Home Renovations That Devalue Your Home
Written by Martha Lott
19th Feb 2020 (Last updated on 27th Mar 2020) 6 minute read
Several factors play into how much your home is worth, such as location, square footage, school district and the number of bedrooms or bathrooms. Everyone wants to keep their house maintained and looking modern, but some renovations and repair work can actually devalue your home.
If you are aiming to sell and move home in the future, you will be looking to boost your home’s value. If you are going to make changes to your home so that it suits your style and personality, it’s a good idea to make them easily reversible.
It’s great to have something unique and something that reflects your own character, but when you’re trying to sell, it’s better to go for something more neutral. It's also important to compare surveyors to find any areas of concern that'll devalue your house.
We’ve put together some of the features that you should avoid if you don’t want to bring down the value of your home.
What Devalues a House?
We've put together a list of the home renovations that will actually devalue your home. From poorly built conservatories to swimming pools and hot tubs, be careful if you're considering any of these home renovations.
1. Getting Rid of a Bedroom
Knocking down a wall to create one spacious room rather than two small rooms may be desirable for you, but this can significantly bring down your home’s worth. The more bedrooms a house has, the higher price it will command.
Listing prices are set by looking at what comparable homes are selling for in the same market, and the number of bedrooms is an important characteristic used to compare two properties. Eliminating any bedroom space, therefore, changes the comparable value. In general, families want separate bedrooms for their children as well as a guest bedroom. If you do this, you might find that the best thing to do when it comes to putting your house on the market is reinstate the wall.
2. Removing Closets
It may be tempting to get rid of closets to create more bedroom space, but by removing closets or spaces for a walk-in wardrobe will devalue your home. People like to have space for their clothes to easily declutter their bedroom, so avoid replacing closets as they are a necessity for most home owners.
The lack of space could be off-putting to prospective home buyers as many people appreciate more storage space, therefore taking value away from your home.
3. Too Much Wallpaper
Wallpaper with loud, garish patterns or excessive texture won’t be appealing to many people. It’s also not easy to remove from the walls, so the potential effort involved in peeling it could end up turning away buyers, especially if the wallpaper is all over the house.
Instead, fresh paint and neutral colours are always a good idea to help you stage your home. This will help buyers to imagine themselves living in your property.
4. Textured Walls and Ceiling
Similarly, wallpaper, texture, or ‘artex’ on the walls and ceiling is very difficult to remove. However, if you enjoy textures, perhaps use some textured wall décor instead as it can be removed, and you can even take it with you to your new home when you move out.
Buyers like to imagine themselves living in your property when they view it, so if you have lots of wallpaper that is tricky to remove, this could result in the devaluation of your property.
5. Bright and Bold Colours
Bold style choices aren’t going to appeal to the majority of prospective buyers. Luckily, repainting is easily done, but make sure you leave enough time and use neutral colours. If you will be painting over a bright or a very dark colour with a neutral colour, then you are going to need a few coats.
Buyers want a blank canvas to envision themselves living in the house and think about how they would like to decorate. If they think it’ll be too much work, it’ll put them off buying your house.
6. Replacing Bathroom Features
Replacing the only bath in your home with a shower is also a bad idea. Many people will like the option of having bath, and parents prefer bathing their children than showering. However, if there is more than one bathroom in the house, replacing one bath shouldn’t be a problem.
If a family are the targeted audience for buying your house, then removing all baths could take away from the value of your house.
7. Built-in High-End Electronics
A built-in cinema sounds like a dream come true for movie fanatics, but if potential buyers are not fans, any built in or highly complicated, customised electronics will just take up too much space and may ruin a perfectly useful room.
Additionally, electronics can quickly date, so the new homeowners might be tasked with replacing or updating these features, resulting in them having to fork out for the changes.
8. Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs
You’d think this would be a massive bonus to any home, but unless you live somewhere with a climate where it’s hot more than 6 months per year, a swimming pool is often more trouble than it’s worth. The maintenance requires a lot of time, money and effort which many homebuyers won’t be willing to put in.
The same goes for hot tubs. Potential buyers could see them as eyesores, and even feel they are unhygienic after being used by strangers. Removing hot tubs also costs a lot of money, so you might want to avoid adding this feature unless you plan on staying a very long time or indefinitely.
9. Satellite Dish
Some of us just couldn’t live without our hundreds of channels and having satellite TV is very common, but satellite dishes are often considered eyesores and can ruin your curb appeal game. Just make sure it’s installed near the back of the house or where buyers won’t immediately notice it.
A big satellite dish that’s on show could potentially decrease the value of your home as it’s not an attractive feature to be visible.
10. Adding a Conservatory
Depending on the quality of the build, a conservatory can either add or subtract value from your property. If the quality isn’t up to standard, conservatories can often be much too hot or cold, and make unattractive features of character properties.
There was also a boom of conservatory work in the early 1990’s, which has left many conservatories extremely dated in décor. If you’ve had a conservatory for years that you’ve just put up with, it might be time to get rid of it or update it before you think of selling.
11. Bad Landscaping Investment
Having a neat, healthy garden can certainly increase your home’s value to potential buyers, but be mindful of how far you go with landscaping and decorating. Anything that seems like it will require a lot of maintenance and money is usually off-putting.
It’s natural that you want to make improvements to add value to your home, but if you intend on selling in the future, make sure that any changes you make won’t negatively impact its value.
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