I frequently get asked questions about home upgrades and the returns they may or may not bring. Many people wonder whether they’ll get the money they invest into improving their home back.

The simple answer is that upgrades don’t always equate to a profit. Upgrades that seem valuable to you may not be valuable to potential buyers.

Knowing what kind of upgrades are and aren’t worth the effort is essential. So today, I’ve got five common upgrades you should avoid. For as common as these upgrades are, they actually have some of the worst return on investment, according to an article by Trulia.

1. Adding a swimming pool. This upgrade can be hit or miss. One of the biggest factors that goes into determining whether or not adding a pool will be a good investment is location. If you are selling a home in Florida, or anywhere else a pool might be used year-round, a pool will be more likely to have a better return. However, even in circumstances like these it’s unlikely you will exceed or even earn back the money you invested in installing the pool to begin with.

2. Highly personalized or customized designs. When something about your home is too personalized, you are vastly decreasing the number of people who will find it appealing. Unless you are going to be staying in your home for years upon years to come, you should avoid making design choices that are too risky. Buyers’ tastes won’t always align with your own.  This causes issues not only in attracting buyers, but in other ways as well. Buyers looking at a home that is too customized will take into consideration the cost of changing features that simply aren’t their style. If that price isn’t worth it to them, you’ll be losing a lot of offers.

“Upgrades that seem valuable to you may not be valuable to potential buyers.”

3. Room conversions.When buyers search for homes, they do so with a checklist in mind. They’ll often be seeking out a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms. If you’ve converted one of these spaces into something unusual, you’re actually harming your home’s resale value.

4. Incremental square footage gains. While making significant gains in square footage is a good upgrade to make in your home, smaller gains aren’t really worth it. Insignificant square footage gains aren’t like you much return on your investment. Placement, also, is important. Even though a half bath on the first floor might be nice, buyers will be put off if they have to walk through or directly past it to get to the kitchen, for example.

5. Over-improving.While this may seem counter-intuitive, you don’t want to be the highest-priced home in the neighborhood. If you have the most expensive property around, your investment isn’t as likely to be returned. When making upgrades, keep your neighborhood’s baseline in mind.

Overall, there’s nothing wrong with making improvements to your home because you enjoy doing them. The important thing to remember is not to give yourself the false hope that all of these upgrades will bring valuable returns when it comes time to sell.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.