Most homeowners generally assume that home renovations will increase the value of their home. Whether it’s a newly renovated kitchen or a recently refreshed bathroom, most of the time, we can add great value to our homes but here are the must avoids when it comes to home renovations:
Most potential buyers will do a quick mental calculation of how much work that’s going to be, and they will reduce their offer on the home appropriately—if they bother making one at all. It costs about $1,000 per room to put up wallpaper, and if you choose to do it despite this advice, you should assume you’re never getting any of that money back.
2. Built-in electronics
Having a home with an integrated sound system or theater projector may seem useful. Having many of the components all neatly hidden away, and access to inputs and controls is convenient and easy. The problem is that a potential buyer often doesn’t have the same needs as you, and electronics and wires hidden into the walls of the home might be wasted on them and often can become outdated over time. Having built-in electronics often appear as future bills to house-hunters.
3. Garage conversions
When space becomes a problem in a home, people often think it’s a great idea to convert a garage into a bedroom or living space. This may work out well for the current homeowner, for the value of their home… Not so much. The general rule of thumb in home renovations versus the value of your house is that removing things is typically something you want to avoid. The cost with some of these conversions is brutal—it’s estimated a garage conversion can reduce your home’s value by as much as 25%.
Carpet is starting to appear as “flooring of the past” as newer renovations use a flooring choice such as vinyl, laminate, and hardwood flooring. It’s true, some people like carpet in the home. It keeps floors warm in the winter, and high-quality carpet feels good on bare feet. There are a lot of people who think carpet feels snug and cozy. Let’s be honest, carpets are kind of gross, and can even negatively impact your health. According to NerdWallet, having carpet as the primary flooring in your home drops its value by nearly $4,000.
5. Personal design choices
When it comes to personal design choices, our homes can be challenging, in a sense, because they’re both an investment that many homeowners look to earn value on while living in the home. We often want to reflect our own personality in our homes but if you go too far in a direction that doesn’t appeal to most homeowners, you wind up restricting the potential buyers for your house to people who are just like you. As a result, too-bold paint colors, funky light fixtures, and anything else that’s overly personal will decrease your home’s value.
6. Bedroom conversion
There’s reason real estate listings always boil a house down to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and any time you remove a bedroom from your home, you’re greatly reducing its value. Since adding bedrooms increases your home’s value by $14,000 to $20,000, you can safely assume that’s about what you’re losing when you take one out of the equation.
7. Anything that removes a closet
Closets and storage space in general are key motivators for potential homebuyers. We often like the idea of using the square footage from a closet to expand a nearby bathroom or bedroom. But anytime you remove a closet, it comes at a cost to your home’s value. Similarly, to bedrooms and bathrooms, the more closets, the better. Closets may not get front-line treatment in the listing, but people notice when they’re lacking.
8. Inflexible rooms
Converting a room to an inflexible room may seem to fit your lifestyle such as a home theater or a home gym that cater to your lifestyle. Often these rooms may seem like a great idea, but the problem is most potential home buyers don’t see inflexible rooms the same way. Potential buyers may see them as renovation bills instead of blank slates they can use any way they see fit. And if your buyers are already calculating the thousands of dollars, they’ll have to spend to rip out your home theater, craft room, or man cave, they’re going to lower their offers accordingly.
9. Pool or hot tub
Many of us dream of a pool or hot tub in our back yard. A pool in your backyard might seem like a great way to increase your home’s value but unfortunately that isn’t the case. In-ground pools are costly and the only time pools make sense if they are very popular in your area, meaning over 80% of homes have in-ground pools installed. If most homes in the area have a pool, installing a pool might make sense but even then, it probably adds less than 10% to the value of your home, and you’ll never make back that investment. If pools aren’t common in your area, it will drag the value of your home because potential buyers may see it as something they’ll need to pay to remove or as a chore they’re buying, a feature they’ll have to work to maintain despite not really wanting or using it. Same goes for hot tubs, According to HouseLogic, hot tubs only increase home value by 7%, while raising maintenance, utility, and repair costs by as much as 30%.
10. Textured ceilings and walls
Adding texture to your walls or ceilings was very popular in the 90s. We are starting to see a trend where textured ceilings often associated with cheaper housing. We are starting to view popcorn texture as one of the worst things our modern civilization has ever invented. Potential buyers are going to charge that cost back against the value of your home.