Real estate investors have to be careful when putting together their list of repairs on a potential re-ha property. In order to be a successful re-habber, you have to know what repairs or improvements will give you the best return on your money. Rookie investors will tend to make a few mistakes when it comes to this. They will make decisions on what improvements to make based on their personal taste… BIG MISTAKE! Remember, you’re not the one that’s going to live there so what you like doesn’t really matter. The last thing you want to do when re-habbing a property is to spend your budget on things that fail to increase the home’s after repaired value [ARV]. As an Orlando real estate agent I’ve re-habbed over three hundred homes in the Orlando area and in that time I’ve learned what repairs not to make when re-habbing a house with the intention of selling it for a profit. Here’s a list of home renovations that won’t pay back your investment. Over-the-top landscaping Buyers will appreciate a nice looking lawn that has had organic lawn care by professionals, trimmed up shrubs and even a few flower beds to make it all pop, but spending too much in the yard isn’t worth it as it won’t increase the value of the home. But looking for good lawn edger reviews is never a bad idea, just think of how much you use those things. Not only that, but to some buyers it could be a deal killer, many people want low maintenance and have absolutely no desire to spend hours a week of their time maintaining an elaborate landscape design. It’s best to keep it simple and try to use what’s already there. Sometimes all a yard needs is some TLC to bring it back to life. Building a Pool Building a pool on a re-hab property is just crazy in my opinion. Not only is it expensive [about $3.00 per gallon] but building a pool can take months to complete and the worst part is that you won’t even recover half of what you spent to build it. If there’s room for a pool in the backyard, then great! You should mention that in your marketing efforts. Let the new Owner build a pool if they wish, don’t make this your problem. The average buyer actually looks at a pool as being a major expense in addition to being a potential liability if someone gets hurt. Personalized Colors on the walls Don’t make the mistake of hiring a designer to create some elaborate color scheme with several different colors on all the walls. Remember, just because you think you have good taste…doesn’t mean that it’s true. As a matter of fact, this could be a huge turn off for a potential buyer. The best thing to do is to stick with either one color throughout the whole house or one color for the trim and another for the walls. When I re-hab a property, I use off-white on the walls and pure white on the trim. This way the house looks clean, elegant and can easily be painted over if the new owner wishes to do so. Making it the best house on the block One of the number one rules when it comes to flipping a house, is to find a house that blends in with the rest of the neighborhood. You should never buy the biggest house on the block nor the smallest for that matter, they will typically be harder to sell. The same thinking holds true when making the renovations to a house. It’s best to stick with the norm for the neighborhood and stay away from making big changes to the house that make it vastly different from other properties in the neighborhood. Your goal as an investor is to get the repairs done quickly and get it sold so that you can get to work on the next one. Expensive fixtures and features Some investors like to brag about the European tile in the kitchen or the gold plated fixtures in the bathrooms when they’re doing a re-hab. I think this is insane. Not only do these kind of improvements add no value to the home but it may be a turn off to some potential home buyers. It’s always best to stay neutral when it comes to fixtures, tile, lighting, etc. Expensive add-ons are never a good idea and should be an investment made by the new owners. The best investments that can be made to an investment home is Kitchen and bathroom updating, [when needed] fresh paint and new floors if needed. These items will provide you with the best return on your money and anything else will just be for show and can easily cause you to go over budget if you’re not careful. About the author: John Conde is an Orlando Realtor/ Investor. He has been buying and selling Orlando real estate since 2004. He is now working as a real estate agent devoted to helping people that are facing foreclosure and financial hardship to find solutions to their real estate needs.