Now that more homeowners are looking to create housing wealth by way of the remodel, it bears mention that not all home improvements are created equal. True, some upgrades not only increase a home’s marketability and reduce selling time, but they return more that their cost in increased home value. These types of repairs are good in every way, and also are a great alternative for sellers who are stuck in their current living situation, and would prefer to make the best out of their circumstances by optimizing their home to fit their needs. Yet other “repairs” are more like upgrades. They are pricey, do little to increase a homeowner’s enjoyment, and to make matters worse, don’t provide any kind of return on the investment when it comes to selling. Check out this list below of the Five Worst Home Improvements for the Money:
1. Home office conversion – Average cost: $28,888 – Average percentage recouped at the time of sale: 45.8%
- Typically, buyers would prefer to just have a plain ‘ol bedroom. What’s more, marketing a home as having an office invokes thoughts of actually having to work, something a buyer may prefer not to consider while making their decision.
2. Sunroom addition – Average cost: $75,224 – Average percentage recouped at the time of sale: 48.6%
- Often times, sunrooms are “additions”, which change the footprint of the. This not only can be costly, but drastic changes such as these can deter many buyers. Given the cost, the potential value associated with a sunroom simply doesn’t add up.
3. High-end master suite upgrade – Average cost: $232,062 – Average percentage recouped at the time of sale: 52.7%
- High-end upgrades such as a master suite makeover often times don’t “lay out” as well as if they were designed into the home originally. What’s more, buyers will often pass on a home where the level of quality inconsistent from one room to the next. Definitely one of the worst home improvements for the money.
4. Mid-high end bathroom addition – Average cost: $21,695 – $40,710 – Average percentage recouped at the time of sale: 53%
- Instead of dealing with the high cost of adding on a bathroom, re-purposing living space to add an extra bathroom into the fold can be cheaper and help sellers to recuperate a larger share of their investment.
5. Well-appointed, detached 2-car garage – Average cost: $90,053 – Average percentage recouped at the time of sale: 53.6%
- Long story short, while every handy-person has dreamed of a garage with lots of cool built-ins and windows for natural light, few are willing to pay so dearly for one. Easily one of the worst home improvements for the money ever!
What’s listed above is well-known by the infamous “fix-n-flippers”, who typically stick with low-cost, high-impact repairs such as new carpeting, fresh paint, and dual-pane windows. But in today’s market, many regular long-term owner-occupants find themselves stuck in their home when the time would otherwise be right to slide into a move-up property. So given their limitations, they are choosing to add-on and upgrade their home so as to continue to enjoy it while they ride out the housing storm.
Upgrades and additions are a good way to continue to enjoy a home, as long as sellers understand the difference between improvements they make for personal satisfaction, and those they make to increase appeal for future buyers. Because five years from now, that sweat lodge in the backyard and the espresso bar in the bedroom won’t bring back what they cost to put in. So here’s hoping that they were enjoyed to the max.