Five Losing Home Improvements
You are probably thinking to yourself how is it possible to do home improvement projects that could lower a home’s value. Believe me it is possible and I have seen it on numerous occasions over the years working as a Realtor. Most people think of the words “home improvement” and assume that means an automatic return on investment. While most of the time that is true there are occasions when it does not work out that way!
One of the beautiful things about owning your own home is that you can modify it however you like. As long as you observe area regulations and building codes, and any neighborhood agreements you may have signed, you can do practically whatever you like with your home. Just make sure you pull permits for the work you do as this could easily cause you issues when it comes time to sell.
There are however, certain improvements you may be better off avoiding if you plan on selling your home. These projects may actually lower the value of your home and make it harder to sell. We call these low to no value home improvements.
Here are five projects you should avoid before putting your home up for sale. If you have already made some of these changes, it may be worthwhile to change them back before you go to sell your house. This is where consulting with a knowledgeable local Realtor will come in handy. Ask them about local customs and find out how important items like the ones mentioned below will impact the saleability of your home.
A Lost Bedroom
Making the decision to turn a bedroom into your house into another type of space may be problematic for your sale. In fact removing a bedroom without a doubt is the number one home improvement project that could lower a homes value. Generally, buyers want the maximum amount of bedrooms possible. You may have needed only three of the four bedrooms in your house, and decided to make the fourth a bar, a playroom or a billiards room.
Potential buyers might not have the same needs or interests, however, and will probably appreciate the extra bedroom. They can always change it if they choose to, but it is best on your end to keep all options open for buyers. From a market evaluation stand point buyers are almost always willing to pay for more for a fourth bedroom even if a three bedroom home is the exact same size.
Above Ground Pool
While an above ground pool may be great for cooling the kids down in the summer months, most models are unappealing to home buyers. Above ground pools are usually considered an eyesore, and few people are excited about the prospect of buying a home with one in the backyard. This is what you would call a low return on investment upgrade. Do you really want an above ground pool? Get one for your use and enjoyment not because you think it will bring you additional profit.
One of the biggest problems with above ground pools is that they are not considered reliable or built to last. Upkeep is unnecessarily troublesome, and most of these types of pools will begin to wear out within a few years. This leaves new homeowners with a big mess to clean up.
Painted Trim Colors
For the most part, buyers like to see your home as a clean slate for their new lives. They may be planning on starting a family, retiring or going through some other major life change. When buying a home, they should be able to see themselves in the space. This is why it is important for your home to be adjustable to a variety of personalities.
Having painted trim in your home may seem like a minor thing, but it is a style decision that is much more difficult to change than the average wall color. When buyers picture themselves living there, they may find they do not like the trim color. Whether they are willing to go through the extra effort to change that color is not a decision you want them to have to make. A wall color is very easy to change as rolling walls is simple. Painting trim is far more difficult and time consuming. Buyer’s today do not want to lift a finger. Neutralizing poor home improvement choices is part of getting a home ready for sale and something you should take seriously. Consulting a local Realtor who will be honest with you is an important part of this equation.
The bottom line here is that just because you went out and spent a boat load of money painting the trim in your kids bedroom purple does not mean a buyer is going to be willing to pay for it. More than likely they are not going to want to pay for it but will be deducting the cost in their mind for what it will take to neutralize it.
Themed Children’s Bedrooms
Themed rooms are great when raising kids, but what if your buyer does not have children? What if his or her kids do not like the same things? These are questions that will come up with each person that considers your house – questions that can be avoided altogether by avoiding the themed room or changing it to match the house before you go to sell. The themed bedroom could be considered a home improvement mistake with little value. Is it possible you could get lucky and find a buyer who’s tastes are identical to your own? Of course just don’t plan on it.
The same can be said for wall murals or other distinctive personal choices. You may have paid a lot of money for your mural, but there is no guarantee that buyers will appreciate it. Unfortunately most of the time they do not no matter how tasteful you think it happens to be. This is the kind of improvement that could lower a homes value because all the buyer is thinking about is how much do I have to spend to get rid of it. This results in the buyer offering less for the home.
Hot tubs are great for relaxing after a long day at work or an intense workout. However, they are also associated in the minds of most people with germs and other unpleasant things – at least when the hot tub is owned by someone else. The issue here is ownership. If you own the hot tub, you know how well it has been maintained, and probably have no qualms hopping in. But if a stranger owns it, you might not be as excited.
However much you may interact with the buyer of your home, you are still not likely to share a hot tub together. This means that most potential buyers may be put off by your hot tub, and might actually consider your home less desirable than one without a hot tub.
There are always exceptions, and you may meet a buyer that is dying to find a property with a hot tub. But if you are thinking about installing one before selling, either for personal use or to make your home more valuable, you may want to think again. Hot tubs generally do not add any value and is a home improvement project that could lower a home’s value.
Work With What You Have
You may have already done one or more of these things with your house. If so, it is not the end of the world. They can all be changed to make your house more marketable, and there are cases where buyers are looking for these things. The best way to decide on what changes to make to your home before trying to sell is to talk to a real estate agent.
An agent can look over your house and tell you if there are any major issues, and can help advise you on the best course of action to ready your home for sale. Remember most buyers today want to be handed the keys and just move in without having to think about making a bunch of modifications. Turn-key is what sells in Real Estate these days. Remember sometimes it is your flexibility that will make all the difference in a home sale.
Additional Resources of Money Losing Home Improvement Projects
- Six money losing home improvements not worth doing via Bankrate.
- Terrible home improvements for the money via Forbes.
Use these additional resources to make sound business decisions when investing money into your home. Make sure you are not going to be taking on a home improvement project that could be lowering the value of your home.
About the author: The above Real Estate information on home improvement projects that could lower a homes value was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 27+ Years.
Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.