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Home Renovations That Don’t Add Much Value to a Home

These home renovations tend to not pay back your investment.

photo credit: Jeremy Levine Design via photopin cc
photo credit: Jeremy Levine Design via photopin cc

Home investors have to walk a very thin line in their prospecting and repairing.  They want to find a home that others have ignored due to necessary repairs and updating.  However, they don’t want to waste money on improvements that simply look nice but fail to increase the home’s overall price.  Here are the top renovations that do not add much value to the home.

Grandiose Landscaping

Potential buyers will appreciate a well-kept lawn and may be somewhat attracted to a nice flower bed by the front door, but elaborate landscaping will not add to the home’s price.  Even worse, if the prospective buyer has no inclination to spend hours in the yard weeding, fertilizing and replanting then you may actually scare off a few buyers.  A simple lawn with low maintenance bushes are the best bet for most homes.

Pool

A new pool is extremely expensive and you may not recover even half of your investment when the property sells.  The average home buyer looks at the pool as a major expense and a potential problem in the form of injury or a lawsuit.  Some contracts in recent years have actually been structured to include filling in the pool with dirt and sod just to avoid potential problems.

Carpet throughout the Whole Home

It can be rather expensive to replace the carpet in an entire home.  Additionally, styles and preferences change over the course of time and homeowners may wish to have a more updated look in the home.  The need to replace a large amount of carpet sometime in the next 3-5 years would likely be daunting for most homeowners.  A better bet is to have hardwood and tile in the home.  They are easier to clean and most people appreciate the simple upkeep. Although the initial investment in hardwood or tile is more expensive, you are more likely to get a greater amount back when you sell the home.

More Home than the Rest of the Neighborhood

One of the fundamental basics of flipping homes is to search for a property that conforms to the neighborhood.  Never buy the absolute biggest home or the smallest home in the neighborhood.  They will be harder to sell.  Along the same thought process, never add more to a home that will make it vastly different from the neighborhood.  If all the properties on the street are single story homes then it makes no sense to tack on a double story addition.  Stick with the norm for the neighborhood in order to be able to move the property quickly.

Expensive Cosmetic Features

Some people like to brag about the Italian tile in the kitchen or the gold chandelier in the dining room when they are working on a remodel.  However, these expensive items add little to the value of the home.  It is better to make sure the home has plenty of lighting, has ample space and that the closets and cabinets are well organized.  Those expensive add-ons can be purchased by the next owner.

Basically, the best improvements you can make to an investment home are the ones that add function and space.  Anything else will simply be for show and potentially cost you too much in the long run.

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Comment by Michael Collins, CDPE, SFR on October 11, 2013 at 8:06am

Just something eye catching that I found. Definitely a room that probably won't get a good return on investment :)

Comment by Ed Tobey on October 11, 2013 at 1:19am

Good basic advice, but what is that strange room in the picture?

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