Projects to Avoid If You Plan on Selling

Looking to increase your equity? Renovate! Interested in making your home competitive in the selling market? Renovate! Need more space so that your home can keep up with your growing family? Renovate!

There are so many reasons why homeowners tackle renovation projects, and most undertakings add to the home's resale value. That means you can enjoy the outcome of a project now while getting back most, all, or even more of the cost of the project when it comes time to put your home on the market.

But did you know that a few home renovations may seem like a good idea but will actually hurt your home's resale value? If you're looking for high ROI home renovations so that you can get the most bang for your buck when it comes time to sell, here are seven projects to avoid!

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1. Offbeat Tiling

The right tile can tie a room together and give it a modern or more welcoming look. But tile takes a bit of effort to replace and can be a costly undertaking, which means it's important to choose your tile wisely!

You want something you can live with now that will help sell your home when the time comes. For example, if you love the look of old diners and want to remove your kitchen floors so you can put in black and white tile, you may end up hurting your home's resale value. That's because that kind of taste in tile is very specific and may not appeal to potential buyers. Instead, the majority of shoppers may see it as something they'll need to rip out and re-do, and their offer will likely reflect that.

Try to find a happy balance. After all, it is your home; you want an aesthetic you enjoy. If you like more colorful, offbeat designs, consider other ways to add those elements, like rugs or other decorative items that you can take with you when you move.

2. Carpeting Living Spaces

Carefully weigh the decision to carpet a hardwood floor or replace the carpet in a room, as notes:

"21% of realtors would advise their clients to get hardwood floors before selling their home."

And goes on to interpret data from a remodeling impact report from the National Association of Realtors, stating that this type of project has "an average return on investment of 91%."

While new carpet may not necessarily hurt your resale value, worn carpet may! If you need to do some replacements anyway, it's worth checking out hardwood options, especially considering their durability and appeal to new buyers.

3. Overwhelming Wallpaper

Just as offbeat tiling can turn a buyer off and lower your resale value, so too can overwhelming or quirky wallpaper. If you're itching to add some fun wallpaper to your home, try to limit where and how much you install. Why? It can be costly to remove, and a new buyer will likely take that into consideration.

Here is how much wallpaper removal could cost for popular rooms, according to

  • Living room: $3,075
  • Kitchen: $2,050
  • Bedroom: $1,540
  • Bathroom: $1,075

If you get too excited with your wallpapering endeavors, you could be racking up removal costs for the new buyer. Instead, consider wallpapering one wall for more of an accent look or find pictures you can hang that help create the feel you're envisioning.

4. Combining Rooms

When it comes to a home, space reigns supreme. Space for storage, space for a growing family, space for guests, space for yourself.

That's why combining bedrooms could be disastrous for your home's resale value. While it may feel like a good idea to take two smaller rooms and turn them into one, many buyers like to determine how each room will be used. If you've eliminated one room altogether, you've cut down on their available options.

Most buyers don't mind smaller rooms, as those can be reserved for children's rooms or guests; even a home office. Plus, combining rooms could be a costly undertaking for a house that isn't your forever home, and you're unlikely to recoup those costs.

5. Lavish Landscaping

If you're interested in enhancing your home's curb appeal, that's a smart move, as it can help your home stand out and attract potential buyers. However, landscaping can quickly have the opposite effect if taken too far.

Have you ever driven by a home and thought, "Man, how long does it take them to mow their lawn?" If you go overboard with shrubbery, trees, and gardens, you're adding on quite a bit of maintenance for the new homeowner, whether they decide to maintain it or remove most of the additions and start over.

When it comes to landscaping, it's best to keep it appealing yet easy to maintain. As a lot of curb appeal is based on personal preference, you don't want to invest a large sum of money designing your dream space only to find that it isn't what other homeowners are looking for. Lavish landscaping can not only lower your resale value but may even make the home more difficult to sell, as that's the first thing potential buyers see.

6. Over-the-Top Bathroom

While a bathroom fit for royalty may sound appealing in the moment, it can actually turn off a lot of buyers who are looking for more practical uses of space. For instance, a tub in the center of the room that you can relax in while reading a book is nice in theory but may not be the best use of limited space.

When it comes to master bathrooms, those looking to buy a home often consider convenience. A walk-in shower uses less space and gets the job done faster than, say, a freestanding tub. If the new homeowner will need to remodel the entire bathroom to make it more accessible all around, that could mean you're not going to recoup your renovation costs and may even lower your home's resale value.

7. Sunroom

Last but not least on our list is a sunroom addition. While the idea sounds nice–a space to relax in on a nice summer day–in reality, it can be a costly undertaking with a low ROI.

According to the site Remodeling, a sunroom addition can cost upwards of $75,000 with an ROI under $37,000. That's a big hit for a seller to take, so if you're thinking about a sunroom, consider something with a higher ROI, like a deck addition or sprucing up the backyard space.

Get Help With Project Costs

If you have multiple projects you'd like to tackle but are wondering how you can deal with all the costs associated with them, it's worth looking into a cash-out refinance. You can tap into the equity you've built over the years, spruce up your place, and potentially increase your home's resale value–if you choose the right kind of projects.

Wondering what those looking to buy are interested in? Check out these seven in-demand home features for some ideas.

Improve and Increase

What's better than improving your home while increasing its resale value? If you're a homeowner, not much!

Home renovations can be a big undertaking, making it even more important to do your research before gutting a room. With a remodeling game plan, reserved funds, and an understanding of projects that increase a home's resale value, a remodeling project could be incredibly beneficial!

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