Personalized Home Improvements Can Backfire When It Comes Time to Sell

Dated: February 13 2021

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Remodeling your home can make it more functional and comfortable for your family, but if the improvements that you make don’t appeal to potential buyers, they may work against you down the road. When you decide to sell your house, buyers may pass on it and look for one with a more conventional design.

Types of Improvements That May Make it Hard to Sell Your House
Converting a bedroom to a home theater or a room for a hobby can give your family a place to relax and devote time to enjoyable activities. It may make it difficult to find a buyer in the future, though, especially if the house doesn’t have a large number of other bedrooms. 

A spacious master suite may or may not appeal to buyers. It will depend on several factors, including the overall size and design of the house and the characteristics of the surrounding neighborhood.

A master bathroom with a hot tub may be a turnoff for prospective buyers who prefer a smaller and simpler bathroom. If you take space that used to be a bedroom and use it to make a large master suite, that may have a negative effect on your home’s resale value.

Kitchen renovations can help a house sell, to a point. If you go all out and spend a lot of money on high-end appliances and countertops, don’t expect to recoup anywhere near the amount you invested when you sell your home. Potential buyers won’t be willing to pay extra for a fancy kitchen if they’re only looking for a functional space where they can prepare simple meals.

Converting the garage to a hobby area, a home gym, or an in-law apartment can backfire when you sell your house. Most buyers will want a garage where they can store their cars, and they may see your improvements as an immediate turnoff.

Should You Renovate Your House?
If you’re considering home improvements, think about how long you will likely live in your house after the project is complete.

  • If you expect to stay there for several years or for decades, it may make sense to spend money on upgrades that your family will enjoy, even if you won’t get back the money you invested when you eventually sell the house.
  • If you might move in the near future, the project you’re envisioning may or may not be a good idea. 

Research comparable homes in the area to find out how many bedrooms and bathrooms and what types of amenities they have. Get quotes from contractors to find out how much the project you’re contemplating would cost and consult an appraiser to find out how the changes might affect your house’s value.

Bottom Line

Before you renovate any major area of your house, think about the long term. Think about how long you plan to live there and how potential buyers may like your changes. Let's connect to discuss your possibilities. Explore my Web site. Or reach out. I'm at 803-610-1319 and

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Bill Jordan

Local Partner. Global Connections. Discreet Service. After years of success in New York City, Bill returned to the South where he was born and raised. As a corporate public relations executive, Bil....

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