There are a lot of variables involved here. Very few updates bring you a full return on your investment upon completion. If you are planning on staying in the home for any period of time then part of the return will be the enjoyment you get from having these improvements as part of your home. That having been said, done judiciously (i.e. decent quality materials and craftsmanship in a DIY project) can net you more return than dollars invested. Check the link below for more information about the best projects to pursue.
As for when the market will recover, nobody knows. We do have a number of business activities that should bring substantial activity to the home buying market. Some analysis says we are at the bottom of the slump, others say it will take two years. The fact is if we are patient the market will recover, just as it has done many times in the past.... more