10 Surprising Things That Can Hurt Your Home’s Value

When it’s time to sell your home, you may be shocked at some of the things that could reduce its value.
Last updated Aug. 25, 2022 | By Jenny Cohen | Edited By Michele Zipp
man selling his house

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It’s a good thing to have your own house and the freedom to make your own improvements. After all, if you’re going to jump through all those hoops with mortgage lenders and pull together the money for a down payment, you might as well have a home that truly reflects your interests — who you are. Maybe you like bold wall colors or watching movies in a personally designed home theater.


But not every improvement is a good move when it comes time to sell your home, and there could be instances where you may actually be hurting its value. Here are some things that, surprisingly, may hurt your home’s value.

Personalized kitchen

didesign/Adobe People looking at plans for home remodeling

Maybe you’ve decided to go all-out on a kitchen remodel with high-end appliances, ultra modern cabinets, and niche tiles to match your personality. If the house isn’t going to be your forever home, these choices may hurt you when it comes time to sell.

Before getting a home improvement loan for any kitchen remodel, think about timeless styles to help your resale value.

Bathroom overboard

Antonio/Adobe Fancy pink bathroom with claw foot tub

Like the kitchen, a bathroom remodel is another project that could cause some issues with resale if it gets too personal. Multi-head showers or a jetted tub may be cool to you, but someone else might not agree. And a bathroom remodel is one of those projects that can get costly quickly, so you may want to keep your money in one of the best savings accounts and pull back your budget a little to only replace what’s absolutely needed. 

Home theater

JenkoAtaman/Adobe Couple watching movie

Home theaters may appeal to families who like to stay in or the movie buff who wants a big screen and a row of recliners. It may be shocking to some, but this addition could hurt your home’s value.

Potential buyers want to see their vision, and a home theater may not be it. Potentially tearing out customized,often built-in, home theater features could seem overwhelming to someone trying to find their next home.

Dark paint

New Africa/Adobe Person painting a black wall with white paint

You might love that deep red wall in your living room and your midnight blue bedroom. But potential buyers may see dark and bold colors and view it as a big painting project.

Freshening up the walls with a neutral color is often one of the recommended things to do before selling your home so that you can better earn the appeal of buyers.

Too much carpet

REDPIXEL/Adobe Person vacuuming carpet

While carpet may be desirable for many, too much of it could derail your home’s value. Hardwood floors are not only trendy but practical in some cases. They’re easier to clean — from everyday dirt to pet hair — and they don’t hold on to extra dust which could affect those with allergies.

And yes, it may be more expensive to install hardwood floors compared to carpet, but this is one upgrade that could pay dividends when it comes time to sell.

Wallpaper

graphixchon/Adobe Woman taking wallpaper off wall in house

Like dark paint, buyers may look at wallpaper and see it as undesirable. It may be a hassle to remove, which is something they don’t want to add to their to-do list to get a house move-in ready. Instead, think about pulling that paper off the wall and repainting with neutral tones so the walls are a blank canvas for any potential new residents.

Converted garage

rh2010/Adobe Woman storing boxes in garage

Homeowners may see their garage as a chance to expand the space of their home. Some may convert it to a man cave, extra office space, or a playroom for the kids. Many buyers, however, may want to have a space to park their cars or store their bikes. Too many renovations could hurt your sale.

Pool

A. Solano/Adboe empty swimming pool with rusty stairs and tile floor

Wouldn’t it be lovely to sit out by your pool on a warm, summer night with a drink in your hand? That might sound like a wonderful time for you, but buyers might see it as a waste of backyard space.

In addition to the cleaning and maintenance for a pool, it could also be an expensive addition to homeowners insurance or liability insurance, especially for families with small children. It’s a shocker for some, but a pool can sometimes turn a buyer off and decrease your home’s value.

Big bedrooms

denisismagilov/Adobe Large bedroom with big windows

A bedroom with deluxe space for a sitting room and office can be lovely to some. Or turning two smaller bedrooms into one large room by knocking down the wall in between them may be something you like, but buyers might not see it that way. It can be a risk to the value of your home if you are reducing the number of bedrooms a future homeowner can use.

Too much decor

bnenin/Adobe Couple planning home renovation

Have you dedicated several rooms of your home to your favorite sports team? Or maybe you’re a collector of art and have walls filled from floor to ceiling. Your style might impede a potential buyer’s ability to see themselves in your home. The longer your home sits on the market, the greater chance it has of reducing in value. De-personalizing your space is a sound idea to attract the most amount of potential buyers.

Bottom line

maxwellmonty/Adobe Woman painting cabinet

Your home is also a real estate investment, so think about how to make money when you’re ready to sell and pass it on to a new owner. There’s no reason for you to shy away from wallpaper or a garage conversion made specifically to your tastes as long as you understand you may need to adjust those things when it comes time to sell.

It’s a good idea to think about setting aside some money when you’re ready to put your home on the market to make sure it also speaks to potential buyers. It may cost a little bit to get all the walls painted in universally appealing colors, but you could make more when you ultimately sell your home.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.