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Renovations Gone Wrong: Five “Improvements” that Can Decrease Home Value

Renovations Gone Wrong: Five “Improvements” that Can Decrease Home Value

When home owners think of renovations, home improvements or other additions, they are often thinking of ways to increase the value of their homes. Typical renovations do increase value, so it is a logical thought, whether a homeowner plans to stay in their home long-term or they are preparing to sell.

What homeowners may not realize is that some home renovations or home improvements actually can decrease the value of their homes. Yes, you read that correctly. There are home “improvements” that can lower the value of your home.

If you are considering making renovations to your home this spring or summer, here are five that you may want to avoid:

1. Wild Colors and Wallpaper

Bright colors and patterned wallpaper may be in for the moment, but homeowners who choose to go the trendy way with their home improvements and renovations need to proceed with caution, particularly if they intend to sell anytime soon.

Today’s buyers often are seeking homes that are move-in ready and if they see a home they like, but know that painting or tearing off wallpaper will be one of the first things they have to do when they move in, they may be less likely to make an offer.

So, that bright home renovation idea can become a dark spot for some homeowners.

2. High-End Enhancements that Outshine Your Home

We can’t say enough about updated kitchens and baths, but there is a limit when it comes to renovating these high traffic areas of the home. Many of today’s home improvement shows may encourage homeowners to install professional kitchens or luxury bathrooms in their homes. While those high-end features may be a dream for some, the reality is that they don’t always fit the motif of many homes. This is particularly true if the kitchen and bathrooms are the only areas of a home that receive those high-end updates. They actually can make the rest of the house appear less enticing.

Safe bets for kitchen and bath improvements? Stick to the countertops, cabinets and sinks.

3. Outlandish Landscaping

When homeowners hear the words “curb appeal,” they often want to do everything they can to make their home stand out among their neighbors’ homes. But, it is important to consider the reasons that a home’s exterior stands out in a neighborhood.

Yes, greening up a lawn, pruning shrubs and planting flowers are all great ways to enhance a home’s beauty. Adding expensive fountains, ponds or other intricate lawn décor that make it harder to keep a lawn well-manicured can not only be considered eye sores, but they also can detract from a home’s selling potential due to their high maintenance issues.

When it comes to landscaping improvements around the house, simplicity may be the key to increasing home value.

4. Bedroom Conversions Gone Crazy

Everyone loves functionality; so, when Jimmy and Susie are heading off to college, the thought of turning their bedrooms into a home office, gym or sewing room may seem like an excellent idea. But, for homeowners who intend to sell any time in the near future, those short-term improvements can cause long-term headaches.

When a buyer sees a home advertised as a three-bedroom beauty, they want to see three bedrooms. One bedroom plus a home office and a small gym may make it hard for them to envision themselves and their children calling the house “home.”

If you’re a homeowner with intent to sell, keep in mind that you may be deconstructing that home gym to restage Jimmy’s bedroom for the sales process.

5. Waterworks that Just Don’t Work

Installing a hot tub or pool at a home may seem like a no-brainer for increasing home value. However, those expensive upgrades can detract from a home’s value and resale potential. Of course, for homeowners in it for the long haul, home spas and pools can be dreams come true.

For homeowners with any intent to sell, these water additions can leave them all wet. Some buyers can find another person’s hand-me-down hot tub to be a bit of a turn off, either for sanitary or other maintenance reasons. Depending on the weather in your region, a pool sometimes can be seen as impractical as well.

The bottom line when it comes to home renovations or home improvements is to choose wisely. When it comes to home improvements, one person’s treasure can end up being another person’s trash.