An advertisement for a reduced price is seen outside of a home for sale in Dallas, Texas September 24, 2009. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

5 Upgrades That Won’t Add Value To Your Home

Home Improvements  Landscaping  Real Estate  Renovations  Staging

Many people believe that any upgrade they make to their home will add to the resale value. Well, we hate to break it to you but the fact is, there are many times when this just isn’t the case. And there are even times when it can do the complete opposite. So, before you go spending thousands of dollars on updating your home, check out our list of the top 5 Upgrades that won’t add value to your home.

Things that won't add value to your home - Over Customization

1. Don’t Go Custom Crazy

Customizing your home is essential. It’s what makes your home, home. But there are some value-adding areas you just shouldn’t mess with. For instance, this wonderfully cheerful pink and lime combination may make your mornings brighter, but potential home buyers may disagree (slightly, who wouldn’t love this?).

This doesn’t only apply to neon kitchens. Small changes you see as an “upgrade” may be someone else’s version of a “downgrade”. Ornate or highly detailed add-ons like textured cabinets, non-traditional edging on your countertop or a unique choice in flooring may end up actually costing you rather than bringing in the big bucks at selling time.

There are tons of small upgrades that will add resale value to your home (see our list here). Overall, it’s best to stick with neutral and traditional additions, unless you’re planning on staying in your home for the next few decades to enjoy all its “neon” goodness.

Upgrades that won't add value to your home - a pool

2. Skip The Pool

Pools are one of those things that could go either way. While many of us aren’t going to splurge for an elaborate infinity pool like the one above, .even adding a modest in-ground pool to your backyard could end up costing you.

Many home buyers see pools as a negative addition to a home. People with small children may not want them for the safety risks, while other people may not want to spend the time or money on their upkeep.

Even if you live somewhere where it’s “pool season” all year round, that doesn’t mean the addition of a pool will add to the value of your home. While you may love having your pool, the cost to run and maintain it is usually pretty high. Factoring that into what you paid to have it installed, you’re not likely to yield any profits from this pricy add-on.


Upgrades that won't add value to your home - landscaping

3. Trim Back Your Landscaping

While many people would love to look at and spend time in this lush garden oasis, not many of us would be willing to put in the time or effort necessary to maintain it. It’s best to keep in mind when landscaping that not everyone has a green thumb.

Many people can see landscaping as not only a hassle but an extra expense as well. Say you’re one of those people who manages to kill “unkillable” plants like bamboo. Homes with this much landscaping would be something our of your worst nightmare, and hiring someone to do it for you may be out of the budget.

When landscaping a home for resale, it’s best to use easy to care for plants and not to overcrowd. Keep much of the space free for grass to grow (most people can take care of grass) and add a few bright bushes and flowers here and there for a beautiful accent.


Things that won't add value to your home - converting rooms

4. Let Your Rooms Be Themselves

While many women (and men) dream of transforming their spare bedroom into their personal dressing room, it isn’t the best choice to make this an irreversible change.

Number of bedrooms is often what sells homes, and having them all open and ready for living is essential. Transforming your third bedroom into an office space or den is fine and easily reversible. It may even show prospective buyers the versatility of the room and help with selling your home.

The problem lies when you make a drastic change such as adding shelving or an entertainment centre that cannot easily be removed. When transforming a room, make sure to add fixtures that are easy to change and remove if necessary. Not everyone has enough clothing to fill a bedroom.


Things that won't add value to your home - overdoing it

5. Don’t Overdo It

Upgrading can be great for your resale value, but once you start going overboard it’s ultimately going to hurt it. There are a few reasons why you should think twice before adding that 4 car garage or rather large statement-making fountain to your front yard.

When renovating or upgrading, keep in mind the value of the homes around you. If you spend a lot of money to create the home of your dreams but it’s surrounded by modest, older homes, you run the risk of alienating potential buyers who can afford to buy in your neighbourhood. Alternately, people who can afford your upgraded home may prefer to be in a fancier neighbourhood for the same price.

Moral of the story? Keep things traditional and clean. Upgrade in moderation and decide if that pool is really worth it in the end.


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