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20 Projects That Will Actually Hurt Your Home’s Resale Value

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Costly Projects

Just because you’re doing some renovations and upgrades to your home, there’s no guarantee your home will sell faster or you’ll be able to sell for more money. While some projects will instantly up resale value, others can actually end up costing you in the long run. Here are 20 projects that may hurt your home’s resale value.

Interior of a contemporary bathroomimaginima/Getty Images

Luxury bathroom

While an upgraded bathroom can add value to your home, steer clear of going too high-end if you’re planning on selling soon. That freestanding or whirlpool tub may be your pride and joy, but a buyer may see it as a waste of space, according to


Bold or dark paint color

While you may be tempted to go bold in choosing a paint color, it’s best to play it safe if you’re getting ready to sell. According to Zillow, dark colors can be a turnoff to buyers. Instead, go with neutral and lighter tones that won’t bother potential buyers and won’t hurt your home’s value. Not sure which color to choose? Discover the secret meaning behind these 7 paint colors.

dfh17sep044-10-1200x1200 glass bathroom tileketteimages/Shutterstock

Tacky tile

Tile can add value to your home if it’s an on-trend style, if it’s installed correctly and there aren’t other outdated materials left behind in other rooms, according to Forbes. For instance, don’t put an expensive tile in the mudroom if you still have old vinyl flooring in the bathroom or kitchen. And if you choose a tile that quickly looks dated, buyers may be turned off. Updating tile, with the correct pick, is one of the best home improvements, along with these 30 best home improvements.


Too much wallpaper

You may have some trendy wallpaper in your powder room or on an accent wall, but don’t go overboard. Too much wallpaper and texture, according to MSN, can be overwhelming to some home buyers who see it as just another project they’ll have to tackle if they buy your home. Do you need to remove an excess of wallpaper in your own home? Here are the top tips for removing wallpaper.


Over-done kitchen

Buyers want an upgraded kitchen, but renovating your kitchen and going high-end won’t guarantee you’ll get your money back when it’s time to sell. A major kitchen remodel will get you about 59 percent of your investment back, according to a CNBC report. Instead, focus on parts of the kitchen that are the most worn or dated, such as flooring and countertops, and go for mid-range appliances if they are in need of an upgrade. Here are the cheap kitchen upgrades that really make a difference.

living room and kitchen with carpetYinYang/Getty Images

Carpet, carpet everywhere

New carpet can be an inexpensive upgrade if you’re planning to sell, but hardwood has more bang for your buck when it comes to resale value. That’s because, according to, homebuyers prefer hardwood. Buyers with allergies will also be looking for hardwood as it doesn’t harbor dust like carpet does.

bed. bedroom. gallery wall. lamp and night stand.KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Huge bedrooms

You may like big bedrooms, but that doesn’t mean potential buyers will. If you combined two small bedrooms to make one big bedroom, you may turn off buyers who are looking for a home with more bedrooms to accommodate a growing family. The more bedrooms a home has, according to MarketWatch, the higher price it can usually command. Read about the 50 biggest regrets of first-time home buyers.

popcorn ceilingh.yegho/shutterstock

Textured ceilings and walls

Fancy textured ceilings and walls may seem like a simple way to make a room stand out, but if buyers don’t like the texture, they may see it as just another time-consuming project they’ll have to tackle. Think popcorn texture on a ceiling, which is now considered outdated. Instead, stick with textured accessories and decor. Here are the budget-friendly home decor ideas that make your home look more expensive.

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Three-season porch/sunroom

Remodeling magazine notes the cost of the average sunroom comes in at about $70,000, yet the resale returns just over $33,000 to the homeowner. That’s not much of a return! A sunroom can add lots of enjoyment to your home if you plan on staying there for several years, but it’s not worth the cost if you plan on selling soon. if you like a good sun porch, consider staying at one of these charming bed and breakfasts next time you travel.

Incredible Home Theater from sitting vantage point.EricVega/Getty Images

Home theater

Just because you’re a movie buff, that doesn’t mean potential buyers will be. An in-house theater and all the electronics necessary is a costly investment that may seem like a waste of space to some buyers. If you’re into tech, Digital Trends notes you should go with upgrades such as smart thermostats and security systems, which will have more value when you sell. Here are the other home upgrades that are a huge waste of money.

