Home Improvements that Don’t Add Value

It seems logical that anything a homeowner does to improve their home will increase its value. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Some renovations end up not paying for themselves. Here are some home improvements that don’t add value to your home.

Niche Amenities

You might think amenities like a wine cellar, hot tub, regulation-size basketball court or a life-size chess set will entice home buyers. But what’s appealing to you might not be appealing to someone else. It’s not only the actual price tag for materials and installation: don’t forget to factor in long-term increased energy expenses for amenities such as a wine cellar, sauna or hot tub.

Swimming Pool

In-ground swimming pools are expensive to install and maintain. While most of us like the idea of taking a dip in our own pool, the reality is that many homeowners and prospective buyers don’t want the hassle. Home buyers today are looking for a house that looks good but is low maintenance. The amount of money you invest in your pool most likely won’t be recouped when you sell.

Water Features

No argument, water features add curb appeal. A koi pond, reflection pool or small waterfall lends ambience and tranquility to the surrounding landscape. But when it comes time to sell, a water feature could scare off homebuyers with small children.

Bedroom into Home Office

Having a permanent home office might seem like a good investment, but not if it’s at the expense of one less bedroom. When turning a bedroom into an office, skip the built-ins like bookshelves, a computer station or cubbies. This will give you the option of turning it back into a bedroom when you put your home on the market.

Unusual or Elaborate Landscaping

Multi-level terraces complete with stone retaining walls create an inviting place to entertain. Topiary is beautiful to look at. The same goes for exotic flowering shrubs and trees. However, in addition to increased curb appeal, a home buyer might also see increased time and cost to maintain such elaborate beauty.

High-End Kitchen

Probably counterintuitive, but it is possible to over-improve when doing a kitchen renovation. When it comes to kitchens, home buyers generally look for clean, contemporary lines, functionality and open concept. My idea of a dream kitchen will most likely be different from yours. Unless your house is in a high-end neighbourhood, skip the granite countertops, marble tile, and stainless steel appliances.