Home Value Don’ts

Mike Capelle, Broker/OwnerMike Capelle, Broker/Owner

Your home is one of your biggest financial investments, but you can easily reduce the value of that investment by how you treat it. Here are five things to avoid that could reduce your home value.

Rough Renovations

Renovation projects are likely the first thing that comes to mind when people think about increasing home value. It’s true that putting money into good renovations is a solid investment and will raise your home’s value, but there is a vital emphasis on these being good renovations—done with proper permits and in a professional manner. A project improperly done can make your home look rough or a do-it-yourself mess. Prospective buyers will see poor renovations as something they’ll have to redo, rather than a selling point for the home. Unpermitted changes can make your home unfinanceable for buyers. So plan your projects carefully and enlist professional help if you need to.

The Wrong Renovations

Along with poor-quality renovations, getting the wrong kind of renovation can also hurt your home value. Kitchen and bathroom renovations have the highest impact, but you need to get them right. The secret lies in simplicity and mass appeal. In kitchens, it’s safest to stick with renovations to the sink, countertops and cabinets, and updates to the appliances. In the bathroom, invest in neutral, attractive flooring and fixtures. Express your individuality with decorative accents—not with permanent features.

Extreme Customization

It’s your home, so you’re free to express your personality in the interior however you’d like. But when you’re trying to sell, consider that your personal tastes could be different than those of some buyers. Prospective buyers like to visualize their own lives and belongings in a house, and that’s difficult if the interior is highly customized. You don’t need to paint every wall white, but put yourself in a buyer’s shoes and choose neutral colors and decor likely to appeal to a wide range of people.

An Untidy Exterior

The exterior is the first part of your home that potential buyers will see. If your yard is in serious need of some weeding or trimming, it will make your house look messy and give buyers the impression that the yard will require a lot of upkeep. Old fences, worn siding and peeling paint all give buyers the impression of future improvement projects of the less-fun variety. If you’re ready to list your house, keep your exterior free of extraneous items, like kids’ toys, for showings.

Skipped Upkeep

Performing routine maintenance plays a large part in preserving your home’s value and can even increase its appeal. Devise a home maintenance schedule and stick to it. Even simple tasks like regularly changing your furnace filter can make a difference in your home’s condition and value. Most buyers do not want to immediately deal with deferred maintenance.

— Inspiration: U.S. Bank Blog

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