Ten Worst Home Improvement Projects That Negatively Impact Resale Value


March 20, 2019

It is natural for homeowners to adorn and update their homes to suit their needs and desires. After all, a home is more than just a place to live and relax; it is also a source of pride for many. Many homeowners love to add new elements to their homes, either cosmetic or architectural for many reasons, one of which is to boost resale value.

However, many homeowners do not realize they are doing more damage than good through undesirable home improvement projects. They can put-off buyers who are not willing to pay the premium for the upgrades.

As a seasoned Penticton real estate professional, Gil Szabo has seen his fair share of home improvement projects gone wrong that decrease the resale value of a home.  He strongly advises against undertaking any cosmetic or structural project the may seem like a great addition on paper but does yield the expected return on investment. He suggests homeowners do their research and make smart, educated choices about home improvements.

He revealed a number of home improvement projects that decrease the resale value of a home:

Excessive Use of Wall Textures and Wallpaper

Your choice of wallpaper, wall texture and bold wall paint colors may not appeal to buyers looking for a neutral blank canvas that they can make their own. These elements are also notoriously difficult to remove, and the buyer would consider it a headache to tackle. It would be even considered an extra expense that potential buyer may not be willing to take on.

Alternatively use tasteful brightly colored, textured or dynamic hanging paintings that can easily be replaced.

Luxury Bathrooms

Bathroom upgrades are a great idea and can add to the resale value of a home. However, it is easy to get carried away with the concept of luxury. Potential buyers are put-off by over the top finishes, luxurious fittings, and bath ware like whirlpool baths and steam showers.

Instead, keep things simple, functional and neutral. It can be good to add a walk-in shower.

Too Much Carpet

Wall to wall carpets give an out-dated feel.  According to recent surveys more homebuyers prefer hardwood floors. Furthermore, too much carpet can suggest that you are hiding floor damage.

Instead, use laminate flooring that is affordable, easy to put down, and looks great.

High-End Kitchen

Similar to luxury bathrooms, high-end kitchens with fancy fixtures are not popular among potential homebuyers. The kitchen is considered as the heart of the home, so homeowners like to go all out. However, research shows that luxury kitchens have poor ROI.

Rather than going for luxury, opt for space efficiency and storage maximization. The only features that help a kitchen sell the home these days is stainless steel major appliances, such as fridge and stove.

Combining Spaces for Bigger Bedrooms

When remodeling a home for resale some homeowners think large bedrooms are desirable so they combine smaller rooms to create a bigger space or even worse remove closets to make a room bigger. This is a bad idea. Families with children prefer more rooms even if they are smaller. Use mirrors and décor techniques instead to make space look larger than it is.  And everybody likes lots of closet space.

Adding a Sunroom

Experts are in unanimous agreement that sunrooms are the home improvement project with proven lowest ROI. So unless homeowners are willing to live at home and get a lot of use from the sunroom, it’s better to avoiding this type of home improvement project.

Built-in Aquarium

Built-in Aquariums require a lot of maintenance to look their best and potential buyers may not be willing to take that responsibility.  Also, removing it can be expensive.

Swimming Pool

Most potential buyers are not willing to spend the extra time, money and effort to maintain a swimming pool. Unless the home is located in a place with a hot climate all year round a swimming pool will likely remain unused for the majority of the year. A great example would be residential Penticton real estate. Also,remember, pools are expensive to install and remove.

Garage Conversions

Do not be tempted to covert the garage space into a gym or a living area because many people with cars look for homes with garages. A survey that included 7,500 people concluded that 75% of people prefer the garage space to a gym or extra living space.

Luxury Landscaping

Luxurious landscaping with fancy features and expensive plants may seem like a great idea to increase the curb appeal of a house. On the contrary, potential homebuyers see it as extra work and expense. Keep the garden simple. Avoid beautiful trees that are messy and hard to maintain.