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Garage conversion

Some convert their garages to a home gym, some may turn the space into a family or even a game room. But if you’re selling, buyers may put a higher value on a garage over extra living space. Realtors on Trulia note you may only get up to 30 percent of your expenses back in the sale, plus there may be tight restrictions on converting garages to living spaces, depending on where you live.

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Removing a bathtub

If you’re remodeling the bathroom, think twice before you remove a bathtub. While you may value a walk-in shower over a tub, buyers with families will likely still want a bathtub. Realtors suggest that you can remove a bathtub as long as there’s another one in a second bathroom. Here are the 20 deal-breakers that make your home unsellable.

Roof shingles on top of the house against blue sky with cloud, dark asphalt tiles on the roof background.Ratchat/Getty Images

New Roof

While a leaky roof may be a problem for buyers, many real estate agents note that a new roof is looked at as more of a maintenance issue rather than a remodeling project that increases value. HomeAdvisor estimates a new roof increases home value by about $12,000, but agents suggest looking at it this way: If you elected not to redo the roof, how much would you expect to have to discount your sale price to entice buyers? Here are 14 projects that will certainly add home value.


Solar panels

If you install solar panels on your home, you will likely save on energy costs in the long run, but there’s no guarantee the panels will increase your home’s value. Angie’s List reports some mortgage companies recognize the value of solar panel systems, but only if you own the system. “If you were to sell your home and your system was installed under a power lease or purchase power agreement, the new buyer would have to take over those payments, and the system would garner no value in the appraisal,” according to the website. These are the 13 home improvements that are definitely worth the investment.

Beautiful landscaping with waterfall, koi pond, and stone patio with wooded surroundings.TimAbramowitz/Getty Images

Over-the-top landscaping

Not all landscaping is created equal. While you may see a lot of native plants and an extensive vegetable garden as a selling point, buyers may see them as a lot of work and upkeep. notes that to get the most value from your landscaping at selling time, keep it simple with easy-to-care-for flowers, plants and trees, and keep it tidy. To make upkeep easier, check out these gardening tips you won’t learn at your local garden center.

outdoor swimming pool. close up on ladder.Hussein Kassir/Getty Images

Backyard pool

Pools are not only expensive to put in, but routine maintenance is also costly. A Kiplinger report shows the average cost to maintain a standard 14-foot by 28-foot pool is $177 a week. That’s not including repairs and additional insurance that may be needed. All that may be a turnoff for buyers. If you do have a pool, be sure you are aware of these 12 ways your swimming pool could be making you sick.

closetAll About Space/Shutterstock

Closet removal

Beware of the consequences before you take out a closet to make more room in a bedroom. Michele Silverman Bedell, a chief executive at a residential real estate agency in New York, noted she had a client who took the closet out of the master bedroom. That project made the home much harder to sell. “People need closets,” she told MarketWatch. “They’ll walk in and count the number of closets per room.” And don’t forget to check on these 10 things most people forget when viewing a potential home.

home office.Bulgac/Getty Images

Home office

While more people are working from home, consider how much money you put into that home office if you’re planning on selling soon. The going rate for a standard home-office renovation was just under $30,000 in 2015, according to Remodeling magazine, and sellers recouped only about 55 percent at resale. Bottom line: Make sure your home office can be easily converted back into a bedroom. Check out this list for other surprising things that decrease property value.

Angelfish in the tropical fish tank.rookiephoto19/Getty Images


Put in a built-in aquarium and buyers may be dazzled by the fish and coral, but likely they won’t see the value. Instead, they’ll just see maintenance costs. A quick search online shows the cost of just installing a built-in aquarium can be thousands of dollars, not including fish and upkeep. These are the 14 things that feng shui experts want you to get rid of.

Hot tub in garden of home during the day with no people: closedBill Oxford/Getty Images

Hot tub

Hot tubs are a lot like swimming pools when it comes to resale value—buyers may look at them as a costly maintenance issue. Even though you may think of it as relaxing, don’t be surprised if buyers want you to get rid of it before they sign on the dotted line. If you’re not so sure a personal hot tub is worth it, plan a trip to one of these natural hot springs around the United States.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.