Home improvements are generally a good way to add value to your home. But some projects that you think would improve your home’s value actually kill it. And even though you may think selling your home is a long way down the road, it’s a good idea to think like a buyer when you make significant changes to your home. Here are 4 “improvements” that will actually damage your home value:
When you don’t see yourself leaving your home for a good while, you may not think twice about installing that hot pink tile in the master bathroom. But you should. For a potential buyer, it’s difficult to look past bold style choices and envision themselves in the space. Some may not be able to do it at all, and you’ll likely get less offers. Before you make significant stylistic choices for your home, ask yourself if most people would like it, if it will still be in style in 15 years, and if it’s easy to undo or redo? If the answer is no to all 3 questions, you should probably go with something more moderate.
Converting the garage
The garage may seem like the perfect “clean slate” space, but for your wallet’s sake, please consider your future buyer’s perspective before converting it. For most buyers, the extra space to stow away lawn mowers and protect cars from the damaging Florida sun is a big plus. They’ll generally value that space much more than the extra bedroom or game room you create by enclosing the garage. Even more important, the garage-converted-game-room is hard to undo. The change is permanent, so if you really need the extra space, try creating it somewhere else instead of removing such a valuable asset to your home.
Removing certain walls
This value-killer is less a hard-and-fast rule than a suggestion. A good rule of thumb is don’t tear down a wall if it reduces the number of bedrooms/baths below the standard for American homes: 3 beds/2 baths. A home with less than that will probably go to a young family or single person, who probably has a smaller budget than a larger family with older kids. If you do decide you want to take out a wall, consider the structural integrity of the home and the architectural flow before making a final decision. It’d be a good idea to consult a contractor or architect to get a professional opinion on the situation.
Botched DIY projects
DIY projects are attractive for many people. They can save you money, create special memories, and offer personalized spaces. But before you start on anything permanent, ask yourself if you have the experience to pull off the project. If you don’t, it may be safer to call in a professional. A botched project not only looks bad, it makes buyers secretly wonder what else is wrong with the home. Did you toy with the wiring and cause a fire hazard? Will the bookshelves mysteriously fall off the walls and crush them one night? That will make them uneasy about the house as a whole and less likely to make an offer. Unless you have significant trade experience, you should probably hire a professional for your project. Many are less expensive than you think and will do the job right the first time!
I hope this discussion has given you some ideas on how to protect your home’s value. Check out my recent blog, “3 Tips for a Higher Home Appraisal” for more home selling advice. I’d love to hear your comments or questions! Contact me through email, through phone at (863) 450-8847, through social media, or through my mobile app. I’m ready to help with anything real estate!