Four (Surprising) Home Upgrades That Can Downgrade Its Market Value

There are lots of home improvements that add to your bottom line when it’s time to sell. But don’t make the mistake of assuming that every dollar you spend on upgrades and renovations means a higher price tag on your home. Here are four (surprising) home upgrades that can actually downgrade your home’s market value.

That Chef Kitchen

Say it ain’t so! While the chef kitchen — aka the trophy kitchen — is often the star of a home, and one episode of House Hunters makes that abundantly clear, an upscale kitchen reno only recoups 54% of its cost in added value. That’s according to Remodeling magazine’s 2020 Cost vs Value report. If you love to cook, and your dream kitchen has that trifecta of high end countertops, appliances, and custom cabinetry, that’s great. But just because you dropped $100k to make that dream a reality doesn’t mean your home is suddenly worth $100k more than it did before the reno.

If your goal is return on investment plus a great kitchen, smaller upgrades are probably a better choice.

That Dreamy Master Suite

Turning your master into a true oasis by stealing some space from the closet or knocking down a wall? That might be problematic down the road. Most buyers need a closet to see a room as a true bedroom, and downgrading from a four-bedroom to three (or smaller) can mean a lower selling price.

That DIY Paint Job

Unless you’re prepared to properly prep, paint and touch up, you’re running the risk of a paint job that screams amateur. Hiring a professional will mean a professional job, and that makes it easier to ask for top dollar.

That Pool

Here’s the thing about pools. If you think your family will enjoy a pool, go for it. But don’t put in a pool to add value, because you’ll never recoup the cost. And for some buyers, a pool is actually a strike against a home — they just don’t want to deal with the maintenance or the insurance.

An Easy Best Practice

Making an informed decision about a particular home renovation is as simple as asking, ahem, an expert. That last thing you want to do is dump a bunch of money into something that’s going to actively work against down the road. After all my years in the business, I can offer some feedback on what home renovations are worth in the money in the Bay Area and Reno, and what might become an issue when you sell. Contact me today.

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