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22 Projects That Will Actually Hurt Your Home’s Resale Value

While some projects instantly increase resale value, others can cost you in the long run. Check out these 22 projects that may hurt your home's resale value.

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West One Bathrooms Ltd.

Luxury Bathroom

Although an upgraded bathroom can add value to your home, steer clear of going too high-end if you’re planning on selling soon. That freestanding or whirlpool tub may be your pride and joy, but a buyer may see it as a waste of space, according to Realtor.com. Overly opulent bathrooms definitely fit in the category of projects that will actually hurt your home’s resale value. Follow these 20 tips for planning a successful house remodel.

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Projects That Will Actually Hurt Your Home’s Resale Value:

While some projects instantly increase resale value, others can cost you in the long run.

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blackPlusONE/Shutterstock

Bold or Dark Paint Color

While you may be tempted to go bold in choosing a paint color, it’s best to play it safe if you’re getting ready to sell. According to Zillow, dark colors may leave buyers cold. Instead, go with neutral and lighter tones that won’t bother potential buyers and won’t hurt your home’s value. Choose the right colors with this paint color guide.

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dfh17sep044-10-1200x1200 glass bathroom tileketteimages/Shutterstock

Tacky Tile

Tile can add value to your home if it’s an on-trend style, installed correctly and there aren’t other outdated materials left behind in other rooms. While experts agree that hard surfaces improve your home’s appeal and more value than carpets, room-to-room consistency rates just as high, according to HomeLight. For the most appeal, don’t create a jumble of flooring surfaces in your home. Follow these do’s and don’ts for a subway tile backsplash.

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Young couple painting walls in their new house, do it yourself concepttommaso79/Getty Images

Low Quality Paint

Streaky, chipped or low-quality paint can make a home look cheap and unfinished and it will certainly turn some of the more picky buyers away. So make sure you buy a high-quality paint when repainting walls or ceilings within your home.

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wallpaperArtazum/Shutterstock

Too Much Wallpaper

Buyers may accept some trendy wallpaper in your powder room or on an accent wall, but don’t go overboard. Too much wallpaper and texture, according to MSN can be overwhelming to some home buyers who see it as just another project they’ll have to tackle if they buy your home. These 12 things make your home look dated — here’s  how to fix them.

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kitchenshippee/Shutterstock

Over-Done Kitchen

Buyers want an upgraded kitchen, but renovating your kitchen and going high-end won’t guarantee you’ll get your money back when it’s time to sell. A major kitchen remodel typically returns about 59 percent of your investment when you sell, according to a CNBC report. Instead, focus on parts of the kitchen that are the most worn or dated, such as flooring and countertops, and go for mid-range appliances if they are in need of an upgrade. Save money on a kitchen remodel with these 10 tips.

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FH06JUN_469_05_004 layers of flooring carpetFamily Handyman

Carpet, Carpet Everywhere

New carpet can be an inexpensive upgrade if you’re planning to sell, but hardwood offers more bang for your buck when it comes to resale value. That’s because, according to realtor.com, home buyers prefer hardwood. Buyers with allergies tend to look for hardwood, as it doesn’t harbor dust like carpet does. These are the 10 best low-cost alternatives to hardwood flooring.

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Paneled Panache bedroom wall

Huge Bedrooms

You may like big bedrooms, but that doesn’t mean potential buyers will. If you combine two small bedrooms to make one big bedroom, you may turn off buyers who are looking for a home with more bedrooms to accommodate a growing family. Homes with more bedrooms, according to Realtor.com, can usually command higher prices. You’re likely to regret these 12 home renovations later.

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popcorn ceilingh.yegho/shutterstock

Textured Ceilings and Walls

Fancy, textured ceilings and walls may seem like a simple way to make a room stand out. But if buyers don’t like the texture, however, they may set their sights on another home with a smaller refurbishing list. Most people now consider popcorn texture on a ceiling outdated. Instead, stick with textured accessories and decor. Remove a popcorn ceiling faster and easier with these 11 tips.

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screen porch after

Three-Season Porch/Sunroom

Remodeling Magazine notes the cost of the average sunroom comes in at about $70,000, yet the resale returns just over $33,000 to the homeowner. That’s not much of a return! A sunroom can add lots of enjoyment to your home if you plan on staying there for several years, but it’s not worth the cost if you plan on selling soon. Don’t do these things if you want to sell your house.

