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7/17/2013 - Home improvements don't always equal increased value, expert says

Property updates nowadays may not yield the same return they did in the past.

Thanks to some saved vacation days for the summer, this time of year serves as an ideal one to get some long awaited home improvements completed around the house. But before putting hammer to nail, property owners should keep in mind that these renovations may not increase the value of their residence.

Richard Borges, president of the Appraisal Institute, noted that many homeowners think that by making over a house, that fact alone will enable them to heighten the resale value of their home, especially if it's an expensive upgrade. However, pricey renovations does not always translate into a large return.

"Projects that take a home significantly beyond community norms are often not worth the cost when the owner sells the home," said Borges. "If they don't match what's standard in a community, they'll be considered excessive."

Instead, Borges encouraged homeowners to reach out to an appraiser before they start making any major changes to the residence, as they can set up a feasibility study. This essentially determines the best course to take and whether the refurbishing is a smart move based on its current condition and compared to the neighborhood.

Many restoration projects can affect the coverage an individual needs to ensure their residence is provided for in the event a claim needs to be made. It would behoove policyholders to review their homeowners insurance policy and then contact their insurer to see if adjustments are required.

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