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    4 Home Improvement Projects That Don't Increase Home Value

    Posted by Sophie Bousset on Sep 17, 2019 1:23:00 AM
    Sophie Bousset
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    Last week, we gave you a breakdown of the home improvement projects that provide the biggest boost to home value. Now that we've hopefully got you thinking about ways to maximize your biggest investment's value, let's make sure you're also aware of the "improvements" to avoid — those that either don't have great ROI or even lower your home value. (Surprising, we know. But they're real and, sadly, some homeowners do fall prey to them.) 

    1. Unusual Paints, Trims, and Other Upgrades

    It's usually best to keep quirky flourishes to a minimum so that your house will appeal to as many buyers as possible, increasing demand and valuation, explains Maximum Real Estate Exposure. The reasoning? You want to make it as easy as possible for prospective buyers to imagine themselves living here. That's considerably harder to do with brightly colored walls, quirky light fixtures, fun colored trims, or themed children's rooms, amongst other original ideas. 

    Pro tip: Really love that shade of eggplant? Go for it! This is your home, after all. Just know that you will likely need to paint over it with a more neutral shade once you're ready to sell. 


    Bedroom to home office renovation2. Bedroom to Office Renovation

    We know it sounds genius. You have a free bedroom. You need an office. Just add a desk and a printer and you're good to go! The caveat? Most people looking to buy a home are not looking for a home office they're looking for a certain bedroom count to accommodate their family, and it's hard to imagine Junior sleeping next to your shredder. If you still want to go through with it, avoid doing anything beyond moving old furniture out and adding office furnishings. Without any big changes or renovations, it should be relatively easy for an indoor decorator to "stage" the room with stand-in pieces when you start showing the house. 



    3. Pools & Hot Tubs

    Depending on where you live, adding a pool may not be a good move. Sure, they're appropriate in warm climates where pools abound. But in cooler areas? And who wants to take on the year-round maintenance? The best litmus test is to see what the other houses in your neighborhood or area have. If they all have a pool, go for it. If not, it's best to consider how much you want and will really use the pool. Worst case scenario, the buyer may insist that you tear it out as part of negotiations, per The Balance. The two exceptions: hot tubs and above ground pools. Both will nearly always cause issues with a home sale. The latter are particularly troublesome and could severely hurt your valuation since many people consider them eye sores. 

    Pro tip: Portable hot tubs can be a great alternative. Simply take them with you when you move.


    Removing a closet from your home4. Converting a Closet or Garage

    According to Maximum Real Estate Exposure, people like closets and garages, and they expect their new home to have the usual accommodations. Sure, removing that closet may make your room bigger, but not everyone will care about that more than having built-in storage. The same goes for turning your garage into a gym or something else. Most people simply want a garage to park their car and store their stuff in, and will be less inclined to submit an offer for a house that does not support those uses. 


    There are a number of other projects that either don't recoup most of their cost or lower your home value that we couldn't include here, but if you focus on small, gradual renovations you will typically be fine. For a more comprehensive list of projects to be careful with, check out the Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Home Value©


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    Topics: home maintenance, home improvement, remodeling, selling your home


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