Everyone wants to make the home you own more comfortable and functional for your household. But before you put in a hot tub or convert the garage into a bedroom, think about whether or not these improvements will add or subtract perceived value from your the home when it comes time to sell. Upgrading your home is great, but there are some home improvement to avoid as well.
Yes, selling your home could be years away, however not all home improvements are welcome to buyers. When buyers are ready to buy, they tour multiple homes which can be confusing. So, they distinguish what they’ve seen by features like “the one with the beautiful kitchen,” or “the one with the ugly wallpapered bathroom.” You don’t want your home to be the one they poke fun at.
1. Outdated finishes. It doesn’t matter if you paint your walls the hottest colors if buyers look up and see popcorn ceilings and wobbly ceiling fans. If you’re going to improve a room, update everything, even the power outlets and light switches. Be very careful with wallpaper which is very personal and can be polarizing to buyers. What about carpet? Most buyers want wood floors today because they look great and are easy to clean.
2. Awkward spaces. Have you seen the commercial where the family remodels the kitchen and borrows space from the college-age son’s bedroom, turning his room into little more than a closet? Knock out or move walls where you need to, but not if it makes other rooms virtually unusable.
3. Conversions. Beware of changing the intended function of a room. Transforming the dining room to a media room may make sense for your family, but where will your buyers eat dinner? And while we’re on the subject, converting studies into bedrooms isn’t good. Without closets and adjoining bathrooms, they aren’t really bedrooms anyway.
4. Bad add-ons. Not having enough space is bad, but even worse is adding on space that looks stuck to the original house with glue. If you’re going to add on to your home, make sure it looks as natural and professional as possible, with the same quality finishes as the rest of the home.
5. Expensive-to-maintain luxuries. Swimming pools, hot tubs, koi ponds, fountains, and putting greens can make backyards a paradise, but they’re costly to keep up. Installing lush landscaping that has to be maintained constantly to keep its shape is a great weekend hobby, but for potential buyers, less is more. Hobbies are fine, but make sure you can take them with you when you move.
So go ahead and paint your den after your favorite football team’s colors like yellow and blue, but when it comes time to sell, transform your home for the next buyer. Put it in pristine clean condition, and restore paints and finishes to more neutral shades. And keep remember this: If it’s expensive to add or install, it’s probably expensive to remove as well.
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