15 Home Renovation Mistakes That Decrease Your Value

home renovations that decrease value

Believe it or not, some home renovations decrease home values. What’s one person’s paradise could be another person’s purgatory. While most renovations add value to homes, there are a few improvements to avoid. In fact, certain investments could decrease your home’s value. That’s why it’s essential to think before spending money on upgrades or renovations to your home that don’t boost its desirability and market value. If your goal is to sell it quickly and maximize profits, you’ll need to invest in projects with mass appeal rather than fit your personal preferences. Steer clear of the following pre-listing home renovation investments so that every dollar spent on home improvements returns a profit, not a loss!

Home renovations that decrease home values

1. In-ground pools

If you live in a tropical oasis and your home is the only one in the neighborhood without a pool, by all means, invest in one! However, a pool isn’t a worthwhile addition if your home doesn’t fit that bill. Not only are they costly (to tens of thousands of dollars), but they don’t necessarily increase demand. The majority of homebuyers want homes that are low-maintenance and inexpensive to maintain. And millennial home buyers typically have less to spend. A pool is often seen as too much commitment or liability. Therefore, pools don’t increase home values, given the massive initial investment they require.

2. Built-in electronics

When you pay off a newly-wired entertainment system, it will be outdated! Technology moves so quickly and is a highly customizable, personal choice. The home entertainment set-up you think is the bee’s knees may be too much, not enough, or just plain unimportant to the prospective buyers who will browse your home. Spend your pre-listing home improvement budget on technologies that homebuyers love – like energy-efficient appliances, “smart” lighting, garage, and security features.

3. Lavish light fixtures

Don’t invest in making your home formal and grand with fanciful light fixtures. They cost a pretty penny but will probably decrease the value of your home. Why? Although ornate light fixtures may look stately and impressive, that’s not the type of vibe most shoppers want in a new home. Instead, spend money on a modern, thoughtful lighting scheme with sleek designs and features. Create a clean aesthetic and make your home a blank canvas with lighting upgrades. Rather than shelling out on a chandelier, invest in upgrades like task lighting, recessed fixtures, and ones that offer a variety of settings for different times of day and activities. Functions like fans, dimmers, remote operation, and energy efficiency increase home value.

4. Getting the walls wrong

In general, the more complicated and expensive interior wall improvements are, the less lucrative they are when it comes to returns on investment. Wall renovations that decrease home values include wallpaper design that is too busy or too pervasive, custom texturing, popcorn ceilings, and fresh paint in unflattering colors. Use wallpaper and bold colors sparingly; accent colors are great in bathrooms or hallways. However, if you’d like to make pre-listing upgrades that increase your home’s value, repair your walls, trim, and doors, and then paint almost everything a light, neutral color.

outdated carpet that needs to be replaced before selling

5. Replacing carpet with carpet

Don’t get us wrong: DO replace the carpet! But don’t assume that another carpet is the best choice. Carpet isn’t the most desired flooring choice because it holds dirt, odors, and debris. Therefore, too much carpet – even newly replaced carpet – decreases home values. It’s not a wrong selection for bedrooms,  but replace the carpet in other areas with luxury vinyl options, engineered wood, or the biggest moneymaker: hardwood floors.

6. Outdated cabinetry

Choose your stains and accessories wisely if your kitchen cabinets or other built-in carpentry features need a little love. Bring your home into the modern era with current colors and details. Ditch the old, darkened stain of decades past for brighter, natural colors. Brass fixtures should be replaced with contemporary, sleeker options in silver, gold, and copper or brushed, glossy, or satin finishes.

7. Removing closets

Reducing storage in your home will decrease its value. Renovate your home by enhancing existing closets and pantries rather than removing them. Storage is one of the most sought-after features in a home – especially in bedrooms and living spaces where wardrobes and personal items need to be organized and stowed away. When it comes to closets, revamp and don’t remove them to increase the market value of your home.

8. Combining rooms

Room count is one of the determining factors in home appraisals and market value assessments. While open floor plans are in, combining bedrooms isn’t a great idea. Generally, fewer bedrooms will result in a lower appraised value. If you combine bedrooms, you’ll decrease your home value. Renovate the rooms you have, even if they’re awkward and cramped. Why not show how dynamic the various rooms are and stage them as offices or mini workout studios? The following person to own your home may decide to add to the existing space. Let them make the decisions while you make pre-listing renovations that add, rather than decrease, the value of your home!

9. High maintenance landscaping

Like pools, anything that requires extra special care in your yard will be a hang-up for most prospective home buyers. A high-maintenance landscape design on your property won’t attract buyers to the yard. It may just overwhelm them. Be as marketable as possible; trees are lovely. Trees that die if you don’t want water and feed them daily at a certain pH give most folks anxiety. Keep things simple and highlight the effortless beauty of your property— no need to spend money planting trees that won’t attract buyers (or grow money!).

10. DIY repairs

Leave the pre-listing improvements to the professionals. Why schlep expensive equipment and material into your home and struggle to fix your home’s walls, plumbing, tile – or anything else for that matter – when you can call Curbio? If the result of your DIY efforts is anything less than professional, it may decrease the value of your home. You’ll be tired and your money will be tied-up. On the other hand, our award-winning service and licensed expert contractors make home improvements hassle-free, quick, and affordable. We’ll make your home look great, and you’ll pay us after you sell it (at a fantastic profit, no less!).

home with high maintenance trees and landscaping

13. Extremely high-end kitchen appliances 

A functional kitchen is a must, but not everyone is a master chef. Upgrading energy-efficient appliances will increase your home value but don’t price people out of your kitchen or over-complicate it. A six-range stove with all of the bells and whistles will only make a minority of potential buyers gleeful. Save the money on more strategic investments. 

14. Built-in aquariums 

Indeed, this one speaks for itself. Even if your home is by the sea, let your potential home buyers envision their own aquarium in your well-lit, spacious flex space — no need to put it there. Most homebuyers will scratch their heads at the sight of an aquarium centerpiece. Sometimes boring is best! 

15. Dedicated hobby spaces

This includes additions in the form of home theaters, sewing rooms, gyms, wine storage rooms, recording studios, etc. To appeal to the broadest market possible, and land the most offers in a short time, make updates that impress most home buyers. Dedicated, hobby-specific spaces may excite one or two people, but certainly not most.  

Not sure how to enhance your home? Curbio can help you avoid home improvement faux pas and increase your home’s value while decreasing the time it spends on the market. We’ll help you finance, manage, and execute the projects that will resonate with modern home buyers.  

For home renovations that increase a home’s value, work with Curbio. Tell us about your home to get started! 

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