Home improvements are generally made for two reasons—for personal enjoyment, or to boost your home’s resale value. 

If you are making a change for your own enjoyment, you may not care how it impacts resale value, especially if you have no intentions to move. In this case, do as you like. Splurge. Revel in your living space and upgrade at will.

However, if a move is in your future… even your distant future… it’s a good idea to consider whether the investment will help or hurt your resale value. Here are three of the worst upgrades, in terms of return on investment.


1. A Swimming Pool

Only the most devoted pool enthusiasts are willing to put in the time, energy, and money to maintain a swimming pool, which requires heating, filtering, cleaning, and maintaining the proper pH of hundreds of gallons of water.

Above ground pools are no big deal, right? Yes and no. Since they might hurt your selling price, you may want to offer removal as a contractual option. Unlike in-ground pools, removing an above ground pool usually isn’t a major construction project.

Inground pools, however, are another story. In a market that enjoys year-round warm weather, a pool may work in your favor. Even so, buyers may not share your love of sun and water—or may view an inground pool as a commitment of time and money they may not be willing or able to spend.

Additionally, buyers may fear the risk and legal liability posed by young children—whether their own or from the neighborhood—gaining unsupervised access to a pool. Anything that reduces the number of interested buyers limits your resale value.

2. Garage Space Converted into Living Space

Sacrificing garage space for more living space is a dangerous move, in terms of resale value. Most homeowners want a garage to protect their vehicles and as a workspace for various home projects. Attached garages, in particular, provide weather-protected convenience upon returning from shopping trips.

A garage is usually a bigger selling point than extra living space. For a better investment, put your money into finishing other spaces, like an attic or a basement.

3. “Over-the-Top” Enhancements

Your dreams may include adding a wine cellar, a luxury master bathroom with imported Italian tiles, or a dedicated home theatre in the basement. Great! But don’t expect to recoup these extravagant expenses when you sell your home, since buyers may not share your passion for great wine, imported designer architectural details, or big screen movies.

Other “over-the-top” enhancements include:

  •          Koi ponds or fountains
  •          Dedicated high-tech or luxury home offices
  •          Bedrooms with custom “kid” features
  •          Specialized roofing
  •          Jacuzzis, hot tubs, and whirlpools
  •          Huge walk-in closets that sacrifice bedroom space or the number of bedrooms

If you are making these types of renovations to improve your own quality of life and plan to stay put long enough to enjoy them, great! They should only be done if the pleasure you’ll experience outweighs the cost—and you don’t expect to recoup the investment when it’s time to sell.

For any advice, don't think twice, call Bryce!

Posted by Bryce Hansen on
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