This Clever Tool Estimates How Much That Reno Project Will Affect Your Home's Value

Check yo'self before you wreck yo'house.

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 2, 2014: Husband and wife team Tarek,right, and Christina El Moussa help contract
Getty ImagesGina Ferazzi

Even when you've budgeted down to the penny, any renovation can still cost a lot—with the biggest expense often being your sanity. Plus, with shows like Flip Or Flop (and its Vegas, Atlanta, and other spinoffs), it's never been more tempting to tear things down with the hopes of turning a profit when you resell your house. Or that eyesore down the block with "so much potential."

But, before you start planning your own #demoday, there's a new tool you need to check out. It's a , created by real estate data analytics company HouseCanary and Marcus By Goldman Sachs. Using a simple, three-step process, you can get a sense of how much your property value will go up by adding on that bathroom, installing that pool, or expanding your overall square footage.

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A glimpse of how the calculator works
Marcus By Goldman Sachs

The calculator factors in your address, the type of expansion you're undertaking (be it an extra bedroom or the aforementioned swimming pool), and—in the case of adding on to your home—the scope of the project. Using my own info as a case study, for example, I learned that adding on a full bathroom could boost my home's resell value by $14,705, while skipping all that messy plumbing work and simply tacking on an extra 100 square feet would provide just as much as a benefit ($15,287, by the calculator's estimation). A pool, sadly, would do nothing for me. Other than provide me with a refreshing way to lounge on a swan or donut float in the middle of summer, of course.

It's a fitting tool to be co-created by Marcus, which started offering home improvement loans for aspiring Christina and Tarek El Moussas earlier this year. The calculator uses multiple listings service data and "public information," according to a release, to estimate these values. So, as helpful as it is, I'd use it to get a rough idea of whether a project's a worthwhile investment, rather than an end-all, be-all approximation of how much you'll be able to sell your home for when you finally put it on the market. If nothing else, it's fun to play around with.

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