There are some simple rules of thumb when it comes to improving your home, but they do not apply to all situations. For example, it is said that putting in a new kitchen will raise the value of the home’s selling price by 80-90% of the cost, so a $150,000 home that gets a $10,000 kitchen upgrade can then be sold for $158,000.

However, there are some areas where homes have a ceiling, no matter how grand the improvements.

In this article we will discuss an area on Long Island, NY where this is happening, but many homeowners are still putting in $50,000+ improvements, but all for nearly no gain.

The WB Section of Babylon, NY

Babylon, NY is an extremely coveted area. It has an amazing school district, a wonderful downtown area, and a fantastic library. All of these things create serious demand, which creates seriously high home prices.  You might want to talk with an agent that can help you through this type of area, like the ones at

The average home in Babylon sells for $500,000 with some well over $1,000,000. However, there is one area of town where several hundred residents live for much less – the West Babylon section. This area is within the boundaries of the school zone for Babylon, but they have a West Babylon zip code, which means lower taxes, and less attractive streets, which is seen when the street signs change from white wooden posts that are carved to plain metal poles with a green sign.

Homes in this area typically list for $400,000, but they never sell for more than $360,000 with some selling for as little as $275,000, even if they are majorly upgraded.

Huge Upgrades for No Profit

Many homes on these streets were modest 2 and 3-bedroom homes at one time, but have since had extensions and dormers put in. The original model of the home would sell for $300,000 in good condition because of the school district. If the home had $100,000 worth of work put into it the result would be a maximum selling price of $360,000, but more typically would sell for $339,000.

Since this is the case why are people doing it?

Why Are People Spending All This Money?

First, it should be noted that most people know next-to-nothing about investing in property, and the home they live in is a very emotional matter.

Second, people want a nice home – a dream home – so when they blow out the upstairs attic into 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms after their children have moved out they are not thinking, oh man, I just tripled my energy costs for space I’ll hardly use, they are trying to self-actualize. A bonus is impressing friends and family with a gorgeous home as well as the idea that the money will come back, even if the reality is that it is going to be lost in raised taxes.

Is It Ever Worth It?

There are cases where fixing up your home is worth the cost, even if you spend $100,000 to get $40,000 back. One such case is when you will be living in the house for at least 10 more years, and especially if you’ll be there another 30+.

Being comfortable at home is a joy, and one that should not be undervalued.

For more information on selling your home you should consider other valuable online resources, some of which are noted below. Also, don’t be afraid to go to open houses and ask a local agent. He or she will be happy to show you that they are knowledgeable as a means of getting future business.