Home "Improvements" that Could Devalue Your Home

Homes used to be bought for a lifetime. Now with our global world, people and move and sell their homes more frequently. It is important to keep in mind that some projects don’t add value to your resale value. In fact, these 10 projects will devalue your home. Choose wisely and do your research before you jump into a project.

Combining bedrooms for one bigger room.

While it might seem to make sense to take two small rooms and create one bigger room, losing a bedroom size greatly devalues a home. Your resale value is higher with four small rooms than three larger rooms.

Removing closets.

Similarly, if you decide to convert a room to a home office or gym and use the closet for bigger space, that room can no longer can be listed as a bedroom because it doesn’t have a closet. Bedrooms sell.


Too personal.

If you plan to do lavish upgrades that reflect your personality, be prepared to make changes before you put your house on the market. Bright and bold paint colors, too much wallpaper, lavish light fixtures, and built-in aquariums, are all upgrades that make a potential homebuyer cringe when they view your house.

Add a sunroom.

Sunrooms seem like a great idea. In reality, the return on investment is low. With a cost of about $75,000 to build, it generally only adds about $36,000 to your home’s resale value.


Hot tubs and swimming pools.

Unless you live in a state like Florida or Arizona or California, a hot tub or swimming pool feels like extra money and maintenance to the potential homebuyer, not to mention the concerns of families with small children around safety issue.

Garage conversion.

If you convert your garage to a gym or an extra living space, like an apartment, your home’s resale is devalued. People are looking for garages for storage, projects, and a space for their cars. If you choose to convert anyway, consider making it easy to make back into a garage.


High maintenance landscaping choices.

Curb appeal matters, but if you plant messy trees and high maintenance gardens, your potential homebuyers just see time and work to maintain your costly curb appeal.

Luxury bathrooms.

Upgraded bathrooms create great resale value. Unless you get carried away and turn it into a luxury upgrade. If you want to turn your outdated bathroom, research what sells well. For example, large whirlpool or soaker tubs in the master bath have been replaced with a larger, modern walk-in shower. Keep away from the high-end updates.

Wall-to-wall carpeting.

Spending money to replace wall-to-wall carpeting is a high price tag with little return. Homebuyers want alternate floorings like hardwoods, laminates, cement, and tile.


Built-in electronics.

A room converted to a movie theater can seem like a lot of fun. But the cost of modern electronics that age overnight, it can devalue your home. Share space in a home needs to fit more needs than one – for movie watching. And built-in theatre systems are dollar signs in a skittish homebuyers eyes.


Before you make decisions for expensive renovations, talk to a trusted real estate agent about the home’s resale value.

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2020 by Sarah Milligan, Realtor®