Not everything you’ve heard over the years about home improvements actually “improves” your return on investment. In fact, there are some myths that continue to crop up that surprise homeowners when they price their homes to sell them on the market. Learning the difference between a change you make for your family to enjoy versus an improvement that raises your home’s value can be a painful lesson if you wait until requesting a market evaluation from your real estate agent.
- Every renovation adds value to the home. Splitting a large master bedroom to create a guest room or add a bathroom to your home might increase your asking price, but that doesn’t mean an underwriting evaluation determines it the same way. And while combining two smaller rooms into one or removing a wall could increase the room’s usefulness, on paper, the decrease in bedrooms might lower the valuation amount. If improving livability for your family is the goal, do what works best for you. But, if you’re renovating so that you can sell for a higher price, talk to a home valuation expert, such as a licensed appraiser, to see what really gives you a return for your home.
- Completing the project yourself saves money. This myth only holds true if you’re a qualified contractor. Sometimes, in an effort to save money, you end up spending more to correct errors you didn’t know not to make. Hiring qualified professionals nearly always pays off as compared to doing it yourself.
- Pools add sales value. Many homeowners believe that installing a hot tub or pool makes their home more attractive. While in some locations this indeed is true, if your home is located in a climate with variable seasons, a pool requiring maintenance can be off-putting to many buyers. Putting in a pool should be for the sake of those living in the home. When it comes time to sell, your experienced real estate agent can help you market it with a pool even if that’s not a big seller in your location.
- Improvements should be trendy. Despite what you see on television, not all design trends improve your bottom line. Trading out your bathroom door for a barn door might satisfy your need to update your home, but not all buyers appreciate the lack of privacy a barn door offers. And, while shiplap might be popular when promoted by a well-known designer, homebuyers often prefer less textured walls on which to make their own mark.
The bottom line is that to improve your bottom line, stick with upgrades to appliances, a new roof, replacing that garage door and upgrading the landscaping. Your real estate professional can clue you in on which improvements increase the price and which promote a speedier sale. When you’re ready to sell, ask for a market evaluation on your house.