By Erik Neilson  Fri Jan 24, 2014

5 Projects That Lower Your Home’s Value

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For the most part, people make upgrades and renovations to their homes specifically because doing so can increase resale value. It’s one of the best ways to prepare a home for the market—that is, if you take the right route. What often goes overlooked is the fact that certain renovations can actually cause more harm than good, lowering a home’s resale value and thus unnecessarily costing the homeowner a great deal of money. It’s one of the oldest issues in real estate, and it can be difficult to avoid. 

Understanding which projects are likely to actually lower instead of increase your home’s resale value is the first step towards not making these common mistakes yourself. Here are five projects to stay away from.

Turning bedrooms into office space

Having an office in your home can, of course, add resale value. This being said, many people believe that converting one of their home’s bedrooms into an office is the right way to go about this, but, in reality, a four-bedroom home without an office will typically sell for far more than a three-bedroom home with one. Things get even more confusing when the home is advertised incorrectly, which can serve to frustrate a potential buyer. If you’ve already got a fair amount of bedrooms in your home, don’t do anything to negate that.

Adding a swimming pool

There’s no getting around the fact that swimming pools can be fun for the whole family. Take into consideration the costs that are associated with installing one, however, and it becomes quite clear just how far from ideal they are for those who are trying to increase a home’s resale value. These costs often get absorbed into the cost of the home (rather than adding to it), and many families with young children may pass on even the most perfect homes simply because of fears regarding overall safety. If you’re going to add a pool, it should be specifically for your own enjoyment and not for increasing resale value.

Heavy landscaping

Quality landscaping can make just about any home look a bit more attractive. What many people don’t realize, however, is that the costs associated with landscaping cannot typically be added into a home’s resale value. As with pools, spending a ton of money on landscaping and then turning around to sell the home is usually nothing more than a great way to throw away hard-earned cash. All this said, a well-landscaped piece of property can increase your chances of finding a buyer who will take a look at the home instead of passing it up. Still, it’s simply not worth the extra money.

Too much carpeting

Depending upon the circumstances of a room, carpeting may be the right route to take. Wall-to-wall carpeting throughout an entire house, though, is simply not preferred by today’s home buyers. In general, hardwood floors are far more lucrative, and this can sometimes be a deal-breaker. Hardwood can be expensive to install, but the end result will be a far better chance of selling your home and getting the price that it’s worth.

Home automation

Home automation is a great way to streamline simple tasks that can otherwise get in the way of time and energy. While it may be considered by some to be the wave of the future, it’s simply not to the point where, in terms of popularity, it adds enough resale value to a home to warrant spending the money for installation. Unless you’re marketing to a very specific niche of potential buyers, it’s best to avoid automating your home before selling it.

Everyone wants to add resale value to their home, but sometimes these attempts are made in vain. Avoid the above projects, and you’ll have a much better chance of reaching your goals.

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