Here are five home improvements that may not pay off.
1. Swimming Pools
Sunny days, meat on the grill, ice cold beer, good company…
Who doesn’t love a pool party, right?
But while you might think adding a pool to your home will drastically increase its resale value, the opposite is actually true.
Firstly, bear in mind that pools are expensive to install. Depending on the size and type of pool you go for, the cost can be as high as $55,000 or even more. That means you’ll need to raise your home’s sale price considerably to recoup your investment.
There are also operational and maintenance costs to keep in mind. Swimming pools need to be taken care of regularly to stay in tip top shape. They also contribute significantly to your utility bills and can raise the cost of your homeowners’ insurance.
Since they’ll only be enjoying the pool for a fraction of the year, many prospective buyers will probably be put off by these financial implications. Families with very young children may also have safety concerns; and less interest from this demographic will put you at a further disadvantage.
Let’s face it.
Carpeting is a feature everyone loves to hate. Sure, it makes a room look comfortable and cosy. But it’s also high maintenance. This may be a big issue for prospective buyers, especially if they have young kids or pets.
Even in less trafficked areas of the home, carpeting needs to be cleaned regularly; and this includes a professional do-over at least once a year. Slack off on maintenance, and your soft and fluffy carpeting will soon start looking dull and lifeless, which in turn makes the room look dingy and unappealing. It will also trap dirt, dust particles and other allergens, effectively turning it into a health hazard.
Besides, not everyone shares your tastes. So while you may think your patterned pink carpet looks awesome, a prospective buyer might be put off making an offer simply by the thought of how expensive and how much work it would be to rip it all out.
3. High Maintenance Landscaping
First impressions count. And a prospective buyer’s first impression will very often derive from your home’s curb appeal.
A manicured lawn and some carefully placed shrubbery adds pizzazz and greatly improves your home’s curb appeal. This, in turn, can make a hugely positive impact in terms of how prospective buyers perceive the value of your home. Go overboard, though, and your landscaping efforts will backfire.
Ornate water features and exotic plants are a sight to behold. But only from a distance. While everyone loves great landscaping, not everyone has the time, money, inclination or aptitude to maintain it themselves. So while prospective buyers may be oohing and ahhing at your landscaping prowess, they might be secretly counting the minutes until they can run away from your home as fast as they can.
4. Very Specific Rooms
While you may be using a bonus room in your house for a specific purpose, you should avoid streamlining it to a point where it cannot do anything else without undergoing significant renovation.
Most prospective buyers looking for a family home will want rooms that can serve a common purpose. They probably have no idea what to do with a wine room or high-tech photography studio. As a result, it’s likely they’ll be put off making an offer because of the perceived expense of remodeling it as a guest bedroom or TV room.
5. High-End Upgrades
High-end accessories such as top-of-the-line kitchen appliances and exotic hardwood floors can greatly increase the value of your home. However, they can also put you at a disadvantage. It may sound counter-intuitive, but you may have trouble selling your home if it looks a lot fancier than other ones in the neighborhood.
Prospective buyers may not see the value in these upgrades, or even consider them necessary. This may make them unwilling to fork out the extra cash you’re asking for. More importantly, a high-end upgrade will only pay off if the rest of your home is equally high-end.
You can’t install a gourmet kitchen but leave the tacky 70s vinyl flooring in the master bath. This will only serve to highlight the work that still needs to be done in your home, as opposed to its value. Upgrades should make your home feel stylish and consistent, not a disjointed work-in-progress.
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