If you are thinking about selling your home this year, there are some home improvement projects to avoid.  I say this because they don’t add to the re-sale value of your home. I think home improvement projects can be a fun part of owning a home but do your homework.

Do it yourself, yes or no?

Do it yourself, yes or no?

First, map out a plan and a budget. Would you hire a professional or accumulate a little more sweat equity with “Do It Yourself” (DIY)?  There are pro’s and con’s to each option.  Hiring a contractor to complete a home improvement project is certainly going to cost more money than a DIY project.  The quality of work in most cases will be better than a DIY project. Make sure when you’re selecting a contractor you know they are reputable and you know they can perform the project to the level you’re expecting. Ask for testimonials from their existing clients.  My clients love that I have reliable and fantastic resources to help them. A good Realtor will always have an arsenal of resources.

DIY home improvements are normally more cost effective than hiring a professional.  Consider before tackling a DIY project whether or not you can complete the work and complete it properly.  Many potential home buyers can see sub-par job done from a mile away.  The last thing you want when selling your home is potential buyers thinking they are walking through the home of DIYer that cuts corners when doing improvements.

So, back to the question of which home improvement projects should you avoid if you plan to sell your home?

  • High end gourmet kitchens. I always say kitchens and bathrooms
    Gourmet Kitchen

    Gourmet Kitchen

    sell homes. There is no doubting that. However, depending on the level of a kitchen remodel, it can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to $50,000+.  Certainly a kitchen with custom cabinets, high end granite counter tops, expensive flooring, and high end appliances will “WOW” a potential buyer but it can also break your bank.  The cost of a high-end gourmet kitchen is the primary reason to avoid this home improvement project when considering resale value. If you plan on moving in a year or two, do not spend $50,000 on a kitchen remodel because you will not get it back nearly that amount of money back from resale.  Don’t completely avoid improving the kitchen though.  Instead of a high-end gourmet kitchen, here are some other kitchen improvements that can be made for less and still have a positive impact on resale value.  Updating light fixtures,  fresh neutral paint, resurfacing cabinets,  and possibly updating counter tops.

  • 3 season sun-room.  The cost of a sun room can be very high.  Of course it can be done cheaply, but you get what you pay for.  A top of the line sun room will cost in the ballpark of $30,000-$50,000, depending on size, amenities, and other factors.

    3 Season Sunroom

    The cost of an added sun room is usually not able to be recouped in a short period of time.  First of all, most sun rooms are unheated space, so they cannot be added to the total square footage of a home.  Certainly if it was to be added to the square footage of a home, it would have a much larger impact on the homes value.  There are certain additions that can be more beneficial like converting attic space into legal living space or converting an unfinished basement into legal living space.

  • Garage Addition. There are some potential buyers who will not look at a home that doesn’t have a garage. There are others who could care less about having a garage.  If you don’t have a garage, adding one is something that you should avoid when considering resale value.  The cost to build a garage will vary from contractor to contractor, however, it’s likely to fall between $20,000-$40,000. Let’s say for example it costs $20,000 to build a stand alone one car garage.  The addition of the one car garage, in most cases, is not going to add $20,000 in value of the home.  It’s possible it could add an additional $5,000-$10,000, but not $20,000.
  • Over personalized finishes.  One of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a home improvement project and basing it on the resale value of your home is how to make it appeal to the masses.  While you may think it’s a great idea to install a floor with a bunch of pennies, the majority of buyers may think it is horrific. This would be a classic example of over personalizing during a home improvement and one that you should avoid.

Every homeowners situation is unique.  There are different reasons why one home owner may think a home improvement project is the best idea ever and why another may think it is the absolute worse. If you are unsure what a home improvement project that isn’t listed above will do to the value of your home, it’s suggested you consult with your local real estate professional.  Top real estate agents should be able to advise you on whether or not the project you’re thinking of completing is a good idea or if you should avoid it when considering resale value. If you don’t know a local Realtor, call or email me. I will be more than happy to help you!