Home Improvements: ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’

Pornography is hard to define, but I know it when I see it.

–Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart

Oddly, I could say the same thing about good home improvements: they’re hard to define, but you know one when you see one (ditto for home improvements that are bad or otherwise “off”).

If you forced me to come up with a definition, it would be that a good home improvement is organic and accretive; the “acid test” is whether, when it’s done, it seems like it’s always been there.

In that vein, a neighbor on my block is in the middle of what looks like a $15k or so landscaping project.

The focal points: neatly defining the (formerly scruffy) perimeter of the front yard with a limestone retaining wall, which subtly picks up the decorative stone highlights in the nearby Tudor home (and takes the home’s already strong curb appeal from a “7” to a “10”); and a decorative stone walkway from the home’s front entrance to the sidewalk.

When it’s done, no one — excepting the owner and perhaps a few neighbors — will be able to tell it wasn’t original.

Nice. Very nice.
P.S.: as I’ve written previously, late Fall (around Halloween in MN) is a good time to get a landscaping deal.
About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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