HGTV Watch: Why 'My House is Worth What?' is worthless

HGTV Watch is a new series devoted to the obsessive viewing of HGTV. . . and an examination of the show's advice and how it can be hazardous -- and occasionally helpful -- to your wealth.



HGTV describes its show My House is Worth What? this way:

My House Is Worth What? gives you the lowdown on the high stakes of home ownership. Go behind closed doors each week as three homeowners in three different parts of the country strategize on maximizing their homes' value. After a professional assessment and evaluation from local market experts, they'll get the bottom line on how well their efforts will pay off, with big surprises often awaiting the homeowner in the final number.

I'd describe it this way: A mildly entertaining show that could have a terrible effect on your life if you follow its advice. Here's why: "Investments" in your home, contrary to popular HGTV belief, very rarely generate a return on investment that justifies the cost of the project.

Earlier this year, Remodeling Magazine published its annual Cost vs. Value Report which examined what percentage of the cost of a project could be recouped upon sale: