If there’s one thing that financial advisors tell their customers on a regular basis, it’s that home renovations can increase the value of their home and help them to get more money when it’s time to sell. (It’s true. We say it all the time.) the simple fact is however that there are a number of home renovations, especially if you’re planning on selling in the next 5 years, that might actually just work to lower your home’s value. Since that’s not really a good idea we put together this blog today with several home renovation projects that, while they might seem like a good idea, actually aren’t and can work against you when you’re trying to sell. Enjoy.
One caveat is that, if you’re planning on staying in your home for a long time, or at least next 10 years, go crazy and do whatever it is that you like. The true value of any home is the joy that it gives to the people who live there and, if you’re not going to be selling anytime soon, and you want to paint your dining room pink with purple polka dots, have a blast!
Bad Home Renovation Idea 1: Converting your bedrooms into anything other than bedrooms. If you’re the owner of a four bedroom, three bath house and you convert one of the bedrooms into an office, as long as you don’t take out the closets or the bathroom (if it has one) it shouldn’t make a difference. But, some people convert their living rooms into bigger living rooms by removing the wall to a bedroom and, in that case, you now have a three bedroom, three bath house, something that might not be as appealing to some buyers. In almost all cases, unless you really have a tiny living room, taking away a bedroom can be a costly idea.
Bad Home Renovation Idea 2: Putting in a Hot Tub. Hot tubs, for all intents and purposes, are awesome. There’s very few things that are as pleasurable as slipping into a nice hot, steamy tab at the end of a long, stressful day. The problem lies not in the fact that hot tubs are so awesome (we did mention that, yes?) But the fact that many people don’t like the thought of using someone else’s hot tub. Indeed, an inordinate amount of people find simply the thought of it kind of gross. The problem of course is that, once a hot tub is installed in your backyard, on your deck or wherever, it’s something that isn’t easy to remove, meaning that unless your new buyers want it you’re going to have to pay to get rid of it.
Bad Home Renovation Idea 3: Having your walls “textured” or coloring your home’s trim. Something that new homebuyers want to see in most houses is that, once they move in, they will easily be able to paint over any colors that they don’t particularly like. That’s when having colored trim can be a real nightmare as well as having textured walls that, if they need to be removed, present a time-consuming, energy wasting mess of a project. Let’s face it, the textured wall fad ended quite a few years ago and, as far as your trim is concerned, nobody’s looking at it as much as you might think, so leave it the same color as the walls. For most people, painting a few walls is no big deal but having to take the time to repaint the trim in every room is a bear of a job that they won’t want to tackle.
Bad Home Renovation Idea 4: Using too much landscaping. If this one seems a little confusing it’s because, as far as conventional wisdom is concerned, the average homeowner would want to make their yard look as nice as possible. The fact is, to a potential homebuyer, a home that has over-the-top landscaping is also a home that shouts out “high maintenance” and thus should be avoided. While it’s always a good thing to try and “keep up with the Joneses”, in the case of your home’s landscaping it’s actually worse to “beat the Joneses”, so don’t overdo it.
Bad Home Renovation Idea 5: Turning your child’s bedroom into a “themed” bedroom. While it’s certainly true that many parents (us included) love to dote on our children, spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars to turn your child’s bedroom into a spectacular “themed” bedroom is usually money down the drain. The fact is, as much as you might not like to think about it, your children are going to get older and will outgrow that bedroom in just a few years. Unless you find a family with a child that shares the enthusiasm that yours had when their room was first finished, you’re never going to get the money back that you invested. Better to use artwork, posters and other things that you can hang on the walls rather than actually changing them.
As you can see, these 5. ideas, while they might sound good, will usually work against you as far as increasing the value of your home is concerned. In most cases it’s best to try and leave your home a “blank slate” so that interested parties will be able to “see” your home as they might want it and be more inclined to purchase it