Can Home Improvements Lower the Value of Your Home?

You may be reading the title of this article and be asking yourself, “How can this be?” When you want to add value to your home, making improvements seems like the easiest way, but homeowners do not always do their homework and move forward without checking that the renovations will add value to their home. In fact, there are some renovations that may actually hurt your home value. Renovations can hurt the value of your home in one of two ways: First, the work could literally lower your home’s value because it makes it less desirable than before the renovation was done; Second, the work you do could cost more than what you will get back from your home sale. Before you call the contractor or break out the toolbox, take a look at some home “improvements” that could reduce your home’s value because of low return or no return on investment.

Improvements That May Hurt Your Home Value:

1. Wallpapering rooms in your home. Although you may hear that wallpaper is coming back from a design point, it is not coming back when it comes to selling your home. Wallpaper is a very personal choice, and potential buyers may not share your same taste in decor.

2. Non-neutral paint colors. Painting is one of the easiest home improvements that offers the best return when selling your home. You do not want buyers calculating the cost to repaint the house neutral tones because they will deduct that from their offer price. Make sure to keep in neutral when selling!

3. Painting the trim something other than white. While painting the walls an off color is a mistake, painting the trim is an even worse one! There are very few people that like colored trim.

4. Texturing your ceilings and walls. There is a reason that you see smooth ceilings in most homes – they look better! A textured ceiling is hard to remove and makes it less appealing to buyers.

5. Full carpeting. Buyers love hardwood floors and other hard flooring options, which add value to a home. Carpeting is nice in bedrooms but spending money to fully carpet a house is a mistake. Carpeting throughout a house makes it look cheap. Buyers want at least some hardwood flooring, especially in entryways, and dining and living rooms.

6. Unusual tiling. Unconventional does not sell. Go with something tasteful that everyone will love!

7. Luxury kitchen renovations. Although everyone loves a nice kitchen, but there is only so much buyers will pay extra for. Avoid spending too much on a kitchen reno or you run the risk of losing money.

8.  Luxury bathroom renovations. Buyers want a nice bathroom, but clean and functional will take priority every time. Quality is what counts here so don’t go overboard; it will be very hard to get all the money you put in to the renovation out of the sale of your home.

9. Turning two bedrooms into one. Many buyers are looking for a place to raise children, and they want to make sure the home they purchase will have enough rooms for a growing family. It never makes sense to make a three bedroom house into two!

10. Themed children’s bedrooms. Themed bedrooms are too personalized. This is the kind of home improvement that really impacts your home value and not in a good way.

11. Eliminating closets to make another improvement. Closet space sells homes, enough said.

12. Home theaters. You may not get your money’s worth if adding a home theater renovation. Many buyers will not be interested in paying extra for this.

13. Swimming pools. Pools are great but categorically do not have a good return on investment. They are expensive to install and require a lot of maintenance that not all buyers will want to keep up with. If you are going to install a pool, do it strictly for your own enjoyment and entertainment.

14. Garage conversions. Most buyers want garages to store their car or other items in. Many buyers will not even consider buying a home that does not have a garage. Definitely think twice about converting that space into another living area or gym!

15. DIY projects that show. Doing the work yourself can hurt the value of your home. A lack of quality is not acceptable to any potential homeowner. Know when to call in a professional.

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