While there are plenty of updates you can make to increase the value of your home, others won’t. If you’re not careful, you can find yourself over-renovating your home beyond its value and wind up burning money that you won’t see again.

If renovations out-price what the market will actually bear, the house will be difficult to sell at a price point to recoup money sunk into it. If a buyer is paying top dollar in comparison to other homes, where is their future appreciation going to come from? If no buyer can answer that question, a house is overpriced for its market and will not sell.

Partial updates:

If you are going to take on a kitchen or other room remodel, don’t choose just one thing to update. You have to go big or go home, as they say. Installing granite counter tops will only highlight the outdated cabinets and linoleum flooring that you decided to leave.

Even a coherent outdated space will likely look more appealing than a disjointed, slightly newer one.

Kitchen remodel:

While a move-in ready home will be worth more than a fixer-upper, kitchen renovations aren’t something home buyers necessarily shy away from. Many buyers these days look forward to remodeling these “fun” areas—plus, trying to second-guess what they want and have it there waiting for them is just plain unrealistic, given all the home decor styles there are to choose from today.

Many home buyers won’t mind doing some work to make the heart of the home just right, not to mention that they may welcome the ability to make their own customizations and use their home loan to cover the added expenses.

Things to consider: a kitchen remodel might be necessary if comparable homes in your area all have been updated and your home value is estimated significantly less than a remodel would cost.

Swimming pool:

Adding a swimming pool and hot tub might help you match other listings in the area, but the return on investment is likely low. They’re expensive to install and many home buyers aren’t interested in the added responsibility.

Space conversions:

Converting your garage into a gym or apartment may have worked for you but not all future home buyers would agree. Many people search for houses with a garage, and what they’re looking for isn’t a gym or an extra living space — they’re looking for a garage to serve its primary purpose of housing cars and storage items. In fact, in a recent survey of 7,500 people, 74 percent of recent buyers said that having a garage is extremely or very important.

A Finished Basement:

While the extra living space can add value to your home, finishing a basement is a great way to add a personalized touch to the property.

Home buyers may welcome the opportunity to tailor a space to their needs/hobbies. If you decide to finish the basement before listing the property, do it simply. Allow the home buyers to walk in and image the space customized to their own interests. This means forgoing the in-law suite, bar, and home theater.