Home Improvements Best Avoided for Resale

With a view to downsizing in the not-too-distant future, many homeowners get talked into updating their home to make it more appealing to a younger buyer.  But sometimes big renovations, for example; a complete kitchen makeover, can hurt your bottom line and make the rest of the home look dated and shabby by comparison.  So where is your money best spent maintaining and sprucing up a house to have it ready for the market?

According to a recent Huffington Post Life report, realtors suggest that kitchen renovations should not exceed 25 percent of the home’s value and any home improvements should not increase the price of the house significantly compared with other homes in the same neighborhood.  Money well spent would be to repair any major plumbing or structural issues or replace outdated carpet with a hard surface such as wood or tile.  Nobody wants to inherit someone else’s old wall-to-wall carpet. 

Experts also advise homeowners to stay away from anything too unique; customizations that might be hard to maintain or reflect a very specific style or taste can be a turn-off for potential homeowners.  Trends change quickly and individual needs and design preferences can vary widely; it’s better to err on the conservative side and keeps things clean and simple.  Buyers want to be able to see the potential a home has for them and sometimes it’s better to sell as is rather than to try to guess what the next owner would want.  

Additions, room conversions and pools are other home improvements that can be tricky.  Turning a bedroom into an office, especially if it means removing closets, can limit the appeal for buyers looking for a specific number of bedrooms.  In most cases, it’s advisable to keep rooms and garages as they were intended to be used.   

A recent buyer’s survey by the National Association of Home Builders found that people who had recently purchased a home or were planning on buying within the next three years were looking for a few specific features.  A separate laundry room was top of the list, where it was located was less of a concern, but a room with a door that could hide a mess was listed as a priority.   Energy-saving features like low-E windows, star-rated appliances, ceiling fans and programmable thermostats were also given high marks.  Open concept living spaces, hardwood floors, stainless appliances and granite or natural stone countertops with white cabinets were also listed as desirable.  Plenty of kitchen and garage storage space was also reported as important to help control clutter.  

Learn more about what home buyers are looking for in 2019 by following this link to the NAHB website.