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10 Home Improvements to Avoid if You Want to Maximize Your Home’s Value

Posted by Carrington Real Estate Services on June 20, 2015 at 2:26 PM

Home-ImprovementAfter watching most of the shows on HGTV and DIY Network, you might be convinced that you need to make some elaborate improvements to your house before selling it in order to increase the potential sale price.
Well, think again.


Adding improvements to your house is an awesome idea in many cases, and it is true that those improvements usually do increase the value of the home. But in most instances, the homeowners do not recoup the full cost of those improvements upon selling the home.

Before you dive into upgrading your home in order to sell it, take a minute to review this collection of popular upgrades that you might want to avoid wasting your time and money on.

Pools and Hot Tubs

Pools and hot tubs in the back yard are a lifelong dream for many homeowners. However, when you factor in the amount of maintenance they require, the added insurance costs, and the risks they impose on families with small children, it isn’t hard to see why pools and hot tubs are just as much of a turn off for many buyers as a selling point.

Large Garages

Spending a fortune to build and impressive garage with extra space and high ceilings might be a popular improvement if you are naturally a car or tool oriented person.

But much like we saw with pools, not everyone is a car person. Many potential buyers will not appreciate the value of an oversized garage, so they won’t want to pay for one either.

Granite Countertops

It seems like just about every kitchen or bathroom remodel you see on TV these days involves granite countertops. There is no denying that they are extremely popular, but before you opt for granite in your home, make sure that the numbers are going to work in your favor.


In addition to being very popular, granite countertops are also EXPENSIVE. If you already have the most expensive home in the neighborhood without the fancy countertops, they likely won’t help you get more for your house.

Home Office

Unless you are selling to a writer or someone else who works from home, the dream office you are thinking about putting in just isn’t that exciting to the average homebuyer. They would rather be wowed by curb appeal than a place to sit pay their bills every month or do their taxes.

Any DIY Additions

Another popular trend is to attempt major additions or renovations without the help of a licensed contractor. These types of improvements almost always end up costing double what you expect and only add minimal value because your brother-in-law that offers to help doesn’t exactly know what he’s doing.

Master Suite Remodels

The idea of building a luxurious master suite onto your home might seem like a great idea at first, but you need to keep the entire home in perspective. If the rest of the house is made to look lackluster by the impressiveness of your new master suite, you are likely just running yourself around in circles.

Luxury Bathrooms

The same general concept applies to luxury bathrooms as well. If a potential buyer is going to be swayed by a luxury bathroom, any other details throughout the house that don’t live up to the bathroom will all be working against you.


Any type of project with the word “luxury” attached also runs the risk of being too capital intensive to ever give you a substantial return on that investment. Think smart, not luxury.

Sunroom Addition

The sunroom addition is a tricky one because it always sounds like a good idea in theory. The problem is that sunroom additions almost never return the full value of your investment. Unless you are going to be able to build your sunroom at a huge discount, it likely won’t be worth the effort.

Finished Basements

Finishing your basement is actually a good investment. The problem is that we all tend to overdo it.


When you have a large open space like a basement, it is easy to add one great feature after another. This results in a completed project that costs a lot more than you budgeted for, and you will have a hard time recouping the full investment.

Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens look awesome. Everyone will agree with that, and everyone will say that they want one installed in their next house. The problem is that many potential buyers just aren’t going to be willing to pay up for them.

With just about all of these projects, the projects themselves are not necessarily bad ideas. The trouble comes when we get too caught up in the “cool factor” and overlook the actual numbers.

When you are thinking about making some improvements to increase your home’s value, you have to focus on the numbers first and foremost. There is a limit to what someone will pay for your house, no matter what features you add to it.

Thinking about making improvements to your home before you list it?

Your local Carrington Real Estate Services agent can help you determine which of those improvements will actually pay off come time to sell. Contact an agent today.

Topics: Seller Resources

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