1. Immediately adding a porch to your garage: It doesn’t add much to your property’s value, nor will it be used as much as you think. Plus, it will get destroyed the first time you pull your car in.
2. Throwing away the roof: Lots of first-time home buyers think roofs are ugly and throw them away, but they’re actually designed to be left on the house.
3. Accepting whatever family comes with the house: The family that came with the home may not be the family you want. They could just be seven Greek people who moved in because of the high-end finishes, great school district, and easy commute to the city, but that doesn’t mean you have to love them.
4. Trying to change your house number to a retired number of a neighborhood great: Come on, we get that Dennis Clarkin of 47 Randolf designed a driveway fit for kings, one every driver used as an excuse to pull in to turn around for no reason. But don’t go and steal the man’s number.
5. Hiring an in-house plumber: While any first-time buyer wants to make sure to protect their investment, an on-site plumber who lives in your bathroom 24 hours a day is simply not an efficient use of resources.
6. Spending the entire renovation budget on making one of the stairs extremely nice: Spending a whole $200,000 budget on gold and jewel inlays, hand-carving, and commissioned artwork for a single stair may make that particular stair extremely nice, but some of that money should be spread out to other projects.