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reader built home theater steps

Home Theater

Just because you’re a movie buff doesn’t mean potential buyers share your enthusiasm. The investment required for an in-house theater and all its related electronics evaporates when a buyer sees it as a waste of space. If you’re into tech, Digital Trends notes you should go with upgrades that have broader appeal, such as smart thermostats and security systems, when you sell. These 10 home selling myths are totally false.

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Garage Conversion

Some convert their garages to a home gym. Some may turn the space into a family room or even a game room. But if you’re selling, buyers may put higher value on a garage over extra living space.

Experts on Realtor.com note that certain markets put much higher value on garage space, so a home without a garage becomes much harder to sell. Plus there may be tight restrictions on converting garages to living spaces, depending on where you live. Check out these eight reader garage projects and storage tips.

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bathtub removalFamily Handyman

Removing a Bathtub

If you’re remodeling the bathroom, think twice before you remove a bathtub. While you may value a walk-in shower over a tub, buyers with families will likely still want a bathtub. Realtors suggest that you can remove a bathtub as long as there’s another one in a second bathroom. Consider these 12 things when buying a new bathtub.

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roofiyd39/Shutterstock

New Roof

While a leaky roof may present a problem for buyers, many real estate agents note that a new roof is looked at as more of a maintenance issue rather than a remodeling project that increases value. A 2020 market survey by Remodeling Magazine estimates a new roof increases home value by about $16,287, but agents suggest looking at it this way: If you elected not to redo the roof, how much would you expect to have to discount your sale price to entice buyers? Here are 10 common roof problems and what to do about them.

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solaranweber/Shutterstock

Solar Panels

Solar energy installations have come down in price significantly in recent years and their value to prospective buyers keeps rising. However, that does not mean you will cash out by installing them. Quicken Loans reports that contract terms on installations vary and can saddle your property with a lien or other obligations that may cause mortgage companies to back away. Although the market is moving to embrace homes equipped with solar panels, boosting home value may not yet be the primary reason for installing them.  Solar panel makers don’t want you to know these seven things.

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Patio with Retaining WallPhoto: Courtesy of Roots Landscaping

Over-the-Top Landscaping

Not all landscaping is created equal. While you may see a lot of native plants and an extensive vegetable garden as a selling point, buyers may see them as a lot of work and upkeep. Realtor.com notes that to get the most value from your landscaping at selling time, keep it simple with easy-to-care for flowers, plants and trees, and keep it tidy. Check out these 10 tips for landscaping around trees.

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pool zstock/Shutterstock

Backyard Pool

The high cost of pools does not end after installation, routine maintenance also becomes costly. A Kiplinger report shows the average expense to maintain a standard 14-foot by 28-foot pool is $177 a week — which doesn’t include repairs and any additional insurance it may require. That additional expense can turn off buyers. Stay safe with these 10 pool safety tips.

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closetAll About Space/Shutterstock

Closet Removal

Beware of the consequences before you take out a closet to make more room in a bedroom. Michele Silverman Bedell, a chief executive at a residential real estate agency in New York, noted she had a client who took the closet out of the master bedroom.

That project made the home much harder to sell. “People need closets,” she told MarketWatch. “They’ll walk in and count the number of closets per room.” These 12 remodeling ideas will pay off.

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FH02NOV_02733_029 home office renovationFamily Handyman

Home Office

While more people are working from home, consider how much money you put into that home office if you’re planning on selling soon. The going rate for a standard home-office renovation was just under $30,000 in 2015, according to Remodeling Magazine, and sellers recouped only about 55 percent at resale. Bottom line: Make sure you can easily convert your home office back into a bedroom. Try these ten easy DIYs for a home office.

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aquariumZastolskiy Victor/Shutterstock

Aquarium

Put in a built-in aquarium and buyers may be dazzled by the fish and coral, but they likely won’t see added value. Instead, they’ll just see maintenance costs. A quick search online shows the cost of just installing a built-in aquarium can be thousands of dollars, not including fish and upkeep. These five tips will help you sell your house in the winter.

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hot tubNadezda Murmakova/Shutterstock

Hot Tub

Buyers tend to see hot tubs like swimming pools when it comes to resale value —  a costly maintenance issue. While you may associate it with relaxation, don’t be surprised if buyers want you to get rid of it before they sign on the dotted line. Check out these 22 ideas for a relaxing backyard space.