It's not just about improvements; it's about the right improvements.
The right projects can give your property value a real boost. But remember that if your house is about to hit the market, there might be better ways to spend your money than on certain improvements that won't pay you back.
In no particular order, here are 5 ineffective ways to add value to your home:
#1: Home Office
If you work from home, a home office can make life better. But for resale value, Bankrate says a home office isn't a good investment. For many people, the household business is as easy to do from the dining table as it is from a dedicated office.
On the flip side, some industries are moving toward more telecommuting and less in-office work time. If you live in a city where a lot of people work from home, then it might be a good investment after all. It's all about the market.
Fresh, tidy, neutral space sells at least as much as any elaborate renovations.
#2: Elaborate Master Bedrooms
Master bedrooms are typically larger the other bedrooms in the house, and the idea of a refuge from the rest of the world could seem like a great idea. But Bankrate calls this another luxury that might not pay off in the long run.
A full master suite addition or renovation won't be cheap. And the dollar value that it adds to your home is considerably less, so you'll end up at a deficit. A better idea might be to repaint in neutrals with broader appeal or replace worn flooring in the existing master bedroom.
If you're not sure where the water supply lines go, it's best to let a plumber install a new sink.
#3: Many DIY Upgrades
If you've seen one DIY show episode where a sad house gets a makeover before it's flipped, you're probably brimming with inspiration. The problem isn't necessarily with making upgrades in general, but with who is in charge of the work. On TV, pros do the work or home owners work alongside professionals.
A shower tiled in marble is breathtaking. But errors can create so much hidden damage that the bathroom requires bones-out repair. Use inspiration judiciously. Just because a project can add to your home's value doesn't mean that it will, especially if the work isn't professional-grade. Hire a pro and stay on the safe side.
#4: Purpose-Driven Specialty Rooms
If you've always wanted a home gym or indoor bowling alley, bear in mind that rooms with permanent fixtures for one specific purpose might face some challenges on the market. You'll reach a wider audience if your home doesn't single out a small section who's always wanted the same thing that you have.
Try to work specialty rooms in a way that won't require comprehensive changes for a new owner. A large family might be excited to consider your house because of its square footage. But if they have to hire a contractor to convert a wine cellar into extra bedrooms, they might find a better house elsewhere.
#5: Unnecessary Upgrades
Some home improvements can really boost its market appeal. A new HVAC unit or roof means a buyer can settle in worry-free, since both of those have limited lifespans. And with all new appliances, the new owner knows that everything works like it should. But some upgrades are overkill.
There's no reason to replace a perfectly good roof with a special one, such as clay tiles, says HGTV Real Estate. It's wiser to replace the things that need it instead of upgrading to high-end materials, such as granite countertops or stainless steel appliances. You can get more bang for your buck by replacing outdated light fixtures and cabinet hardware, and perhaps installing a new back splash.
Every home owner wants the most out of their investment, and there are plenty of ways to find it. Just be choosy about what you take on, to help improve your odds of getting that money back at resale.
The eppraisal home valuation tool can give you a solid idea of what your home is worth, and how it compares with others in your community. Just plug in your address, and you're all set. You'll learn your estimated property value, values of others in the neighborhood, selling prices of homes nearby, and much more.
Click here for a free home value estimation today. You might find that your home is already in great shape, and you can keep more money in your own pocket!