“Flashy renovations don’t always yield the best returns,” notes RisMedia’s Housecall. The real estate website and others list four projects to avoid:
Swimming pool and hot tubs: Many buyers simply don’t want the hassle and expense comes with these items. Maintaining a swimming pool, for example, can cost as much as $2,000 a year, not to mention added insurance premiums and safety issues. Rather than adding value to a home, pools and hot tubs can be a liability when it comes time to sell.
Special rooms: Wine cellars, movie theaters and saunas might denote luxury to you, but unless you’re living in an upscale neighborhood, most homebuyers won’t want to pay for them. “Further,” notes Housecall, “rooms that depend heavily on wired electronics, like home theaters, are hard to keep current because TVs and speakers are constantly advancing.”
Flashy accents: You may love the look of gold-plated crown molding or mosaic-tile backsplashes, but “they often turn out to be the average homebuyer’s worst nightmare,” warns Housecall. Trends come and go quickly, and when such eye-catching accents are outdated, they are huge turnoffs to buyers who would prefer a neutral canvas for their own ideas.
Anything above area standards: If you improve a home, it’s important to resist putting more money into a renovation than the sale of the house will yield. For example, if your home is worth $600,000 after renovations in a neighborhood where most homes sell for $500,000, you aren’t likely to recoup the cost.