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Renovations With the Worst ROI

Some of the most popular renovations, such as a kitchen remodel or landscape upgrade, are likely to cost your sellers more than they’ll get back at resale. And a major mistake sellers make when undertaking home improvement is tailoring the project to their own personal tastes without considering potential resale value, Alex Lavrenov, a broker with Warburg Realty in New York, told Some costly renovations may even hurt your sellers’ chances of attracting offers at all.

When a homeowner remodels, he or she should keep in mind the impact of the work on a potential sale. Amanda Lauren from recently interviewed real estate professionals to highlight remodeling projects that likely won’t add value to a home, including:

So what are the best home renovations for ROI at resale? Check out the National Association of REALTORS®’ Home Remodeling Impact Report, which covers DIY projects and outdoor features.

Removing the bathtub. Large, luxurious standing showers are trendy, but getting rid of a bathtub altogether could prove to be a costly mistake. “Families with small children will most likely want a bathtub,” says Jean Brownhill, CEO and founder of Sweeten, which matches homeowners with contractors. “Older homeowners will more likely want a walk-in shower for accessibility’s sake. Think about your neighborhood demographics and who has been moving in and out. If it’s largely an older demographic, building a walk-in shower is probably a good idea. If it skews younger, keep that bathtub.”

Hobby rooms. “Specialized hobby spaces will only appeal to other hobbyists who share your passions, whether jewelry making, pottery, or woodworking,” says Gerard Splendore, another broker with Warburg Realty. “I don’t know if anyone includes a home darkroom anymore, but if it is in the listing description, it may deter buyers from even coming to see the property.”

Over-customization. Wallpaper, fixtures made from high-priced materials, or painting the walls with designs can be a turnoff to buyers. “These types of features tend to be very personal to the current homeowner and don’t necessarily translate into added value for the next homeowner,” Lavrenov says. “My recommendation would always be for the seller to save their energy and money because these cosmetic renovations probably will not add any resale value.” Beware of adding fixtures, such as shelving, media consoles, and Murphy beds. “You want to steer clear of adding fixtures that the buyer might actually want to do away with as soon as they move in or renovations that they feel actually take away from the living space.”

In addition, real estate referral company HomeLight recently produced the following infographic detailing some of the best and worst renovation projects as they relate to ROI. HomeLight found that simply deep-cleaning your house could have a significant return on investment compared to high-end landscaping.

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