20 Renovations That Will Hurt Your Home’s Value

A Garage-to-Gym or Living Space Conversion

For a fitness lover, a garage-to-gym conversion might seem like a wonderful idea. To parents of a millennial who just moved back home, a garage-to-apartment conversion probably seems like a genius idea. But keep in mind, your future homebuyers might not agree.

Many people search for houses with a garage, and what they’re looking for isn’t a gym or an extra living space — they’re looking for a garage to serve its primary purpose of housing cars and storage items.

In fact, in a recent survey of 7,500 people, 74 percent of recent buyers said that having a garage is extremely or very important, according to MarketWatch.

If you must use your garage space as a gym or as extra living space, be sure future homeowners can easily and inexpensively remove the renovations.

 

The Wrong Landscaping Investment

Homeowners are prone to certain devaluing landscaping mistakes in the name of “curb appeal,” said Theodore Beasley of Landscaping London. “Costly landscaping decoration will not increase the value of your home, but rather increase the maintenance required for it. A potential buyer sees this, and it may turn into a concern. Fancy decorative additions that you find attractive are pretty much subjective, as well — including your personal DIY projects.”

Keep your gardens beautiful but simple and easy to maintain, and be sure any decorative additions can be easily removed.

 

Beautiful But Messy Trees

Trees are an important part of any home’s landscape, but it’s important to do your research before planting anything. Beasley recommended homeowners particularly look out for any trees with leaves or flowers that might create a mess in the yard.

“Some trees just tend to be more messy than others,” he said. “Constant leaf rain is not something that will positively attract a potential homebuyer. When fall comes, they will just know it will give them a hard time.”

Trees to stay away from include oak, female Ginkgo biloba, sweet gum, locust tree and Eastern white pine. These messy trees can decrease your curb appeal, and removal can set you back a hefty sum, depending on the tree’s size, Beasley said. Instead, choose an alternative tree, like an Eastern red cedar, crepe myrtle or Colorado blue spruce.

 

DIY Repairs

Always think twice before getting into the do-it-yourself home improvement game. Gordon said he’s seen several examples of DIY jobs that have decreased a home’s value.

“I’ve seen plenty of houses where you can tell the owner did the work,” he said. “The owner probably feels she made all the right improvements, but buyers quickly see the shoddy workmanship and unusual finished product.”

“Overcoming these mistakes is simple: Don’t try to do the work yourself,” Gordon added. “Hire a pro, then ask to be a part of the process and learn from the professional as they do the job.”

The bottom line is that any over-personalization of your home can lead to a decrease in value. Yes, you want to live in a space you love, but think twice before investing in any major or costly renovations.

And always make sure your home improvements are completed with the proper permits by licensed professionals.

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