As a homeowner you know that the best way to protect your home’s value is by maintaining it. And, when it comes time to sell it, you’ll find lots of ways to increase its value.
On the flip side, there are few folks willing to tell you how to wreck your home’s value. Until you met us, that is.
Use this list of tips as a cautionary tale – unless, of course, you really want a decrease in value.
1. Convert your garage
More than half of homebuyers want a 2-car garage and 86 percent want a garage with storage, according to a survey conducted the National Association of Homebuilders.
So, although you may think of yours as wasted space or just an oversized junk drawer, carefully consider what a garage conversion can do to your home’s value.
A study found that homebuyers paid between 6 and 10 percent less on homes with no garage, regardless of what replaced it.
On a $200,000 home, that’s a loss of between $15,000 and $20,000.
If you are thinking of selling the home, consider some garage upgrades that may increase its value and make it more attractive to homebuyers. These include:
- A new garage door. According to Remodeling Magazine’s “Cost vs. Value” report, homeowners who installed a new garage door saw a 98.3 percent return on their investment.
- Adding additional storage options, such as shelves and cabinets. Consider overhead storage, suspended from the ceiling, to utilize the wasted space above the cars. It’s quite popular and will catch a buyer’s eye.
- Make the garage look brand new by power-washing the floor and applying an epoxy floor coating (This Old House offers a walk-through of the process). Then, paint the walls with a semi-gloss paint.
2. Bad neighbors
Bad neighbour’s can become a serious problem when it’s time to sell your house. Work with your Realtor to understand what you need to do. The best thing is to try and have an open conversation with them. If that doesn’t work, sometimes you need to have a talk with your local municipality or city to understand what options you have.
- The hoarder: Nearby property that is cluttered with a homeowner’s junk can reduce your home’s value by 5 to 10 percent, according to the Appraisal Institute. If the exterior is extra-packed with debris, you may lose even more value.
- The loud neighbor: Not only are loud neighbors disruptive to other residents, but their (and their pets’) noise can reduce home values by another 5 to 10 percent.
- Unsightly vehicles: Who wants to buy a property when next door they have an old car or a large boat or recreations vehicle.
3. Install a pool
In most parts of the country, adding a pool isn’t going to add value to your home. But, how would you feel if you had the home in the above picture. Having the option on a hot weekend to walk into the backyard and jump into the pool?
In other regions and other neighborhoods it may or may not and in others, a pool is considered an expensive inconvenience and a liability and can drag down the value of your home.
Not only that, but a pool knocks some buyers out of contention. Unless it offers security features, the pool won’t be popular with families with young children.
Consider that the average cost for a complete pool installation will cost between $30,000 and $100,000.
Then, in cities and municipalities, fences around the water feature are mandatory, so factor in that cost.
Ongoing maintenance may cost a bundle as well. The pump and heater, if you have one, could drive up your utility costs by $100 a month or so.
You’ll spend about $600 during the swimming season on chemicals if you maintain your pool yourself.
We bought a home with a pool. We didn’t want one, we had never had one, and it was the best thing that we ever did. We had young children at the time, and our house became the destination of choice from May – September.
This continued for years to come. I love to swim, so I probably used it more than anyone. Rain or shine I could just jump in and do laps.
If you must install a pool for your own enjoyment, keep in mind that it won’t pay for itself when you sell the home and you’ll likely take a hit on your home’s value.
No, these aren’t the only things that negatively impact a home’s value. Many of the others are out of your control. For those issues that are within your control, act on them.
Speak up and protect your investment when the airport decides to change flight paths, when something negative is about to impact the quality of your local school and when value-killing zoning changes are afoot.
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About the Author:
The above article on 3 ways to wreck your home’s value was provided by Regan Pyke, a leader in the field of sales, marketing, and investing in real estate. Regan can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 778-228-2448.
Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for buying and selling Real Estate, as well as marketing & real estate investing. I’d love to share my expertise!