If you are doing some home improvement projects to up your property value, these projects will be a waste of time and money. They make it harder for someone to sell their home.
As a homeowner, there is always something that you would like to change about your home to upgrade it. Completing a home improvement project can make your home feel more like yours and make it more comfortable and attractive, whether it is adding a hot tub or modernizing the kitchen. Renovations often will increase your property value, but not all home improvement projects are created equally.
Not every home improvement project is truly an improvement that is worth your time and money. If you sell your home, some of these home improvement projects will actually make it harder to sell your home. While something may seem like a dream to you, it could be a nightmare for prospective homebuyers, and you may not be able to recoup what you invested in these projects. Here, we have some of the top projects that do not help homeowners sell their houses.
12 Home Improvement Projects That Will Actually Hurt Your Home’s Resale Value
1. Luxury Bathrooms
Upgrading the bathroom can sometimes add value to your home, but if you are planning on selling your home soon, do not go overboard with the bathroom renovations. You might love a whirlpool bathtub, but a potential buyer might see it as a waste of space or not be a bath person and lose interest in buying your home because of it.
2. Dark or Bold Paint Colors
You might love a bold or dark paint color in a room in your home, but these can actually hurt your chances of selling. Buyers generally want light and neutral tones in rooms, as they help make the space brighter and more open. Before putting your home on the market, repaint any dark or bold rooms with something light or neutral. It may take a few coats of paint, but your realtor will urge you to do this to help you sell your home.
3. Cheap or Old Paint
If your paint is low quality, chipped, or streaky, it can make the home look cheap to potential buyers. A fresh coat of paint does wonders for a room, but make sure you spring for high-quality paint so it looks more appealing to buyers.
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4. Excessive Wallpaper
Wallpaper can make a room look fun and trendy, but it can also make a home look dated. Use wallpaper sparingly in your home; spending the time and money on wallpaper for entire rooms of your home is too much for many buyers these days.
5. Textured Walls and Ceilings
A textured wall or ceiling might make a room stand out for you, but it might not stand out the way you want it to for a potential buyer. If the buyer does not like the texture, they will set their sights on another home. This is especially true of a popcorn ceiling, which is considered old and outdated. Instead of adding texture to your walls or ceiling, get some textured decor, or be prepared to replace the textured walls before you put the house on the market.
6. Luxury Kitchen Upgrades
The kitchen is usually one of the biggest selling points of a home, but going overboard will not increase your property value when it is time to sell. You might love your induction stove, appliance garages, and multi-tiered countertops, but not everyone is going to love these like you do. These kinds of kitchen upgrades can make it harder for you to sell your home.
Instead of going for the expensive luxury upgrades to your kitchen, try updating your old appliances, especially with energy-efficient appliances. Update your flooring and countertops, and even update the lighting. These will give you a much better return than a luxury kitchen upgrade and make your home more appealing to buyers.
7. Big Bedrooms
While you might love having a big bedroom, that does not mean that a potential buyer will. You might be tempted to knock down the wall separating two bedrooms, but you might be able to sell your home for a better price if you leave the two rooms separate. Many buyers would prefer to have two bedrooms than one big one because that allows them to accommodate a bigger family.
If you are preparing to put your home on the market in the next few years, updating your flooring can help increase your property value. However, while you might enjoy carpet, and it tends to be inexpensive, you will have a much better resale value from hardwood floors. Buyers prefer hardwood floors over carpets because they are much easier to keep clean, and they do not hold onto dust like carpets do. People with allergies and pets that shed will be more inclined to buy a home with hardwood flooring than they will carpet.
For rooms like the kitchen and bathroom, if you have carpet in them, replace it with hardwood flooring. Rooms that tend to have water and spills like the kitchen and bathroom can be off-putting to buyers; carpet seems unsanitary and can make it harder to sell your home.
9. Sunrooms and Three-Season Porches
A three-season porch can cost up to $40,000 to install, with an average price of $25,000. A sunroom averages $45,000 to install but can cost up to $80,000. However, the resale value is often less than 50 percent of what it costs you to install it in the first place. These additions can increase your property taxes and home insurance premiums too. Many buyers are not interested in these additions because of the added expenses, plus maintenance. If you do not plan to live in your home for at least another five years, it is not worthwhile to add a sunroom or three-season porch.
10. Home Theater
If you are a big movie buff, a home theater can sound like a perfect addition to your home. The problem is that your potential buyers may not feel the same way. If a buyer is not a big movie buff, they will see your home theater as a waste of space that would be better as an extra bedroom or an office.
If you cannot live without your home theater, try to design it in a way that will be easy to remove when you sell the house so that it can be a more useful space to potential buyers. You will want to transform the space before putting the house on the market.
11. Garage Conversions
If you need more living space, you might be tempted to convert your garage into something else, like a gym, family room, or game room. However, most home buyers will put a greater value on having a garage than the extra living space. Even if you do not use your garage for parking, the extra storage space it provides can be appealing to buyers.
If you want to increase living space into the garage, adding an apartment above it can help you sell the home later on because it offers the best of both worlds. You can still convert the garage but try to make it something that you can convert back into a garage when it comes time to sell.
12. Solar Panels
While adding solar panels to your home can reduce your energy costs, they can make it difficult to sell your home or even refinance it. Adding solar panels is great if you will be living in the home for several more years, but if you plan to sell, this is a project that can make it more difficult to sell. Since they are beginning to gain traction and popularity, this may change in the next few years.
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When you plan a home improvement project, think about whether it is because it will make your quality of life in the house better or if it is to increase your property value. If it is to increase your property value, these projects are not going to help you sell your home later, and you often will not get much of the costs you put into them back. However, if you do not plan to sell your home for a long time, and one of these projects will make you happy and enjoy your home more, then make the changes. Just spend more time on smaller improvements when you prepare to sell the home.
About the Author
Auz Burger is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and home DIY projects. She has a BA from Washington State University and has been writing and editing professionally for over a decade.