Owning your own home gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to putting your own stamp on a place. But if you’re thinking about doing more extensive renovations, it’s best to think about how your work may add value to the home when it comes to selling up.
However, some renovations simply do not pay off in the long run and shouldn’t be viewed as an investment. That’s not to say you shouldn’t make such renovations, rather, make them for the right reasons! If your goal is to add value to your home, the following 7 renovations should perhaps be avoided.
Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC system revamp
If your wiring, plumbing and HVAC systems are outdated and in urgent need of repair or replacement, then revamping these systems is a fantastic idea. However, this is considered maintenance, and it typically won’t add value to your home. If these systems are working well and not in need of replacing, you will not lose value on your home by leaving them the way they are, but you can save a lot of cash.
In the same vein, replacing a roof that is still within its (typically) 30-year life-span, and is relatively healthy, won’t do you any favors. This is an extremely expensive renovation, and unless it needs replacing, you’re better off leaving it as it is. Again, this is because renovating the roof is seen as maintenance, so while a buyer might appreciate a shiny new roof, they’re unlikely to pay extra for it.
Excessive yard features
Swimming pools, hot-tubs, and spas are the biggest offenders here. In the ads, a pool or a hot tub looks fantastic, but for most buyers? It looks like unwanted upkeep and extra costs. Unless the market is hot for a pool, hot tub, or spa, installing one in your yard is typically not a great investment. The same goes for large water features, such as fountains and ponds. If you’re planning on installing any of these features, do it because you and your family want to enjoy them, not because you think they’ll add value to your home.
Altering the floor plan
Put the sledgehammer down for a second and take a moment to think. If you’ve bought a 4-bed house with 2-bathrooms, knocking down walls and reducing the number of rooms you have isn’t necessarily a good idea. You remove many potential buyers from the equation and enforce a layout that other people might not like. Creating a large master suite from 2 smaller bedrooms is a common move, and while there is a market for this, it’s more niche than people looking for enough rooms for all the family, plus guests. In general, it’s better to have more rooms, than less.
Going overly high-end
All too often, it can be tempting to buy the most expensive fixtures, decor, or appliances, with the idea that a new owner will see their value. Kitchen remodels are a classic example, with owners thinking that if they splash out $30,000 for solid marble countertops, that value will automatically be added to their home. In reality, this isn’t true, and such a high-end kitchen can actually put buyers off. Unless you fall in love with a certain fixture, countertop, or appliance, go mid-range, and keep it neutral.
Pricing yourself out of the neighborhood
Following on from the previous point, many homeowners make this mistake in an attempt to create the most desirable house in the neighborhood. Before undertaking major renovations and remodels, do your market research, and avoid attempting to bring the value of your home too high for the location. Entirely remodeling a run-down fixer-upper is a great idea, but keep the local market in mind, and ensure your efforts are in line with the expectations of your market. Don’t go for the highest quality materials — hardwood flooring, marble countertops, and gold-plated fixtures — if your home is in anything but an extremely wealthy neighborhood.
Taking on your own renovation projects is a great way to save a bit of cash, if you know what you’re doing. If you don’t, the mistakes you might make can cost far more to fix than the cost of a contractor to carry out the original work. Even if you don’t have any major mishaps, it’s all too easy to make a mistake, leaving an undesirable finish that potential buyers will spot a mile away. If you have the skills, go ahead, but if not, perhaps call in the pros!