6 Tempting Upgrades That Smart Homeowners Avoid

Not all home improvements are created equal. In fact, some so-called “upgrades” actually can decrease the value of your home, especially if you are planning on selling in the near future. Even if you are not planning to put your house on the market soon, some enticing enhancements simply cost way too much time and money, especially when you figure that you may never be able to recoup on your investment. Read on for a few home renovations you might want put off—forever.

  1. Master Miss

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    Renovations master bedroom

    Zillow Digs home in Santa Barbara, CA

    So you want to update the master bedroom. Maybe you'd like to renovate the master bath while you're at it, adding in state of the art bathtubs, showers, and more. And why not knock down a wall to finally expand that closet? That's all well and good for some budgets, but don't expect it to pay off when it comes time to sell. Master suite additions take lots of time and money to complete and most homeowners only recoup half of the cost upon resale. 

    Larger scale remodels take more time to complete. And that could mean more nights sleeping in a half-renovated room—or dozing off in the guest room or hotel suite. Save yourself some of the hassle by making small improvements to the master suite over the time.


    Related: 10 Things Your Bedroom Might Be Missing

  2. Form vs. Function

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    Renovations function over fashion

    Zillow Digs home in Yonkers, NY

    Remember when a pastel pink bathtub was the height of home fashion? These days, however, the sight of one at in open house or online listing could send home buyers heading for the hills. The same holds true for other home trends. Once the novelty of a niche appliance, fixture, or technology wears off—and that day may come sooner than later, depending on the trend—you'll end up with home decorating that's more of a liability than an asset. Trust in classic appliances, paint colors, and fixtures where possible—and leave the risky decor choices to wall art or textiles that can be switched out when staging a house.


    Related: 9 Ways to Make Your Old Bathroom New Again

  3. Working Remotely

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    Renovations home office

    ikea.com

    These days, it may seem like nearly everyone works from home at least part of the time. Resist the urge, though, to add an office remodel to your home improvement to-do list. Not only does a dedicated home office take up valuable square footage in your home, but you can only expect to recoup less than half of your investment upon resale. If you simply must have a home office, avoid installing costly built-in bookcases and desks. Instead opt for more multi-purpose furnishings that are easy to change or remove.


    Related: 9 Easy Designs for a DIY Desk

  4. Water Woes

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    Renovations adding a pool

    Zillow Digs home in Sacramento, CA

    One of the best things you can do for your resale value? Skip the pool. Many prospective buyers want nothing to do with these money pits. For one, they're a potential safety hazard for young families and pets. Secondly, an in-ground pool can cost more than $2,000 a year to maintain—and that doesn't even include water. Swimming pools can cause a spike in your homeowner’s liability insurance, not to mention take up prized backyard leisure space. If you simply must swim, take a fraction of the money you would have spent and invest in a gym membership.


    Related: 7 Ideas to Steal from Real People’s Tiny Backyards

  5. Over the Top

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    Renovations sun room

    Zillow Digs home in Loudonville, NY

    The sunroom, or a three-season room, takes the place of a deck or porch in many homes. Although adding a sunroom may seem like a great idea to maximize your outdoor living space, the reality is that sunrooms return less than half of your investment upon resale. The reason is that not all prospective buyers see sunrooms as an asset. Some will see those glassed-in walls as a huge drain on the home’s energy efficiency, while others may prefer the true “outdoor” living space that a patio can offer.


    Related: 12 Reasons Why Your House Isn't Selling

  6. Too High

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    Two story

    fotosearch.com

    Another pricey home addition is putting on a second story. Although it may give you double the amount of living space, it can cost more trouble—and money—than its worth if the rest of your neighbors call single-story buildings home. This in turn may translate to higher property taxes for you, and it may price potential buyers out of the market when it comes time to sell.


    Related: 7 Money Pit Home Improvements You Might Regret

  7. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!