Worst Home Improvements for Your Money


You may think that any home improvement project is an investment. But when it comes to updating your home, some renovations can actually be a money pit! Here are some home updates that don’t bring a return on investment and even some that might repel future buyers.

Kitchens and Bathrooms Sell Homes, But…

As the saying goes, “Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes.” While this is true, keep it simple when renovating. Keep clean lines and neutral decor. Too much flair can turn off potential buyers. Also, upgraded appliances are your best bet if you’re looking to sell, as appliances are often a major selling point. Also, remember to consider your home and the neighborhood. Don’t put a master chef kitchen in a mid-level home. Unless a master chef is moving into your home, you will only end up losing money.

When it comes to bathrooms, you want to keep it simple, too. A bathroom can easily be updated by giving it that “hotel spa” look. Equip it with white or cream towel sets, a clean but non intrusive candle, and some new knobs on the cabinets.

Before You Go on a Magic Carpet Ride…

Before you install all brand new carpeting, keep in mind that some buyers are turned off by wall-to-wall carpeting. Many buyers today actually prefer hardwood flooring and can’t be bothered by carpeting. You are actually much better off having carpeting that is not permanent so that potential buyers can simply have it removed by dragging it out of the room. The labor involved in removing unwanted carpet can get very pricey.

Also, if you have had pets in your home, this is especially true. Buyers who have allergies to certain animals do not want to buy a home with wall-to-wall carpeting, especially if they know that pets have lived there.

Another thing to keep in mind: expensive wallpaper may be in for some regions, but most home buyers prefer painted walls. If you’re going to repaint the walls before selling your home, be sure to use clean and neutral colors. This way, if the home buyer wants to change the color, you’re making their job much easier, as they can imagine what colors they would like far more easily.

Yes, Adding a Pool is Not Going to Help Your Buyer Pool!

Some people may think that adding a swimming pool to their property will help its value. If your home already has one, that may be okay. However, keep in mind that a swimming pool can actually limit your buyer pool (pun greatly intended). Swimming pools may attract a specific subset of buyers, but they do not add any monetary value to the home. There are many buyers that simply don’t want the added expenses and hassles of maintaining a pool. Once it’s in there, no one is going to want to take it out.

If you are going to install a pool, especially if they’re popular in your particular area, an in-ground pool is most preferred. But it’s actually best that if you don’t have a pool already, let the future home owner decide if that’s what they want to do with the property.

Of course, before you ever do any home renovation project, be sure consider how it would appeal to a larger population when you go to sell your home. If you plan to stay in your home for a very long time, you can make far broader choices. But when it comes to prepping your house for sale, be as neutral and adaptable as possible.