If you have a bunch of money sitting around and you'd like to get rid of it and indulge your fantasies at the same time you can spend it redesigning your home in a way that no one else will appreciate but you. Then, when you try to sell it, not only will you not recover what you spent, you might even be penalized for destroying the home. That's fine...as long as you plan on staying there a really long time. After all, you're supposed to enjoy your home and you can't live your life for the next buyer. It's just that you can't harbor any delusions of ever recovering your "investment". However, we run into sellers all the time who think they can recover the cost of these highly personal "improvements". Highly personal. That's what they call them on Get It Sold. It's a polite euphemism.
Here is a perfect example of this phenomenon that I was just reminded of: an 1800 square foot condo at 200 N Dearborn, Unit 3801. It took them 161 days to sell this place, starting at $1.25 MM with 2 parking spaces available for purchase. It finally sold for $480,000, presumably with the 2 parking spaces included. According to the listing, the seller combined 2 units, gutted them, and completely redesigned the condo at a build-out cost of $400/ SF, which works out to about $720,000, which is strangely close to the difference between what the condo ultimately sold for and what they started out asking. You see, this unit basically sold for approximately the same price/ SF as other "unimproved" units in the building - i.e. the seller got no premium for their build-out. Based upon the discussion of this unit in a Cribchatter post a while ago, the seller is lucky they weren't penalized. Check out the slideshow below for some of the poor design choices and the mishmash of styles employed. Be sure to take your time on each photo to fully absorb all the different weird things going on.