One Man's Castle is Another's...?

You've heard of guestrooms... well, I have a colleague whose brother-in-law built a 'dog room' just off the garage for his two Rottweilers, including a tub so that they could be bathed before they came into the Master's house.

Neat idea - but what about the next person to buy this home? Will they have a need for a bed/bath suite for canines? And could that unique feature possibly even turn them off of buying your home?

When is customizing your house "too much"?

I'd say it's when it potentially affects the resale value of your home. However, nailing down exactly which kind of home features constitute "too much" isn't easy - whether the owner is designing a home from scratch, or adding rooms and other amenities.

"People find as they get into the process of designing a custom house they want to add more, pump it up and make their house more idiosyncratic and individualized. But this may make it harder to sell," notes Norman Smith, an architect in Washington DC.

"Planning for the eventual sale of a dream house is not how most people approach such a project... [but] the resale issue must be addressed early on."

So, think twice if you're ever tempted to add:

• A rooftop bedroom with hot tub (photo on this page from the blog, Style Sheet)

• A soundproof music studio within your home

• Dog shower complete with designer doggie tiles!

Some more suggestions about "personalizing" your home design with an eye to resale:

• Add individual style to your home  by using room dividers and carpets - rather than throwing up walls and laying down unusual flooring.

• Avoid adding house features that could expire in utility and/or popularity – for example, photography hobbyists who put in a darkroom!

• Give the home appraiser something to appraise it 'against'; if your home is so unusual there's nothing to compare it to, the appraiser may well fall back on lot size, number of bedrooms and the like - not figuring in the expensive craftsmanship or exotic architecture.

• No buyers want to pay more for your individual taste – no matter how much you spent on the details.

So, bottom line - be creative but be reasonable! Have you put in home features that tickle your fancy, but make you wonder if anyone else would want to live with them, should it come time for you to sell?

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