Worst Home Improvement Projects for the Money

It’s tempting to think that any improvement or modifications you make to your home will automatically make it more valuable. But unfortunately, that isn't always the case. There are quite a few renovations that just won’t net you a good return on your investment when it’s time to sell!


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Improving the Landscaping

Landscaping is a bit of a double-edged sword. Curb appeal is important and your yard should be well-kept. But some homeowners can go a little overboard and spend too much transforming their outdoor spaces. The next buyer who’s simply looking for space for the kids and dog to play may not appreciate any truly unique or extravagant upgrades like a putting green or tennis court. If you are updating your landscaping before putting your home on the market, make sure you don’t overspend and go with a less-is-more approach!

Upgrading Utilities

You may think that installing new plumbing or a new water heater will increase the resale value of your home, but unfortunately this often isn’t true. Sure, these items can be listed as a selling point on your home’s features sheet, but they are unlikely to seriously move the needle on the offers you receive. Most buyers are looking for a home that is in good shape and will expect that these fundamental parts of the home be in working condition.

Adding Built-in Electronics

As with any major customizations, be aware that not everyone will love what you do. A large built-in entertainment center could be seen as a useless to a family who doesn’t watch TV. Also, because technology is constantly changing, your big purchase may be outdated when it comes time to sell.

Removing Closets

Most people include storage as one of the top items on their home wish list. So make sure you don’t remove closets to make room for a larger bathroom or master bedroom without adding the storage space back in elsewhere. Cutting down on your home’s available storage will only hurt you when it comes time to sell.

Combining Rooms

Speaking of removing space… It might be tempting to make two smaller rooms into a single larger space, but the fact is that the more bedrooms a home has, the more it will usually sell for. In fact, experts say that each additional room adds about 15% in value to the home. Keep in mind that just because you don’t need two separate bedrooms for your family currently, doesn’t mean future buyers won’t appreciate it.

Converting the Garage

Most buyers are looking for garage space. Even though we have great weather in Southern California, many people just don’t want to keep their car outside, especially if they have luxury vehicles. And garages offer great storage opportunities. Again, even though you might prefer to convert the garage into an additional living space or bedroom, resist the temptation to do so. This is especially true if most homes in your neighborhood have unconverted garages.


Thinking of making additional updates or upgrades to your home? Before you get started, give us a call at (760) 458-2575 – we’ll be happy to give you some advice on whether the project you’re thinking of starting will actually add ROI at resale.

Of course, not every update you make needs to be about the bottom-line. If it makes your life easier or allows your family to get more enjoyment out of your home, then it could be a good change to make – just make sure you’re realistic about your expectations of ROI.

And finally, if you need a referral for a contractor to make the updates for you, give us a call. We can refer you to someone in your area.

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