If you just bought a fixer upper hoping to get rich quick…or if you’re just trying to update your home to sell it for a good value, you’re probably planning home renovations. But not all home renovations add value to your home! Here are 10 surprising home renovations decrease property value…
What home renovations decrease property value?
Expensive or high maintenance additions like a pool and over-personalized renovations can actually lower the value of your home when you’re trying to sell it.
If you’re flipping a house or just trying to update your home before you sell it, avoid these renovations…
1. Specific hobby or entertainment rooms:
If Rooms dedicated to a specific activity can be too personal. Just because you like a space dedicated to storing yards of yarn for your knitting hobby doesn’t mean potential buyers would.
Examples of hobby rooms could include:
- Movie theatre
- Crafts/sewing/gift wrapping room
- Home gym
- Man cave or She shed
If you do have a specific room like this and are ready to sell, repurpose the space as a guest bedroom, home office, or just leave it empty for buyers to imagine how they’d use the room.
Wallpaper is a decorative touch that’s highly personal. Most buyers won’t have the same taste as you.
Wallpaper is hard to remove, and hiring a wallpaper removal service can be expensive.
If you already have wallpaper in your home, consider removing it and repainting the walls to appeal to more buyers looking for a move-in ready home.
3. Choosing bold paint colors
Like wallpaper, bold paint colors are a personal decor style that most buyers won’t like.
Sure, someone could just repaint the walls themselves after they move in – but that’s time and money most people don’t want to spend on changing something.
If you already have bold paint colors in your home, you should repaint the walls to a more neutral color before listing your house for sale.
4. Adding wall-to-wall carpeting
With few exceptions, most people view wall-to-wall carpeting as an outdated design choice. Carpeting is hard to clean and can harbor dust, mites and other allergens.
So when buyers are looking at a house for sale that has carpeting, most are mentally calculating the time and money it would take them to rip out that old carpeting.
If you currently have carpeting that is dirty or outdated, don’t bother replacing it with new wall-to-wall carpeting. It’d be a better investment to remove it and install a laminate flooring or hardwood floors.
5. Expanding or converting a garage
In most neighborhoods, having an enclosed garage is more valuable than converting it to an extra room in the house.
Expanding or converting an existing garage costs a lot of money and requires hiring a small team or contractors. It also usually requires getting approval from local housing or planning councils.
Before you expand or convert your garage, think carefully about what you’d use that new square footage for – there are additional rules if you want to use it for another bedroom!
Buyers would usually prefer to have the garage stay as-is for now, so that they have the option to expand or convert it later themselves.
6. Over-the-top luxury bathrooms
A bathroom renovation can add value to your home. But if you spend too much money trying to make a luxury bathroom, you probably won’t get much return on investment.
There are some common designs most people like in bathrooms: neutral colors, clean tile, and marble or quartz countertops. If you have those 3 things in your bathroom, you probably don’t need to do further renovations.
Avoid adding expensive extras like jetted tubs, dual or rain shower heads, or heated flooring – you probably won’t earn your money back on those upgrades in the end.
7. Detailed landscaping
Unless you’re living in the Palaces of Versailles, you don’t need animal topiaries or a hedge maze.
Curb appeal is important when selling your home. But simple lawn maintenance and strategically placed landscaping is all you need to spruce out the outside of your home.
Avoid planting expensive flowers and plants. And don’t bother installing any water fixtures like ponds, fountains, or waterfalls.
8. Quirky, over-personalized styles
Potential buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the house you’re selling. They can’t do that if they see quirky decor that you personally love but may seem weird to other people.
If you have a lot of knickknacks or collections on display, a home stager can help you prepare for an open house so that buyers can picture themselves living in the space.
9. Adding a pool or hot tub
When most people tour an open house and see a pool or hot tub, dollar signs flash through their minds.
Pools are notoriously expensive to maintain and keep clean. And hot tubs also produce excess costs for plumbing, electrical and cleaning. Don’t spend the large sum of money it would take to add a new pool or hot tub to your house!
If you already have a hot tub, try selling it before you put your house up for sale.
If you already installed a pool or bought a house with one, don’t bother spending the money to fill it in. What’s done is done. Just work with your realtor to try and find buyers with kids or that like entertaining so they can picture themselves having pool parties.
10. Trendy interior design choices
Trends come and go. Some trends, like wall paint color, are safer to integrate into your home. But other trends, like unique tile or colored bathroom fixtures, could be a waste of money.
Trends are also different across the country. Think about what people in your neighborhood like in home design. Are homeowners near you more traditional, or modern? Look on Zillow at recently sold houses to get a better idea of what buyers in your area are liking at the moment.
Invest on the renovations that will increase your home value
When you’re renovating your home, avoid renovations that are over-personalized to your design taste and don’t spend money on lavish extras like pools, jetted tubs and fancy landscaping. Instead, invest your money on fresh, neutral paint colors, removing old or stained carpeting, and updating tile and countertops in classic colors and patterns.