One of the greatest aspects of being a homeowner is the freedom to upgrade and remodel your home as you please. While renters are usually limited to personalizing their homes with potted plants and artwork, homeowners can rearrange the very walls of their properties.

Still, as you begin your search for a home to purchase, keep in mind that not all remodeling undertakings will repay your investments equally. The worst time to discover that you’ve chosen the wrong projects is when you’re ready to put your home up for sale. To help you avoid common cash-consuming mistakes, our team did the math, read the statistics, and we’re ready to share our top ten projects that could lower your home value.

1.) DIY Projects (Above Your Ability)

DIY projects can be enjoyable, frugal, and educational. However, results that are in any way less than professional will instantly detract from your property value. The prospective buyer will realize that they’ll have to hire a professional to remove and redo your work, and that estimated expense will be reflected in the offer they present.

2.) Swimming Pools

For some homeowners, a pool is the luxury addition that rubber-stamps their economic success. In blazing hot regions like the Southwest, Florida, and Southern California, a pool may even be expected within certain upscale neighborhoods. In this best-case scenario, a pool can add no more than 7% to your home’s value.

Despite their undeniable American appeal, swimming pools are expensive to maintain, they increase the cost of homeowners’ insurance, and can present a dangerous risk to families with young children or small pets. As a result, you run the risk of losing bids from a sizable chunk of potential buyers who don’t want to deal with a pool.

3.) Complex Landscaping and Water Features

Curb appeal has a huge impact on a buyer’s attitude toward your home, but it’s good to keep in mind that expensive, elaborate landscaping and water features aren’t the keys to unlocking competitive bids.

In fact, buyers are just as likely to be intimidated and overwhelmed at the thought of having to take care of so many plants. Our research and experience have validated that crisp, minimalist, verdant landscaping that fits your neighborhood’s aesthetic is all that’s required to maximize your yard’s curb appeal.

4.) Busy Patterns and Textures

Dated and unique details like wallpaper, textured ceilings, faux stone details, and wood paneling are going to deter any buyers who want a modern, move-in-ready property. If you want to add layers of texture and color to your home, décor and art you can change up and take with you when you sell your home will give you much more bang for your buck.

5.) Pro-Level Kitchens

Any home chef who has battled a too-small galley kitchen with a stove that heats unevenly and no room for a dishwasher understands the appeal of throwing all one’s available remodel budget into a pro-level kitchen upgrade. When you sell, though, your gorgeous kitchen can only add slightly more or less than 10% to your home’s value.

Because a state-of-the-art kitchen remodel costs between $25,000 and $50,000, only a home worth upwards of $600,000 will give you a healthy ROI. It’s wise to balance the level of your kitchen remodel against the value of your property, especially relative to neighboring homes.

6.) Choosing Carpets

There’s no denying that worn or stained carpets are an instant turn-off to buyers. When you’re ready to sell your home, fresh floors are an excellent idea. Still, we recommend choosing neutral laminate, cork, or hardwood over new carpet, because experts report that doing so will boost your home’s value by at least $1.5%.

7.) Garage Conversions

Modern homeowners want a garage, especially in Middle Tennessee suburbs where car ownership is not optional. No matter how useful your garage conversion idea is to you, your home will lose value relative to those around it simply by not having a garage for parking and storage.

8.) Master Suite Expansions

If you find yourself in possession of one or two rooms you don’t strictly need, it can be tempting to incorporate one of the neighboring rooms into to the master suite. As great as it would be to enjoy a sprawling suite with a massive closet and sitting arrangement, giving up even a small bedroom will mean sacrificing 10% - 15% of your home’s current value.

9.) Home Theater Installations

Film enthusiasts are increasingly excited about creating gorgeous home theater setups. Still, it’s a project best undertaken for love, not for money. You could easily invest six figures into a home theater system, and the technology will be outdated before you’re ready to sell your home. Even if that’s not the case, you’ll have to snag a buyer who’s also willing to pour their funds into a home with a theater instead of investing in a larger, newer property.

10.) Sunrooms

Sunrooms are Instagram-ready and as aesthetic as can be. These three or four season rooms are appealing to homeowners who want to feel as though they’re outdoors while enjoying all the comforts of a living room, reading room, or home office. The downsides are the very high cost of construction and permit challenges. Your annual energy costs will go up because sunrooms aren’t connected to your HVAC system and are hard to insulate because they are comprised of wall-to-wall windows on 3 sides. 

Unfortunately, if a prospective buyer doesn’t want to take on the cost and effort a sunroom brings or isn’t enthusiastic about the benefits of a sunroom, you’ll lose your investment.

The Takeaway

In the end, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of these remodel projects. If you intend to stay in your home for many years to come, or you are content with investing money you’re unlikely to recoup, don’t let our remarks hold you back. After all, this home is all yours.

Posted by Parks Real Estate on


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