I was watching Clark Howard on CNN this Saturday morning (which is one of my favorite money shows) and he made an interesting point. "When you go to sell, you typically make less than $1 on every dollar that you spend improving your home." He noted that improvements are for YOUR enjoyment while YOU live in the home.
Now, improvements may help your marketability, but don't go overboard if you're thinking about selling! Focus on items that are expected to be maintained such as: carpet/flooring, paint, damaged areas, cleanliness, etc. Don't spend $30,000 on a kitchen upgrade and expect the home to sell for $30,000 above market value...that is basically shooting a bullet into your own foot! This especially holds true if you buy property with the intention of leasing it out for income.
Moral of the Story: If you plan on hunkering down and staying in your home for years to come, then splurge a little! If you are in the market to sell, keep it simple!
...I was watching Clark Howard when I wrote this...