If You Build It, Will They Buy?

Adding on to your current home or making other changes to your home may make you more comfortable and the home more enjoyable, but when it comes to selling, will it net you the same value as it cost you to do it?  Things that add functional space to a home are a wise investment.  Adding a “game room” or family room (not media room) can be proven to add value to a home when it’s time to sell.  In Lake Havasu, adding an additional garage or garage bay will add value to your home too!  Things that are considered maintenance are necessary to keep the home in prime condition for selling, but don’t necessarily add value.  Even a new A/C system may not really add value.  Don’t do maintenance projects with the thought that you are adding value to your home.  Here are 6 things that you think would add value, but may not add what you think they should.


  1. Swimming Pool.  It’s nice to enjoy at a friend or neighbors, but not always so nice when it’s yours.  Some elderly folks or families with young children may even consider them a liability and decline to purchase a home with one.  The price to add a pool is costly and then you’ll have maintenance costs on top of that.  If you put in a pool, put it in for your own pleasure but not to add value.  You won’t realize your actual costs back when you sell.
  2. Overbuilding for the neighborhood.  Don’t do a remodeling project that costs $100,000 to a home valued at $150,000 if your neighborhood doesn’t support the value.  While it will be nice to have, buyers that have $250,000 to spend on a home will be looking in a neighborhood of $250,000 homes.
  3. Extensive Landscape.  While adding beautiful landscaping to a home may increase its curb appeal or make the rear yard more appealing – some buyers may consider it a burden to maintain and if left uncared for could actually become an eyesore.  Appraisers will tell you they don’t add value for landscaping because if the owner has to walk away from the home and the yard isn’t maintained, or dies, the bank (lender) wouldn’t get any value back.  It could even bring the value down.
  4. Inconsistent high end upgrades.  Remodeling a kitchen with new cabinets and high end appliances but then leaving the bathrooms with vinyl flooring and original fixtures will be viewed as a “work in progress” and won’t add the same value as if the entire home were completed.
  5. Wall to wall carpeting.  Buyers today prefer other flooring types such as tile and hardwood flooring and even stained concrete finishes.  Installing new carpet rather than a different type of flooring may not add much value.  Consider other options when replacing flooring.
  6. Invisible improvements.  New electrical wiring or interior plumbing lines may increase safety and be a necessity to a property, but they are things the buyer can’t see and therefore to them does not add value.

If you are considering selling your home, and you want to do improvements, do your research and determine if for your area the project you want to do will be for your own enjoyment or will add value as an investment to the property that you will see when you sell.