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Home Improvements That Won’t Payoff In The End

Everyone knows that a home’s features and improvements can make or break a sale. But when it comes to selling your home, you need to know that not all home-improvements are created equal.

While some home improvements are worth the time and money that you put into them, many will not make a difference and will even hurt your resale value.

If you are thinking of selling your home anytime soon, think twice before making any of these improvements

Altering a home’s style

Home improvements and renovations that don’t match your home’s original style can be a huge mistake. So updating your country home with a super sleek look may not appeal to your target market. Differing styles within a home will make it less appealing for buyers to buy it.

Too much Taste

Don’t go crazy with your decorations. Using wild colors, outlandish fixtures and unique fabrics may be more of a deterrent to potential buyers when you sell your home. So if you feel your home is your ultimate canvass, remember you may need to tone everything down when it’s time to sell. The more unique your home is, the less appealing it will be to the masses, and if you care to get your home sold for top dollar, you’ll listen to the masses.

Installing Fancy Technology

Technology is changing fast. Chances are that whatever state of the art gadget you install in your home today, will be obsolete by the time you sell your home. Remember when everyone was wiring their homes for internet?? Now everything is wireless. Some of us have all these extra outlets reminding us of our grand plans.

Home office remodels

Although many families have someone who works from home at least part time, a complete office remodel can be a hurdle to other uses for valuable square footage. Avoid custom bookcase installations and bulky built-ins that are difficult and expensive to remove when you sell your home.

Big Ticket Items

Much like cheap and unique items can undermine your investment, so can overly expensive ones. We’ve seen sellers who have spent $200,000 on lavish pools, landscaping and hardscape, only to get a 30% return on their investment. So if you want to go wild and put in a wine cellar, green upgrades and a pool sized Jacuzzi, don’t expect the buyers to see the value in what you’ve done. There is a big difference between a buyer liking what you did, and paying what you spent for the improvement.

Changing Rooms Function

Transforming a living room into a large kitchen isn’t always your best bet. Altering a room’s function is a big risk and while it’s great to change your space to your needs, others may find it hard to deal with or even harder to put a value on it. If you are going to stay there for a shorter time, consider the basic functionality buyers will expect.

Unnecessary Improvements

Upgrading your roof when it only needs repairs and upgrading your plumbing systems when you only need few patches are just a few examples of improvements that mean big money that you’ll never get back. Instead, do all your routine maintenance items and let the next owner decide what major improvements to make. Remember, out of sight, out of mind.

Way out wall coverings

If you like to experiment with paint colors and personalized patterns, remember that much of this may translate to “out of date” for buyers. It’s not personal, it’s Real Estate. When you are ready to sell be sure to keep home interiors neutral so that potential buyers have an appealing canvas to see their own vision of the house.

Special Purpose Rooms

Fun rooms that you’ve always dreamed of, but others rarely need, can pile up the cost of a home that others cannot afford. A guest room or bathroom is probably OK. But stop and think before you spend a load of money on your media or recreational rooms that your buyers won’t pay for. These rooms make it harder to sell and boost the price up unnecessarily.

Unfinished or Poorly Done Work

It’s one thing to try to save money on projects, however, it’s quite another to do a mediocre job. Remember, when buyers walk through your home, they are adding up what it’s going to cost them to redo what you didn’t do correctly. So if you can’t quite afford to do a project right, don’t do it at all. Also, projects in progress shouldn’t be among the features while you are trying to sell.

Enclosed Porches and Sun Rooms

We’ve seen these in many homes, in most cases in mediocre condition. A great idea, but as they go unused they seems to wear out faster. Many buyers will see these as lost opportunities for valuable outdoor space or a drain on home energy efficiency. I’ve seen many sun rooms which are turned into storage rooms, and are typically way too hot, or cold. Instead, keep porches well maintained and remember, an authentic outdoor room is more flexible and appealing to buyers.

Over improving for the neighborhood

This is the biggest mistake that homeowners make. That is not realizing that the value of their home has a limit. If home values in your neighborhood are $200,000, stay away from the $100,000 remodeling job, because you’ll never get $300,000 for the home. Try getting market value for a Porsche at a Toyota dealership and you’ll know what I mean

Pools and Spas

Even in markets where the weather is sweltering hot most of the year, you will not recoup your investment. In many areas, a pool is a detriment and turns people away from your home. Especially if you have teenagers living at home and they would rather go to the mall than go swimming. Never add a pool thinking it will improve the value of your home.

Intricate Landscaping

There is a difference between manicured landscaping and over the top landscaping. If your landscaping is too over the top, the buyer will initially like it but they will quickly start thinking about the time and cost to maintain a backyard paradise. Keep it simple, easy to take care of with color and impact. Be sure to highlight water-wise irrigation systems when you market your home.

There are two reasons you should take on home improvement projects. You should do them for your own pleasure and in hopes of increasing the resale value of your home. As long as you spend time and money for the first reason, you’ll be OK. It’s when you for the second reason that you may be in for disappointment.

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