Home Improvement Projects to Avoid

Home improvement ideas on a budget can be a fun part of owning a home. But, if you plan moving soon, don’t invest money in home improvement projects that won’t increase the resale value of your home.  There are some home improvement projects to avoid and you should know what they are, before you start remodeling. There are so many articles on home improvement projects that increase a value. But, there aren’t many articles with home improvement projects to avoid for resale. Some of improvements can increase the value of house but the cost of the improvement will not be recouped in resale value, which is the primary reason to avoid these specific improvements. If you plan to remodel, concentrate your efforts on smaller projects that make your home more appealing to budget-minded buyers. Focus on energy efficiency and small upgrades that add character and comfort to your home.

Home improvement projects to avoid for resale
Home improvement projects to avoid

First, it’s important to decide whether you are hiring a contractor to complete a home improvement project or if you will do-it-yourself (DIY).  So, once you have read the following home improvement projects to avoid when considering the resale value of your home, evaluate whether you will hire a professional or DIY.

1. In-Ground Swimming Pools

In-ground swimming pools cost $30,000-$75,000, depending on the type of pool installed. While installing a pool may seem like a good idea, a swimming pool makes your house more difficult to sell. So, it is the one of the home improvement projects to avoid. Many people, especially families with small children, do not want to buy a house with a pool. Eliminating families with small children drastically reduces the number of people willing to buy your home. In addition, installing a pool increases your energy costs, and raises your homeowners insurance. A swimming pool also requires a lot of maintenance, and usually costs around $1,000-$2,000 or more to operate. Invest in a pool if you plan to stay in your home for several years and use it often. Otherwise, a new pool can cause some significant financial headaches.

swimming pool makes your house more difficult to sell
Swimming pool – home improvement project to avoid

2. Built-In Aquariums

Aquariums are beautiful and there is research that an aquarium can provide a peaceful, relaxed feeling to a room. However, like pools, they require significant maintenance and upkeep. Therefore, a potential buyer may not see the benefit in a stunning built-in aquarium if they have no desire to take care of fish.

3. How much does a kitchen remodel increase home value?

If you plan on moving within the next 3-5 years, and you want to remodel your kitchen, invest in quality, serviceable appliances that appeal to many people. In general, too much customization in a home turns buyers away. Let your community house standards be your guide when you are thinking of doing a very expensive renovation. If what you are planning is not the norm in your community, then your home value will not significantly increase and you will get a very low return on your investment. But, even in a high-end home, you may not recoup your entire investment in an expensive kitchen remodel when you sell your home. When it comes to major remodels, such as kitchens, you should limit your project to 20% of your house value.

4. Whirlpool Baths

Installing a tub may result in high energy bills, and additional monthly maintenance costs. Potential buyers will not pay extra for a newly installed whirlpool bath. Think twice before installing a whirlpool bath. This project can cost you thousands of dollars, and if you run into problems, the costs climb even higher. So, it isn’t the best home improvements to increase value.

5. Sunrooms

This home improvement project many people love. Unfortunately, this expensive project adds very little to a home’s value. In addition, glass doesn’t provide insulation, so a sunroom also raises energy costs in the winter and summer.

However, if you live in the South, or on the beach, where many homes have sunrooms, adding one to your home may actually help you stay competitive when and if you decide to sell. Plus, adding a sunroom to your home may make your house more attractive to a specific group of buyers, but you probably won’t recoup construction costs.

6. Expensive Landscaping

Landscaping can transform the way your house looks, especially to potential buyers. However, going over the top to create a backyard paradise won’t add to your asking price. If you plan to stay in your home for a while, this project can improve your quality of life, especially in the warmer months. If you plan to sell your home, you won’t recoup the cost of expensive landscaping in the sale. So, you don’t need expensive landscaping, just few small trees and well – kept lawn.

7. How much does an extra bedroom add to the value of a home?

Adding a room to your home can easily cost thousands of dollars. But, an extra bedroom makes your house appealing to a whole new group of buyers. Save money on renovations by dividing a large space with a wall, in order to form an extra room. In order to qualify as another bedroom, the room will need some other additions, including a window and a closet. You can also consider cheap home improvement DIY ideas.

You should think twice if you want a new play or entertainment room. It might be your dream come true but, other people looking to buy your home may find it an unnecessary extra, and will be unwilling to pay for it. You will only make your house more expensive, much less appealing to many buyers and therefore harder to sell. It is safer to go for more basic renovations, such as kitchen and bathroom remodels.

8. Home Office Remodeling

Most people don’t need luxury home offices. The average home office renovation requires a lot of money and you will not return this investment when resale. Most people only need good lighting, and room for home office furniture like a desk and a chair. Unless you work at home full-time, you may want to skip this upgrade.

Home office remodeling - home improvement project to avoid
Average home office renovation requires a lot of money

9. Garage Additions

According to the Cost vs. Value report, homeowners who build a garage see a 62% return on investment. A garage addition can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Knowing that you only recoup a fraction of your investment, don’t build a new garage to increase the value of your home.  But, if you plan on staying in your home for a while you need someplace to park your car, and store your lawn and sports equipment.

10. Necessities

According to real estate experts, some necessities, including a new septic system and new plumbing, do not generate more income when you sell your home. Buyers want to know that the sinks and toilets work, but most of them don’t concern themselves with the specifics. A costly backup power generator might interest to buyers living in an area fraught with tornadoes or hurricanes. Otherwise, a new generator does not add value to your home.

11. Adding highly personalized colors, finishes, or fixtures

You may be obsessed with the some special style and want it in your kitchen. But, with yours cool home improvement ideas the next buyer may not be so enthusiastic. Always keep in mind that what may be a highly personal touch could make your home look like a ‘fixer-upper’ to others.

12. Built-In Electronics

Everyone loves watching a movie on a huge screen with blaring surround sound. But, this does not mean that the addition of built-in electronics is going to increase the resale value of a home.  It may have a small impact on the resale value of a home but you should avoid it because the impact is not significant enough to justify the cost of the improvement. No one will pay, for example, $10,000 more for a home because of this.

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