Remodeling a House? 5 Upgrades That Might Not Add Resale Value

Are you planning on remodelling a house? Whether you plan to live in the house after or sell it right away, chances are part of your focus is on adding upgrades that will boost its resale value.

As a homeowner you know you should be spending money on remodelling projects, maintenance, and home repairs in order to keep looking its best and operating at its peak.

Some maintenance projects add beauty to your home, like kitchen and bathroom upgrades, making it more attractive to potential buyers and improving functionality.

Boosting Resale Value by Remodeling a House

Sometimes, homeowners decide to add a feature to their home that will provide enjoyment or whimsy, and the hope that these features will be seen as adding value to their home at the time of sale.

However, many of these projects may seem attractive to the owner. But unfortunately, may be seen as an eyesore, unattractive or even too expensive to maintain, thus detracting value.

Reconsider These Upgrades Before Remodeling a House

So, before you start calling contractors to schedule appointments, it’s best to make sure that you’re not spending a lot of money on one of these low-value projects, especially if you are planning on selling soon.

1. Adding a swimming pool

A swimming pool has often been referred to as “a hole in your backyard into which you pour a lot of money”.

Swimming pools are nice for hot summer days and an occasional swim, but they are very high maintenance that not everyone will appreciate. (Especially in places like Edmonton where they can't be used for many months of the year!)

In fact, a lot of home buyers will look at a home with a pool as too costly to consider. They will have to pay to maintain and heat it. Plus it could be a disaster for a family with small children.

Do your research first and you’ll be surprised to find that a pool has much value to your home.
Considering how much they cost (anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000) and the high cost of annual maintenance, that’s a lot of money to pour into an upgrade. There are, however, some parts of the US where having a swimming pool is expected, like Arizona and Florida.

Carefully consider the neighborhood comparables and your local market before deciding to add a swimming pool. (Or remodelling a house in any way!) And keep in mind that the next buyer may not want a pool at all.

(Here's how to use comparative marketing analysis when buying or selling a home)

2. High-end upgrades in modest neighborhoods.

Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are very attractive. But if the kitchen is over built-in comparison to the rest of the neighborhood? You aren’t doing yourself or your home any favors by remodelling a house this way.

Over upgrading or overbuilding may not attract the right buyers. This is because home sales are based on recent sales in the neighborhood and this will always override any high-end upgrades you’ve made to your home. It will be unrealistic to expect more than the average sale in your neighborhood.

Before you decide to upgrade, speak to your local REALTOR® and ask them what sales are in your neighborhood, and then decide if this upgrade will provide a good return on your investment.

(Speaking of high-end upgrades, here's another post you won't want to miss next: Concrete Countertops: Are they worth the investment?)

3. Too much carpet

Carpets are a lot more comfortable than hardwood, especially in a cold climate. But before you start ordering carpet when you're remodelling a house, consider the value.

Carpet can start looking dingy pretty fast, traps allergens, and just doesn’t have the longevity of hardwood floors.

If you already have hardwood, tile, or any other hard surface, think carefully before you start covering it with carpet.

Today’s buyers like to see solid flooring. In fact, many buyers will check to see if any valuable flooring is hidden under the carpeting. Then, they'll reduce the offer because they will consider they will have to remove the carpet and refinish the floor. If you have carpet in any rooms, then you should have them cleaned thoroughly and all stains removed.

4. Rooms designed for specific purposes

No one will expect to see a bowling lane in your home! Unless you live in a mansion, no one will expect to see a bowling alley, yoga room, fitness gym, or sewing room.

If you are a typical homeowner living in a typical detached single-family home, you’ll want your rooms to have a general-purpose so that more buyers can relate to your home.

Home stagers are experts at helping homeowners see their homes through the eyes of prospective buyers. You may be using your spare bedroom as a painting studio or sewing room but you’ll find that a home stager will most likely recommend turning it into a room that appeals to the widest audience possible – like a bedroom.

(Are you remodelling a house to turn it into an AirBnB property? Then don't miss this post next!)

5. High maintenance landscaping

You might focus largely on remodelling a house from the inside, but there are many exterior upgrades worth reconsidering too.

Curb appeal is very important to your home and everyone loves a beautiful, well-tended garden. Not everyone wants a landscape that requires a lot of money, water, and time to maintain. Yards that look like they will take a lot of maintenance every week or appear as though an expert landscaper is paid to tend it? These are more likely to be perceived as too high maintenance for the average buyer. This applies to water fountains or specialty landscape items.

It’s best to have a simple, well-manicured yard. One that gives the impression it is self-maintaining and has great curb appeal. Expensive plants and shrubbery that take a lot of work to maintain may not be seen as having any value to a new buyer. In fact, they may be seen as a deterrent and drive otherwise buyers away.

Are you thinking of remodelling and selling a house?

We're here to help! Let's discuss which upgrades will be worth their cost, as well as any considerations unique to your Edmonton neighborhood. Call The Best Edmonton Real Estate Team today to get started!

Did you learn a lot from this post? Here are three more posts to read next:

This post was first published in 2014 but it was updated in 2021 just for you.

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