By: Nick Goomber


Tags: Renovations thAt Reduces VALUE

Home-renovation projects rarely pay for themselves wh?n the home is sold. Sometimes th? financial hit is considerable. For example, if you add a sunroom…put in a swimming pool in a cold-weather state…or remodel a home office, you would be lucky to recoup half your costs when you sell. But som? specific home projects are even worse financially—not only do they not pay for themselves, they actually will make your home sell for less than it would have if you hadn’t done them at all.

Thing? not to do to your home.

DO NOT expand your master bedroom if that means eliminating another bedroom. Small master bedrooms are a common complaint, partiularly in older homes. But in many cases, the only realistic way to expand a master bedroom is to sacrifice one of the home’s other bedrooms, which is likely to be a costly mistake.

Fewer bedrooms means fewer potential buyers—most buyers have a specific number of bedrooms in mind and never even look at homes that fall short of this number. The buyers who remain will expect your home to be priced in line with the mostly smaller homes that share it's now-lower bedroom count.

The financial hit is greatest when a home starts with three or fewer bedrooms. Dropping from three to two or two to one will greatly reduce both the potential number of interested buyers and the eventual selling price—it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

Exceptions: Removing a bedroom might not detract from your home’s value if the home currently has six or more bedrooms…or if the home is in an area where a large percentage of buyers are retirees—bedroom quantity is not a  major concern for many empty nesters.

DO NOT convert a garage into living space. Finishing a garage can seem like a cost-effective way to enlarge ? home—it is significantly less expensive than having an addition built from scratch. Trouble is, many buyers will not even loo?k ?t properties th?t d? n?t h?v? garages. A? ? result, converting ??ur garage ?nt? part ?f ??ur home ??uld reduce th? v?lu? ?f th? home b? $10,000 ?r more—particularly ?f ??u convert th? garage ?nt? ? family room ?r ?n office r?th?r th?n ?n extra bedroom th?t w?uld ?t l???t increase th? home’s appeal f?r ??m? larger families. Finishing part ?f th? basement ?? ?lm??t ?lw??? ? b?tt?r financial move ?n th? long run, assuming th?t th? ceiling ?? ?t l???t ??ght feet high.

DO NOT add artistic flourishes ?r personal touches t? th? home itself. Th? smart w?? t? add art and/or personality t? ? home ?? t? hang art ?n ?t? walls, n?t t? alter th? home ?n ways th?t can’t b? easily undone wh?n ?t ?? time t? sell.

Examples: D? n?t h?v? ? mural painted ?n ? wall ?r ceiling—or ?f ??u do, paint ?v?r ?t b?f?r? ??u put th? home ?n th? market. It w?uld b? r?l?t?v?l? easy f?r buyers t? paint ?v?r ?t themselves, but m??t buyers prefer homes th?t ?lr??d? ?r? th? w?? th?? w?nt them, n?t homes th?t require ?v?n modest amounts ?f work. D? n?t h?v? ? large masonry fountain built ?n ??ur yard. D? n?t incorporate ? mosaic artwork ?nt? th? tile ?f ??ur kitchen ?r bathroom.

It’s perfectly fine f?r ? home t? h?v? style, but th?t ?h?uld b? ? mainstream style th?t fits ?n w?th th? neighborhood ?nd th? ?v?r?ll architecture ?f th? home—a home ?n ? rural area ??uld h?v? ? farmhouse style, f?r example. If ? home’s style ?? ?ut ?f character f?r th?