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Home Improvements That Could Lower Your Home Value

6 Feb 2019 0

If you want to add instant value to your home, making home improvements is the most obvious answer.  But is it possible that some improvements can actually LOWER the value of your home? Yes, it’s absolutely true, there are a handful of renovations that will hurt the  resale value of your property!  So before you channel your inner Bob Vila, make sure you don’t make these renovation blunders that you’ll most certainly regret later on.

1. Wallpapering rooms in your home

You might have heard that wallpaper is coming back. Woohoo!

However it’s not that simple, and it’s not always the case when selling a home. Wallpaper is a VERY personal choice. Whenever you make a home ultra-personalized, it’s going to be harder to sell.

If you wallpaper a large portion of the house, removing all that wallpaper can be a daunting task for a prospective buyer.

Now the catch is, some wallpaper IS back.  However the best use of wallpaper is used sparingly, such as a single accent wall in a room.  This can add a nice updated look. If the new buyer doesn’t like it, one wall is not such a large project for a new homeowner to consider taking on.

It doesn’t matter if you spent thousands from an interior decorator either. The buyer isn’t going to care if the wallpaper is top of the line designer or is leftovers from a clearance sale at Walmart.

A small accent of wallpaper is OK, but don’t overdo it!

2. Painting the trim something other than white

In the land of crazy ideas, painting the trim in your home a color besides white is more than likely a BIG mistake. There are very few people who are going to enjoy the candle apple red trim you decided to paint the living and dining rooms.

Again, we’ve seen some non-white colored trim come back into the realm of trendy recently, but it has to be done carefully. Only certain types of homes who are committed to a theme can pull this off.  Otherwise, it just looks out of place and unappetizing to most buyers.

3. Full carpeting

Buyers love hard flooring these days – Wood, laminate and tile primarily. These hard flooring options can increase the value of your home. In contrast, buyers interest in carpet has pretty much plummeted.

Sure, carpeting is nice in some parts of the home, but spending the money to fully carpet your house will be a waste of money since buyers will probably be searching for properties with at least some hard surface flooring.

The rooms to avoid putting carpet include entryways, hallways, and formal rooms such as dining or living rooms. Let’s not even talk about bathrooms… Buyers would much prefer hardwood in these areas. Carpet screams “I ran out of money” when it is everywhere in a home.

Many buyers are even going completely without carpet – even in the bedrooms.

Carpet in the bathroom is just NOT a good look.

4. Turning two bedrooms into one

For a lot of floorplans with bedrooms next to each other, it can be pretty tempting to knock down the wall and make a bigger space.  Or maybe open up a wall for a huge master closet or extension. I get it, you want to make the best use of space for you.

What you have to remember is that number of bedrooms are a key component for home buyers.  Even if you don’t need extra bedrooms, someone down the line most likely will. It might make sense at the time, but know that there is a very high probability you will lose money on the value of your home by taking out bedrooms.

Of course, there can be exceptions to this. If you turn a dated 4 bedroom 1 bath home into a 3 bedroom/2 bath home, then that may be money well spent.

Along these same lines, removing a closet in a bedroom to make room for something else can also have a similar effect.  There is constant debate between real estate agents and appraisers on what officially constitutes a bedroom. However either way, removing a closet can be detrimental for someone who really needs the closet space in all bedrooms of the home.

5. DIY projects

We all like to think we’re capable, after all Chip and Joanne Gaines make it look SO easy on TV.  But we have to know our limits.  Shoddy workmanship is pretty easy to spot. The nicer the home, the higher level of finishes/craftsmanship are expected, and buyers don’t mind paying for quality work.

Everyone has a different level of skill and ability, but you just have to know your limits.  Unfinished and poorly installed upgrades are a major detraction to a home’s value.  After all your hard work, a buyer might see an “improvement” as poorly done and need to factor in the costs to have it re-done by a professional.

A+ for Ingenuity. F for resale value.

Final Thoughts

Playing devil’s advocate here… at the end of the day, if you find TRUE enjoyment out of an improvement to your home, then it’s probably worthwhile.  That’s what home ownership is all about – making a home we LOVE to live in and makes us genuinely happy.  Just keep in mind, when you make certain modifications, or changes outside what is customary, it may not be appreciated as much as you appreciate it.

Jon Knutson REALTOR




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