When it comes to commissioning home improvement projects, the primary purpose of the undertaking is to improve the current owner’s enjoyment of their home. Many homeowners also believe that they will be increasing at least the perceived value of their home as well.
And in some instances they are correct. Kitchen and bathroom remodels usually top the list of home improvement projects that offer the best ROI, and in recent years attic bedrooms and dedicated home office spaces have ranked highly as well.
There are, however, some improvements that many a homeowner believes will add financial value to their home that may not do that at all, and in some cases can even decrease its appeal. Here are five such projects:
Overbuilding for the Block
Some homeowners choose to make extensive home improvements that significantly change the property as whole, causing it to fall out of line with the average for the
neighborhood. For example, if a second story is added to a home that sits on a block that is otherwise filled with small single story homes, it becomes a stand out, but not always in a good way.
Many homebuyers balk at the idea of paying $250,000 for a home in a $150,000 neighborhood and will usually choose, if they really can afford to spend that much more, to look for properties in an area where $250,000 is the norm, even if the over-remodeled home is a lovely property overall.
An expansive and elaborate landscaping set up may look stunning and bring great enjoyment to the homeowners but they should not expect that such things will actually add value to their home. Many potential homebuyers may actually see such things as a burden and even if they do not are unlikely to be willing to pay more simply because the backyard has some really pretty trees and flowers.
Upgrades such as granite countertops and higher end stainless steel appliances may indeed add some perceived value to a property, but that will be diminished if the kitchen floor is still cheap vinyl or the bathrooms have decades old fixtures that should have been upgraded years ago as well.
If homeowners are going to make big upgrades, they should be made consistently throughout the home in order for any homebuyer to consider paying more for such things.
Invisible Home Improvements
This refers to those often very costly projects that really do make your home a better place to live in but that no one else – especially not a potential homebuyer – can see or even really cares about. You may have really needed that HVAC upgrade or a new plumbing system but expecting to recover your costs when it is time to sell is unreasonable.
The average homebuyer simply expects that these kinds of systems will be in great working order for them to consider the property in the first place and very few will be willing to pay a higher price just because you had to spend extra money to bring them up to standard.
Angelica Pinto is an artist, interior design lover and Realtor serving the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph, Ontario communities.