The Real Estate Trainer for Home Owners and Home Buyers
white dog standing with its owner in the living room renovating

5 Home Renovations That Don’t Add Value to Your Property

One of the most common mistakes made by homeowners is expensive renovations that don’t add value to the sale price of their properties. Owners always expressed surprise when they learn that their renovations were not going to translate to a higher value for their property. 

If you are thinking of renovating to sell your home at a better price, read our advice below so you don’t make the same mistakes many owners have made in the past.

MORE: 50 Amazing Ways to Increase Your Property’s Value of 2020

Our Top 5 Best Renovation Ideas To Add Value To Your Property

Here are 5 home renovations that don’t add value and you must stay away from if you are making improvements as part of your sale.  We’ve made it easier for you to decide by including an estimate of your renovation costs and our expert advice on how these renovations may or may not increase the sale price of your property.

1. A swimming pool or outdoor spa

An above-ground swimming pool rarely adds value to a property, regardless of other factors.  A professionally fitted in-ground swimming pool will cost you anything between $25,000 to $70,000.  There are also additional costs like regular maintenance, utilities and annual repairs.  If you are spending this much money to prepare your property for sale, you will want to ensure that you get a return on your investment (ROI).

straw hat with book novel and drink beside the pool

A swimming pool may be a great idea in balmy Queensland but in Victoria, it is not going to get as much use.  The size of your block is important if you want to install a swimming pool on your property.  If the pool takes up most of the backyard living space, it may not be attractive to a buyer.  Most buyers want it all.  They are not going to settle for an ‘either’ or ‘scenario’ if they can help it.

The area where your home is located is important when deciding whether to take the plunge and install a swimming pool to bump up the value of your home.  If you live in a suburb that attracts family with older children, you are more likely to attract buyers who may be interested in having a pool in the backyard.  If you live in a suburb that has newly married couples or single professionals, a pool is not going to have any impact.

Of course, if your property happens to be in a suburb on the high end of the property market, then a pool is a lifestyle.  The buyers may even expect one!

In the middle price range, a pool can be a deterrent for a buyer because they may not want the additional costs associated with pool maintenance.

Our advice to homeowners who are thinking of installing a pool to sell their property is to do some research first.  Look at the area you are living in and see how many properties have a swimming pool.  Go online and check out recent sale prices of properties with swimming pools.  That will give you a rough indication of how much ROI you can expect if you do go ahead with the pool installation.

2. Overbuilding for your property market

The family’s outgrown the home – you add a new room.  You are working from home – you need a home office.  It’s easy to overbuild on your property over time as described by our local renovators’ Newline Painting.

When building to sell at a higher price, always research your area first.  While adding a second storey is great in terms of creating additional space for the family, the amount of money and time that you will be putting in may not be worth it if the area does not have strong enough demand for that.

Also, homeowners generally do not pay $1 million for a property that is in an area where the median price is only $750,000.  If you spend too much on your rebuilding, you run the risk of not being able to recover your investment unless the owners around you also follow suit and upgrade their homes to the same level of excellence.

3. Inconsistent high-end upgrades

There’s no denying that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses.  But when it comes to renovating them, every homeowner needs to remember that budget blow-ups are easy.

When shopping around for a new kitchen or bathroom design, don’t forget that you’re not renovating to live in the home.  You’re renovating to sell the home so everything from choice of design, colour scheme, appliances and budget must be considered.

You must also take into consideration whether your newly renovated kitchen or bathroom fits in with the rest of the house.  There’s nothing more unattractive to a buyer than a house that looks like a patchwork.  To get the best sale on a limited budget, consider a renovation project that can refresh the entire home so you can create synergy and flow.  Instead of just spending all the money on the kitchen, try and distribute it out to other parts of the home that may need a facelift.

4. Eclectic chattels

glass chandelier with black background

Stick to the classics if you want the best return for your house renovation for sale.  That magnificent chandelier you fell in love with is not going to be a magnet for everyone and is one of the renovations that don’t add value.

Here is a list of ‘Don’ts’ when it comes to renovating your home for sale:

  • Quirky light fittings
  • Feature walls
  • Bespoke cabinets
  • Loud flooring (parquetry flooring)
  • Flamboyant window display
  • Invisible investments (like a built-in HVAC system)
  • Exposed timber

5. Extensive landscaping

Landscaping the garden creates street appeal which is important to attract buyers to the property.  A well-maintained lawn and a neat garden may be pleasing to the eye, but it will not add any significant value to your property’s sale price.

Amazing spring garden with what looks like a cherry blossom

When deciding on a landscaping project to increase your home’s value, go for the true and tested.   Spend only the amount of money you will need to get the garden spruced up.  Resist the temptation of turning the garden into a showpiece complete with water features, rock garden or Japanese Zen corner.  All these extras are costly with little or no ROIs.

Other things you must not renovate when you’re building to sell:

  • Wine cellar
  • Second outdoor kitchen
  • Home theatre
  • Games room
  • Basement
  • Attic
  • Library
  • Tennis court
  • Treehouse

When it comes to renovating your home for resale, always research your area first.  Look at houses that are selling in your area and find out what price these homes were sold and what they have.  If there are open homes in the area, consider visiting a few so you can have a look at the interiors to get a feel of what’s inside the home and which renovations that don’t add value.  That way, you will have a better idea of what to renovate and how much renovation you should do.   Always seek the help of a professional when it comes to big renovation jobs.  Good luck selling!

Need an assessment of your property, contact me here.

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