The wonderful thing about buying a house is that you customize it any way you like. Before you jump into spending tens of thousands of dollars into a renovation believing that it will increase the value of the property, keep in mind that certain changes will not get you any return on your investment. These are 20 renovations that will actually decrease the value of your home, and potentially make it harder to sell.
20. Unique Flooring Styles
In recent years, people have been thinking outside of the box by making DIY floors with paper bags or pennies covered with resin. They may even want to go a bit wild, like in the photo above where you see tiles that look like jigsaw puzzles. Even if this seems fun and whimsical to you, the odds of a potential buyer in the future being happy with this is going to be slim-to-none. They will most likely see this as something they will need to remove later on, and it will be considered a liability, rather than an asset.
19. Textured Walls
If you are trying to go for the vintage French country style, you may feel really inspired to create textured walls. Yes, this looks beautiful, and it can help transform a space. However, this usually only works with specific styles. Your next buyer may have a completely different aesthetic, and this will see these walls as a project they will need to do before they move on. When it doubt, just go for good old drywall.
18. Bold Paint Colors
Paint is very easy to change, and you may believe that keeping up your old colors is not a big deal. After all, people should be able to use their imagination, right? Unfortunately, a bold paint color can completely turn people off. They will immediately say, “I hate the color of the walls” and want to move on. Logical? Not really. But buying a house is very much an emotional thing. One practical issue is that dark or bold colors have to be covered in a primer, and then a second time with a new paint color. So it may be far more time-consuming than a buyer is willing to handle. Top prevent this problem, paint your walls a more neutral white or cream color before having people see the house.
17. Wall-to-Wall Carpeting
Many apartments have wall-to-wall carpeting, and people who are looking to buy a home want something different. They may look at Pinterest and magazines and wish they had hardwood floor. So, while you may be picking the cheapest option for flooring, it will turn buyers offer. They want to see that “dream” house they are thinking of, without the hassle of tearing up carpet once they move in.
In recent years, wallpaper has come back into style in a small way. But it usually only goes on one accent wall, instead of an entire room. If your house is covered in your grandma’s wallpaper, it is going to be an automatic turn off for most modern buyers. They do not want the hassle of tearing down the wallpaper to paint the walls. So if you want your house to sell quickly, do this work yourself beforehand.
15. Overly Fancy Light Fixtures
Many people do not realize that whatever light fixture is installed during the house tours is the one that must go to the next buyer. So, if you have grandma’s special chandellier hanging somewhere, make sure to replace it before you put the house on the market.
With that being said, certain light fixtures can be a complete turn-off to future buyers. For example, we show a chandellier made out of deer antlers in the image above. This is over-the-top, and guaranteed to offend at least the vegans who come see your house. Try to pick something that will be more “normal” to the average buyer.
14. Luxurious Kitchens
So many people lust after having a gorgeous kitchen in their home complete with the new appliances, island, and marble countertops. Some people even go as far as to knock down an additional wall to make sure it is as large as possible. While it may be a great selling point, you are not likely to get back your return-on-investment. According to Dave Ramsey, people only make 54% back on their kitchen remodels when they go to sell their house. So if you spent $10,000 on a kitchen remodel, it will only increase the value of your home by $5,400.
13. Removing a Closet
While you are doing your home renovations, you may think that making the bedrooms bigger would be a huge selling point. More often than not, the only way to do this is to knock out a closet to add a few extra feed of floor space. Keep in mind that just because you are okay with losing a closet and using a dresser instead, most people will see it as a huge downside. If you move all of your furniture out of the house before you try to sell it, people will glance around the room and wonder where they would put their clothes. On the flip side, adding a walk-in closet actually does increase your houses’ value, and most home owners get 100% back return on their investment.
12. A Home Office
If you work from home, it may seem like a dream to have a home office with built-in shelving and desks. However, not everyone has a remote job, or a need to get things done at home. So you are already narrowing down the potential buyers who would want that space. An office may be taking away from an extra bedroom in the house. The more bedrooms a house has, the more valuable it is. So you are essentially losing value on your home. If you choose to make a home office, consider only using furniture that can be removed and transform the room back into a bedroom.
