Spending more on home improvements to create higher property values is a common misconception among homeowners. While some projects will raise your home value and improve your home experience, others can make your home less attractive when it’s time to sell.

Being Too Expensive

Additions can make your home more appealing, but your house shouldn’t be the most expensive one in the area, since larger and more expensive projects like adding a bathroom and multiple bedrooms can cost significantly more than the neighborhood average home price. With buyers looking for a $200,000 home in a $200,000 area, you’ll have trouble finding buyers and making back the money you spent if your home costs $375,000 because of additions.

Having Expensive Renovations

  • Fancy Kitchens– While many people save up for their dream kitchen and spend hundreds of dollars for a high-end remodel, a kitchen upgrade will cost more than it will benefit your home’s resale value. A more cost-effective alternative would be replacing worn or antiquated features (such as faucets),  and buying mid-range instead of higher-end appliances.
  • Bathrooms– While bathroom renovations can increase your home value, your renovations should be appealing to a wide variety of people. For example, deep soaker tubs, whirlpool baths, waterfall showers, and fireplaces are out of style and should not be on your renovation list. Also, you should have a walk-in shower for the master bathroom if another bathroom in your house has a tub.

Sunroom –  According to calculations, a  sunroom has a low return on investment since it is an expensive remodeling project and only works for areas with warm weather all year, versus colder areas like the North and Midwest. Also, it doesn’t get factored into square footage calculations unless the room is heated.

Having Too Much Personality

Decoration can reflect your personality, but you’ll have to remove some of these design choices before selling your home. Brightly-colored paint, too much wallpaper, colored wooden trim, fancy light fixtures, and themed rooms can turn potential buyers away. While you can invest in these types of personalized modifications while you are living in your home, you’ll have to remove them when you sell your home and you might not even get your money back.

Not Being Smart About Flooring

Current buyers want hard floors, compared to carpeting that was popular in the past. Hardwood floors can make your home more valuable, and buyers look for long-lasting, quality hardwood floors, so having laminate floors will lower your home value. If you still want carpet, however, keep it in the bedrooms only. Also, tiles are another option to think about, so keep your flooring tile choices neutral and mainstream, so that you don’t scare away potential buyers with your “quirky” tiles.

Cutting Down on Bedrooms

Most buyers want more bedrooms, so combining two smaller bedrooms into one larger master room or turning your smaller bedroom into a huge walk-in closet can alter your home value compared to other homes in your area. Families in the market for a new home need more bedrooms.

Building Additions That You Love, But Many Potential Buyers Do Not

  • Swimming pool– While pools might seem like family fun, they scare away potential buyers because they require constant maintenance and create higher insurance premiums because they are a safety hazard. Plus, buyers can make the current owners remove the pool before the sale is finalized in the buying contract. Overall, pools don’t add to your home value but cost you a lot of money anyway.
  • Hot tub– Much like pools, hot tubs have more upkeep and a higher safety liability, so buyers don’t want to deal with them. Pools and hot tubs might be better in warmer states in the Sun Belt, but they are less relevant up north.
  • Home theaters– Home theaters are not for everyone since they can take up too much space and electricity according to some buyers, and removing the built-in electronics and other features is expensive.
  • Built-in aquarium– While an aquarium can be entertaining and pretty, many buyers don’t want the additional effort and cost of taking care of a built-in aquarium. Not only can an unkempt aquarium be unsightly, even removing the aquarium (as well as installing one) is a costly endeavor.

You should put some thought into remodeling, especially if you will be living in your place for a shorter period of time. If you really want some of these riskier renovations, keep in mind that you’ll probably have to make even more changes before selling, and you should limit your changes to less extreme choices.