When it comes to home renovations, you have to be careful. Oh, sure, you might be prepared to invest some money now that you don't get back when you sell the home later -- but what if your renovation projects are actually costing you money down the line?
If you make any of these renovation mistakes, it can kill the value of your house altogether!
1. An addition that's too big
You might think that more living space equals higher home value, but that's not always the case. If you add on too much, it can make your house stick out like a sore thumb. Remember, your house has to fit in with the neighborhood around it!
Making matters worse, if you try to do the work yourself (or hire a less-than-awesome contractor), your giant addition will lack the "little things" that make it look polished. In the end, you'll end up with a home that just looks awkward.
The same rules apply for your backyard, too. For example, if you build a giant deck in the middle of your smaller backyard, you won't have any room for kids to play or for a garden to grow -- two things that can be a serious turn-off for future buyers.
2. The wrong addition
Even if your addition is the perfect size, it can still look "not quite right". For example, if the windows don't match what you've already got, or if you opt for fancy French doors (when all of your other doors are made out of modest wood), your addition is going to look completely out of place.
3. A project that's too unique
Creativity is good, right? Not when there's too much of it in your home renovations!
Just because you've always dreamed of pulling up and seeing a Koi pond in front of your house doesn't mean a future buyer is going to feel the same way. In fact, lots of people may think it's just plain weird! Plus, a lot of buyers will see your Koi pond as an inconvenience. They'll either have to maintain it, or pay someone to get rid of it.
The same goes for your odd paint color choices (both inside and out). Your outside paint can be an immediate curb-appeal killer. Even though it's not impossible to change paint colors later, potential buyers will automatically view your house as "the one that needs all that work".
4. Renovations that don't make sense in your region
When you make some changes to your home, you don't just have your neighborhood to worry about. You also have your entire region to think about!
If, for example, you live in Oregon, that pool in your backyard can be a major turn-off. After all, how many months can you actually use it? To potential buyers, you've got an expensive, time-killing headache sitting right in the backyard -- and it may prevent them from making an offer altogether.
5. Too many changes
Some home renovation projects are fine on their own, but when they're part of a bigger plan, you can run into problems.
Let's say you've just tuned your attic into a playroom for the kids and your basement into a media room. You may think you'll get a big chunk of those investments back. However, a potential buyer may think of your home as LESS valuable because you've gotten rid of a ton of storage space. After all, your home doesn't just have to "look cool". It also has to be functional, so that a family can call it home.
Even if you keep the function of your home intact, too many renovations may kill your home's charm. For example, if your home looks like a historic charmer on the outside -- but looks like something out of "The Jetsons" on the inside -- it doesn't have the same appeal.
Remember -- there's a big difference between making some much-needed upgrades and going overboard. Just ask any celebrity who's gotten too much plastic surgery!
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