11. Luxury Bathrooms
A lot of people love the idea of getting into a luxurious bath tub with jacuzzi jets, so they do a huge remodel on their bathroom. The only downside to this is that within a few years, everything in that bathroom will become outdated. A bathroom remodel yields an average of 62% return on investment. So if you spend $10,000 updating your bathroom, expect it to only increase the value of your home by $6,200.
10. A Sunroom
In states like Florida, sunrooms are very popular for being able to stay outside and enjoy the warm weather without getting bitten by mosquitos. However, in most states, it gets too cold in the fall and winter to fully enjoy a sun room. It becomes a waste of space. According to Home Guide, the average cost of adding a sunroom is $74,000, but it only returns an increase of $34,000 during resale, meaning that you lose $40,000.
9. DIY Projects
You may have been proud of your DIY reclaimed wood wall, extra molding, or other various projects around your house. But some new buyers may be able to spot a non-professional DIY project from a mile away. Sometimes, this can decrease the value of your home, especially if the buyer may have to hire a professional to fix it later.
8. Garage Conversions
Having a garage attached to your house can increase the value of your home. But when you turn the garage into an extra room like a gym and add all the bells and whistles, it takes away the ability to park a car or use it for storage. The amount it affects your home’s value will change depending on how big your driveway is, or what you chose to do with the garage space.
7. Hot Tubs
Having a hot tub in your back yard may have been a dream for you one you became a home owner. But that does not mean that everyone will be thrilled to see one during the property tour. Hot tubs require cleaning and maintenance, which can be time-consuming and expensive. They are also very heavy and difficult to remove. If you plan to sell your house any time soon, you may not want to invest in a hot tub until you find your “forever home”.
6. Swimming Pools
Before installing a pool in your backyard, you should consider a few factors that will determine if the investment will increase the value of your home, or not. If you live in a state where it is warm all year long like California, Hawaii, and Florida, it is basically guaranteed to increase your home’s value. However, if you live in a state where it gets cold half of the year, that is a different story. It also hurts the value of your home if you took up most of the backyard in order to build the pool. Do a lot of research before committing to the decision.
5. Messy Trees
Having trees on your property can be a huge asset, as long as they do not become an issue. For example, the cottonwood tree drops little pieces of white fluffy cotton seeds. When it rains, they get really soggy, and it is not at all pleasant to walk around your back yard, especially once it mixes with the autumn leaves. If people see this kind of mess in your backyard, they will anticipate the amount of work that will need to be done in order to keep up with the landscaping, and it will make them less likely to want to buy your house.
4. Home Theaters
Building a home theater seems like a dream come true for a lot of people. While it is true that a lot of people would love to buy a house with a home theater, not everyone is jumping to pay extra for the luxury. You can only recoup 72% of the investment cost of the home theater, meaning that it should not make you a profit.
3. Over-the-Top Landscaping
When you were a kid, maybe you dreamed of having a hedge maze like the hotel in The Shining, or topiaries like what you see in Alice in Wonderland. People love to see these things when they come to visit, but it becomes an entirely different story when they are considering buying a property. If your house requires a tremendous amount of upkeep when it becomes necessary to hire a professional lands keeper, you are dramatically narrowing down the number of potential buyers for the house.
2. Built-in Aquariums
Maybe it was your dream to have a giant fish tank in your house, but not everyone wants to raise fish. In fact, if they walk into your living room to see a gigantic tank, they are more likely to think, “What do I do with this?” And if they have to remove it, this would be an incredibly expensive project. This will turn off future buyers, and it may take much longer to sell your house.
1. Too Many Electronics
Some people dream of having a lot of electronics around the house, like iPads in the wall, TV’s that go inside of the bed frame, and so much more. While it may seem like the way of the future, you never know if it will become outdated, like the electronic bars bachelors had back in the 1960’s. Remember that these gadgets are expensive to install, and it may be best not to install them, unless you are living in your “forever home”.
Shannon Quinn is the editor-in-chief of InspiringHome.org. She has written for multiple personal finance publications such as MoneyWise, Yahoo Finance, and The Penny Hoarder. She has also written for several YouTube channels; Biographics, Geographics, and TopTenz. You can find her full portfolio at ShannQuinn.com.