Home improvements are usually made for two reasons—personal enjoyment, or to boost your home’s resale value. Ideally, renovation projects accomplish both goals!

If you are making a change purely for your own enjoyment, you may not care how it impacts resale value, especially if you have no intentions to move. In this case, do as you like. Splurge. Revel in your living space and upgrade at will.

However, if a move is in your future… even your distant future… it’s a good idea to consider whether the investment will help or hurt your resale value. Here are three of the worst upgrades, in terms of return on investment.

1. A Swimming Pool

Only the most devoted pool enthusiasts are willing to put in the time, energy, and money to maintain a swimming pool, which requires heating, filtering, cleaning, and maintaining the proper pH of hundreds of gallons of water.

Above ground pools are no big deal, right? Yes and no. Since they might hurt your selling price, you may want to offer removal as a contractual option. Unlike inground pools, removing an above ground pool usually isn’t a major construction project.

Inground pools, however, are another story. In a market that enjoys year-round warm weather, a pool may work in your favor. Even so, buyers may not share your love of sun and water—or may view an inground pool as a commitment of time and money they may not be willing or able to spend.

Additionally, buyers may fear the risk and legal liability posed by young children—whether their own or from the neighborhood—gaining unsupervised access to a pool. Anything that reduces the number of interested buyers limits your resale value.

2. Garage Space Converted into Living Space

Sacrificing garage space for more living space is a dangerous move, in terms of resale value. Most homeowners want a garage to protect their vehicles and as a workspace for various home projects. Attached garages, in particular, provide weather-protected convenience upon returning from shopping trips.

A garage is usually a bigger selling point than extra living space. For a better investment, put your money into finishing other spaces, like an attic or a basement.

3. “Over-the-Top” Enhancements

Your dreams may include adding a wine cellar, a luxury master bathroom with imported Italian tiles, or a dedicated home theatre in the basement. Great! But don’t expect to recoup these extravagant expenses when you sell your home, since buyers may not share your passion for great wine, imported designer architectural details, or big screen movies.

Other “over-the-top” enhancements include:

  • Koi ponds or fountains
  • Dedicated high-tech or luxury home offices
  • Bedrooms with custom “kid” features (a built-in bed shaped like a castle, a fireman’s pole, etc.)
  • Specialized roofing, including clay tile or custom architectural tile
  • Jacuzzis, hot tubs, and whirlpools
  • Huge walk-in closets that sacrifice bedroom space or the number of bedrooms

If you are making these types of renovations to improve your own quality of life and plan to stay put long enough to enjoy them, great! They should only be done if the pleasure you’ll experience outweighs the cost—and you don’t expect to recoup the investment when it’s time to sell.

Learn more about which home improvements are best for increasing the value of your home, or consult a real estate professional. Your Accredited Buyer’s Representative knows what buyers want—and what may drive them away.

Larry Mitchell, Texas Realtor



254 681 5115 Cell

254 226 3362 Direct Line

Jim Wright Company

3800 South W. S. Young Drive Suite 103

Killeen, Texas  76542