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

While some projects will instantly up resale value, others can actually end up costing you in the long run. Here are 22 projects that may hurt your home's resale value.

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upgradesvscosts_580574197_06 bathroom remodel envisioning plansCapturePB/Shutterstock

Luxury Bathroom

While 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 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 will instantly up resale value, others can actually end up costing you in the long run.

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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 can be a turnoff to buyers. 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Tile can add value to your home if it’s an on-trend style and installed correctly and there aren’t other outdated materials left behind in other rooms, according to Forbes. For instance, don’t put an expensive tile in the mudroom if you still have old vinyl flooring in the bathroom or kitchen. And if you choose a tile that quickly looks dated, buyers may be turned off. Follow these dos 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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Too Much Wallpaper

You may have 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. Here are 12 things that make your home look dated and how you can fix them.

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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 will get you about 59 percent of your investment back, 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 has more bang for your buck when it comes to resale value. That’s because, according to, home buyers prefer hardwood. Buyers with allergies will also be looking 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 combined 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. The more bedrooms a home has, according to MarketWatch, the higher price it can usually command. 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 standout. But if buyers don’t like the texture, they may see it as just another time-consuming project they’ll have to tackle. Think popcorn texture on a ceiling, which is now considered 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 will be. An in-house theater and all the electronics necessary is a costly investment that may seem like a waste of space to some buyers. If you’re into tech, Digital Trends notes you should go with upgrades such as smart thermostats and security systems, which will have more value 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 or even a game room. But if you’re selling, buyers may put higher value on a garage over extra living space.

Realtors on Trulia note you may only get up to 30 percent of your expenses back in the sale, plus there may be tight restrictions on converting garages to living spaces, depending on where you live. Check out these 8 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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New Roof

While a leaky roof may be 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. HomeAdvisor estimates a new roof increases home value by about $12,000, 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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Solar Panels

If you install solar panels on your home, you will likely save on energy costs in the long run, but there’s no guarantee the panels will increase your home’s value. Angie’s List reports some mortgage companies recognize the value of solar panel systems, but only if you own the system.

“If you were to sell your home and your system was installed under a power lease or purchase power agreement, the new buyer would have to take over those payments, and the system would garner no value in the appraisal,” according to the website. 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. 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

Pools are not only expensive to put in, but routine maintenance is also costly. A Kiplinger report shows the average cost to maintain a standard 14-foot by 28-foot pool is $177 a week. That’s not including repairs and additional insurance that may be needed. All that may be a turnoff for 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 your home office can be easily converted back into a bedroom. Try these 10 easy DIYs for a home office.

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aquariumZastolskiy Victor/Shutterstock


Put in a built-in aquarium and buyers may be dazzled by the fish and coral, but likely they won’t see the 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

Hot tubs are a lot like swimming pools when it comes to resale value — buyers may look at them as a costly maintenance issue. While you may think of it as relaxing, but 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.