

So you want to install a mosaic tile floor in the style of a Tuscan Villa.  It fits your fashion style and really sets the tone for the rest of the decor.  Or you set up a BMX track, complete with hills and valleys in the backyard, to give your kid a place to practice.  They each seemed like a good idea at the time, but if you want to sell the house, you will have to find a buyer who exactly matches your style. Because of that innovation and uniqueness, you will have shrunk your likely buyer pool and probably either increased the length of time to sell or decreased the final sale price.  And believe this:  it’s a lot more fun to create than it is to demolish!  Think this all the way through and see if you can find an alternative that is less trouble to undo.

3.  Don’t overimprove the property in relation to the rest of the neighborhood.

Big house, little house
Would you pay top dollar for either house?

You add an $80,000 update to a house that is currently valued at $120,000 and is located in a neighborhood of $100,000 homes.  Or you re-landscape with triple the plants, fountains and rockwork of any other property on the street.  Or you double the size of your house with a second floor addition, while all the neighbors are single story bungalows. The problem in all of these cases is that the property has been overdeveloped for the neighborhood in which they are located.  People who are willing to pay $200,000 for a home will want to be in a neighborhood of other $200,000 homes.  It will be extremely difficult, even in an appreciating market, to get your money out of these types of improvements.

What other points or tips do YOU think a homeowner should consider when planning a home or landscape renovation project?

Photo Credit for Odd Update:  George Eastman House

Photo Credit for Big House, Little House:  Daryl Mitchell

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