11 Renovations That Will Actually Hurt Your Property Values in Houston

March 13, 2019 by Jorge Lopez

Computer Tablet with Master Bathroom Design Over House Plans, Pencil and Compass.
When you’re a homeowner, you can update your residence in any way you like. But just because you can picture an update, that doesn’t mean you should do it. Every renovation you make should be calculated to raise your property value, at least if you want to sell your home someday and land on your feet. However, some home renovations don’t add the value homeowners expect them to.In fact, some updates can actually lower the value of your property. Here are a few you may want to avoid.

1. Solar Panels

There’s a misleading belief that solar panels will save anyone who installs them a lot of money. It turns out they’re often more trouble than they’re worth. They’re expensive to maintain, and typically they fail to generate the return on investment you’d hoped for, especially in the Houston area.

2. Swimming Pool

Swimming pools might seem like an excellent addition, but they can be more of a turn-off for potential buyers, even in a hot climate like Houston’s. “The cost and expense of aquatic amenities never find their way back into your pocket,” says Elizabeth Weintraub of The Balance.

“Many people won’t buy a home with a swimming pool; they don’t want to deal with the upkeep or safety issues. In fact, as part of negotiations, a buyer might insist that you tear out the pool or whirlpool.”

3. Extravagant Bathroom Updates

Bathrooms are a key factor for people shopping for a new place, especially the master ensuite. However, you mustn’t overspend.

It’s easy to get carried away with a bathroom upgrade, but a little paint and a new vanity might just do the trick. Small updates are the least risky.

You might also remodel a master ensuite, which will add wow factor to a home, but you don’t have to pull out all the stops. A bathroom can be beautiful and functional without losing all your return.

4. Too Much Wallpaper and Texture

Wallpaper is making a comeback in a good way, but you should reserve it for accent walls, for the most part. Wallpaper throughout the entire house will date your home fast, even if you select the latest patterns.

Texture is another way to date your property immediately. Smooth, flat walls are one of the best investments you can make to boost property values and attract prospective buyers.

5. Unique Tiling

Tile is common in Houston houses because it keeps the spaces cool and is easy to maintain. This kind of update can add value to your property as long as you keep it simple. “Many buyers like to upgrade the floors in their homes,” realtor Bob Gordon told GoBankingRates.

“Adding tile or wood can make an improvement in value — unless you get that person that wants the 1950s diner look and installs black-and-white tile. For their vision, this is the pinnacle of cool. But for the resale value, most homebuyers will see it as a distraction and something they will need to rip out.”

6. Loud Colors and Decor

You might love loud colors and bold decor, but think twice before you create a permanent update to your home that entails a raucous style.

It’s true that a paint job is fairly easy to cover so the buyer may be able to ignore it, but it’s not necessarily easy for a shopper to imagine what the home would look like with his or her preferred colors. If you paint your home in your preferred style, it might be smart to repaint it in more neutral colors when you’re getting ready to sell.

7. Fanciful Landscaping

A nicely manicured lawn can go a long way toward drawing in buyers. You can even raise your property value a few thousand dollars just by fixing up the yard a little.

However, there’s no need for extensive landscaping that takes hours a week to maintain. It’ll be a rare new owner who wants to buy a house that promises so much work, so you’re likely to lose money in the long run. Opt for low-maintenance landscape improvements instead.

8. DIY Electrical or Plumbing

Homeowners can save a lot of funds with DIY projects around the house. Paint, landscaping, and other minor updates can freshen up your home for a lot less than it would cost to hire someone else to do it.

But there are at least two categories of upgrade that you should never try to do yourself unless you’re an expert, and those are plumbing and electrical. You will run massive risks if you try to make those renovations without proper expertise. Leave it to the experts.

9. Ornate Light Fixtures

Light fixtures can be a simple, inexpensive way to refresh the appearance of a room, but don’t get carried away here, either. Overspending won’t guarantee a solid return.

“Good lighting normally pleases buyers, but it’s not often a deciding factor in purchasing a property,” Doug Murray of HGTV writes. “Instead of spending thousands on fancy fixtures that will just lead to higher hydro bills, go for simple, energy-efficient upgrades such as LED lights.”

10. Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

Carpet is nice in some rooms of a house, but the trends of the last few decades have prioritized hard flooring over carpet. Too much carpet — especially carpet that covers up hardwood — can lower your values.Instead, why not add carpet to certain rooms, such as the bedrooms, but refinish the rest of your hardwood floors instead.

Research shows that 54 percent of homebuyers say they’re willing to pay more for a home that has hardwood flooring. High-quality laminate or tiles that look like wood flooring are also popular options if an update is in order.

11. High-End Kitchen Updates

The kitchen has the punch to sell a home all by itself, if it’s done well. Making a few key updates to this space, including a better layout and higher-quality countertops, can add significant value.

If you get carried away, however, you’ll be footing a significant bill with little return over the long haul. The national average for a major kitchen remodel is about $57,000, but you’ll only retrieve about $38,000 of that in resale.

If you want to recoup resale value and make it easier to sell your home, select a more affordable kitchen renovation.

Contact Green Residential When You’re Ready to Sell

You might be thinking about selling your home in the near future or maybe several years down the road. When you’re ready to take that step, give Green Residential a call.

Our flat-fee realty service provides all the expertise you could possibly need without exorbitant fees. For more information, contact us today!

Jorge Lopez

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