10 Home Renovations That Don’t Add Value to Your Home

These 10 home renovations may sound great to you, but they won’t necessarily add value to your home.

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If you are looking to add value to your home, some renovations will get you a better return on investment than others. However, these 10 renovations won’t necessarily add value to your home: 

1. A swimming pool. Obviously, you won’t get your money back on a swimming pool in Fairbanks. If you add an outdoor hot tub or jacuzzi tub, you won’t add value either. The buyer may see value in the hot tub or jacuzzi, but you won’t get your money back. If you do want an outdoor hot tub so that you can sit out there and look at the stars, then get one because you’ll enjoy it, not because you expect to sell your home for more money. 

2. Over-renovating for your neighborhood. It’s true that you don’t want to be the nicest house on the block. Don’t overdo it. If you do, you’ll get nailed on property taxes and you probably won’t get all the value back when you go to sell. 

3. Extensive landscaping. Landscaping will often be covered by snow, so upkeep on extensive landscape projects can be difficult. Appraisers only give so much value to outdoor improvements, so be careful. When someone comes to me and says that they spent $50,000 on the backyard, I think, “Oh no, that’s not good.” Don’t do that. Check with us first. 

4. High-end upgrades. You don’t need any gold-plated faucets in your house. It’s not worth it. Keep upgrades to the middle of the road. 

5. Wall-to-wall carpeting. Wood floors are great. Investing in carpet is fine if you’re replacing carpet, put don’t put carpet everywhere. Vinyl flooring may be better in some cases. 

6. Invisible improvements. This goes against a lot of other people’s advice, but replacing something like a boiler won’t necessarily get you all of your money back. If it’s working fine, leave it and let the buyer replace it with something that they like. If you’re looking to replace a boiler for $20,000, you’re not going to sell your home for $20,000 more. 

7. A well-decorated or remodeled basement may look great, but keep in mind that subgrade square footage is valued less than above-grade square footage. The only caveat to this is if you plan on adding a bedroom to the basement. Again, reach out to us with any questions before you start renovating. We can definitely guide you there. 

8. Building or upgrading a deck. Again, external improvements are not valued as much as indoor improvements. If you are going to do external improvements, either do the work yourself or find someone who will take care of it for a reasonable price. Only do it because you will enjoy it, not to add value to your home. 

9. Patio or playground equipment. Like the deck, only invest in these items if you will get enjoyment from them.

10. Adding a carport or expanding the garage. Due to the cost of building these things in Fairbanks, you won’t get a dollar-for-dollar return. Only do this renovation if you will enjoy it.

If you would enjoy a renovation or upgrade, you can still do it—just don’t expect a dollar-for-dollar return.

Ultimately, many of these renovations will not increase the resale value of your home. However, if you plan on staying in the home for a long time and you want to enjoy some of these improvements, you can still make them. Many of these renovations will improve the marketability of your home without necessarily increasing its value.

If you have any questions about increasing your home value or anything else in real estate, just give us a call or send us an email. If we use your question on our video blog, we’ll send you a $20 gift certificate. We look forward to hearing from you!


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  4. Indeed, these are the perfect home renovations that don't add value. Great list you have there. Thanks for posting this blog. Keep blogging.

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