People mistakenly assume that any home renovations they do will automatically increase the value of their property. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s all about what the market demands. Modern and sleek is in, and wallpaper is out.
Don’t spend too much money on your DIY projects either. Are you thinking about adding an expensive pool to the backyard? It’s basically a big money pit. If you want to make more money come closing time, these are the 18 home renovations that should be avoided at all costs.
1. Covering up your hardwood floors with carpet.
Carpet might be soft and nice to walk on, but you want to keep that hardwood intact and visible. Hardwood costs more to install upfront at $9 to $12 per square foot versus carpet at $3 to $5 per square foot, plus it’s in higher demand in general right now.
Covering it up with carpet would be going in the wrong direction! A study of the data acquired from the National Association of Realtors shows that 54% of people looking for a home are willing to pay more for hardwood currently.
2. Building an in-home movie theater.
It’s a dream come true for cinema buffs, however, for most of us, a movie theater in the home is just not practical. A TV with a couple of speakers mounted to the wall does just fine for the vast majority of families. If we really want to see a flick on the big screen, the real movie theater is just a short drive away.
3. Making a weird tiling choice.
Just because you think a red and white checkerboard pattern looks great doesn’t mean that future homebuyers will as well. It can be tempting to customize your home in a way that you personally like. However, any tile choices that might be viewed as “unique” by other people are probably best avoided.
4. Creating textured ceilings and walls.
Textured painting is not only difficult to do and easy to mess up but also, it’s going out of style. It was really popular in the past. While artsy textured painting used to be a way to make a home look more upscale, it now just causes surfaces to come across as dated. If people want to change it back to a smooth texture in the future, it involves a lot of very tedious scraping!
5. Choosing an ugly wallpaper.
Wallpaper is another one of those things that is a dying fad. It’s partially because everyone has their own specific preferences. New homebuyers didn’t make that wallpaper choice themselves, so if it isn’t to their liking, it could turn them off from completing the home purchase. Once it’s been applied to the walls, tearing it down is a long and arduous process.
6. Installing a fish tank in the wall.
Setting up an in-home aquarium seems like a really cool idea, in theory. All modern homes should probably have some sort of aquatic life to add to the ambiance. However, installing a giant aquarium into the wall and making it a permanent feature of the home is when it has changed from a fun hobby into an expensive liability.
7. Going crazy with lighting fixtures.
It’s way too easy to go overboard. Going basic is much better than installing some sort of elaborate setup. If it’s not broken, why fix it? We like to lean towards the less is more approach. Fancy chandeliers, dramatic mood lights, and spotlights just aren’t going to vibe with everybody.
8. Adding on a sunroom.
Not only are they extremely expensive to build, but you’ll likely never get your money back either. You should think long and hard about how much use you’ll really get out of your new sunroom addition. If you need some more sun in your life, why not just go outside?
9. Choosing bold and bright paint colors.
In the stores, these flashy colors can often be found labeled as “modern”. They are bright, colorful, and in your face. While bright pinks, blues, greens, and yellows, sound like fun, they are probably going to limit your resale value. Just remember that before you sell, you are likely going to have to paint over everything again to get it back to a neutral white or cream color.
10. Eliminating closet space.
Many people have extra closet space that they don’t really use and figure they’ll just smash the wall and make their bedroom bigger. Unfortunately, you don’t have a need for the closet space, but many future homebuyers might. Realtors often use the amount of closet space in a bedroom as a selling point when taking people on home tours.
11. Putting in a high-end kitchen.
Kitchens are one of the most common areas of the home to remodel. Everyone dreams of having a luxury kitchen with stainless steel or marble countertops, but how it affects resale value depends on how much it all costs.
A good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 10% of the home’s value on a kitchen renovation. Think $25,000 or less for a home that’s worth $250,000. Exceeding this threshold can cause you to end up in the negative come resale time.
12. Combining multiple bedrooms into one.
If there are two bedrooms next to each other and you don’t need both of them, you may be thinking about converting them into one giant master bedroom. This is typically a trap.
Having multiple bedrooms in the home is better for resale value than one massive bedroom by itself. Many homebuyers are couples thinking about having a family and they’ll need rooms for their future kids.
13. Getting an in-ground swimming pool.
Swimming pools are a luxury that’s fun to have, but they just aren’t practical for many individuals. They have to be filled every year, cleaned, and constantly maintained. Installing a pool in the backyard is like adding a giant additional monthly bill to the price of the home, especially if it’s a heated or cooled pool. Not everyone is going to want to pony up the money for that.
14. Building out a luxury bathroom.
For most families, a simple shower and bathtub combo is fine. If you want to make it more modern and don’t have kids, just do a walk-in shower. We recommend skipping the whirlpool tubs, sliding glass doors, and porcelain countertops.
15. Hot tubs are not cheap.
Just like swimming pools, hot tubs sound like fun but may or may not be a good fit for everybody. It really all depends on how much you are going to use it. In addition to the purchase price of a hot tub, you are likely going to have to lay down a cement slab to put it on. Plus, if you want an in-ground hot tub, it’s going to cost even more.
16. Turning a bedroom into a home office.
Working from home is more popular than ever these days. However, creating an actual dedicated office space might not be the best strategy for home valuations. If it’s permanent, it can knock 10% off the price of the home.
The key to creating a home office that doesn’t affect value is to make sure that it can easily be converted back into a bedroom. Don’t install any permanent shelving units, desks, or fancy electronics.
17. Retrofitting a garage into a man cave.
Garage space is extremely valuable. Even if you don’t mind parking in the driveway, other people probably will. Garages are something that almost everyone wants. Converting a garage into a man cave, home gym, or workshop is going to do more harm than good.
You are essentially alienating a large percentage of buyers and making sure that your home is only going to appeal to those who are willing to park outside, in the yard, or on the street.
18. Going wild with landscaping projects.
Planting trees actually creates more work in the future. You will have to rake up leaves, nuts, branches, and the shade might prevent flowers from growing in your garden. If you are building out elaborate walkways and water features, what you are actually doing is reducing functional yard space.
A little landscaping can help a house to look nice. However, it’s important to know where to draw the line as too much can look messy and chaotic.
Home renovations are a great way to custom-fit your home to your own unique tastes and preferences. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone is going to appreciate the massive swimming pool in the backyard or a shark tank in the living room.
When it comes to resale value, homeowners should think long and hard about the potential renovations that they do.
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