When you decide to do a home renovation project, you typically have two goals. First, you want to improve your current living situation. Second, you want to increase your home’s resale value. While some renovations do help you take home a bigger check at closing, other renovations can actually decrease your home’s value when it’s time to list.
So before you commit to a major overhaul, carefully consider the future impact of these four renovations.
If you have more bedrooms that people living in your home, knocking down a wall can be very tempting. Imagine transforming a modest master bedroom into a huge suite! It might seem like the perfect upgrade. But, there’s one major challenge.
People look for a specific number of bedrooms when they shop for a new home, so reducing the number of rooms in your home also effectively reduces the number of buyers who will be interested in it when you sell. This can be especially damaging in today’s real estate market because more and more buyers are looking for large homes that can accommodate multi-generational families. So what can you do to maximize your space?
Instead of knocking down walls and merging rooms, consider making non-permanent changes that allow you to use the space in a way that’s fulfilling to you, but that doesn’t alter your home’s floor plan. For example, if you need more storage, treat a spare room as a large walk-in closet or dressing room.
Eliminating Storage Space
Just as eliminating a bedroom hurts your home’s value, transforming any existing storage or closet space into something else can also have a negative effect. Although you don’t advertise the number of closets when you put the home on the market, many buyers keep a sharp eye out for storage.
If you get rid of a closet in your master bedroom to make the room larger and there’s little to no storage left, you risk turning off a fair number of buyers. The same is true if you eliminate the coat closet downstairs, removing the only obvious storage space on the main floor.
If you need more living space, rather than removing closets, try to optimize the way your furniture is set up to make each room multi-functional.
Adding Too Much Personalization
You want your house to feel like home, but if it’s not your forever home, it’s wise to take pause before you do any major taste-specific projects.
While you may look at your boldly patterned wallpaper and see perfection, but buyers with different tastes will look at it and see a big project. So does that mean you can’t do anything to personalize your home?
Of course not! It just means it would be wise of you to take a less final approach. Stick to neutral colors and opt for wall decals or temporary wallpaper instead of more permanent options. If you do decide to go with a bold look, that’s fine too. Just be prepared to do some painting or wallpaper tear down before you list your home for sale.
Converting the Garage
Turning the garage into a guest house or small apartment can seem like a great way to earn extra income, because you can rent the space out or list it on AirBnB. But, doing so can bring down the value of your home when you want to sell. Many buyers would rather have a place to store their cars than an additional, detached living space.
If you do decide to incorporate an income property, check local laws and see if you can build an addition in your backyard. Doing so will give you a separate income-generating space that you can rent out without sacrificing your garage space.
Before you start knocking down walls or making huge changes to your home, it’s worth considering reversible options that will let you improve your current living situation without hurting your home’s resale value.
If you’re wondering what renovations you should make before listing your home, check out our article on affordable pre-sale renovations for ideas. We also highly recommend getting the opinion of a qualified real estate agent who is familiar with your area.