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“Before homeowners waste money on an investment, it pays to consider
what improvements buyers might not appreciate."

Common Home Investments to Reconsider

Homeowners almost always think of home improvements in a positive way, where no one wants to imagine that their beloved additions would not generate more value when it comes time to sell the home. But beyond the basics like routine home maintenance tasks such as keeping plumbing up to date and treating the wood on a deck, which home improvements really attract buyers that see the value in the job? Surprisingly, a number of common home improvements do not prompt potential buyers to appreciate the value of the task, and as a result, the costs of the improvements may not be factored as hoped into the purchase price. Before homeowners waste money on an investment, it pays to consider what improvements buyers might not appreciate. Some chief considerations are swimming pools, extensive landscaping and inconsistent high-end upgrades.

Typically, sellers are surprised to learn potential buyers do not value a treasured swimming pool. What’s not to love about a refreshing addition where adults keep cool during the summer and the children entertain their classmates? Well, plenty of people view swimming pools as dangerous and more of a liability than a pleasure. In addition to the fears about safety, swimming pools present high maintenance costs. Between the installation and the upkeep, a pool can cost a lot in the long run, for example in the tens of thousands of dollars, especially if the seller is not able to recoup the costs by finding a homebuyer who sees the value of paying for the pool.

Elaborate landscaping represents another home improvement that a buyer may not see as valuable. In particular, not everyone enjoys the labor of tending a garden or can offer the time or skills needed to keep the yard in good form. While it is true that buyers may be attracted to a property because of the landscaping, it does not follow that all buyers will see the value in paying for the landscaping in the purchase price. In fact, buyers may balk at the effort required to maintain the yard. The bottom line is that sellers cannot expect everyone will treasure their landscaping the same way they do.

Another are that sellers might not see value is high-end upgrades, especially if the improvements do not match the overall condition of the home. For example, stainless steel appliances in the kitchen make more sense if the bathroom is equally up to date. On the other hand, high-end appliances seem out of place if the bathroom faucets and tub look ordinary. Most buyers want to see consistency throughout the home in order to justify the price of high-end appliances all over, and not just in one room. The message here is that if upgrades are made in one area, be sure to make them throughout the home in order for the buyers to see the value and want to pay for it.

Every homeowner likes to think the improvements they make will be reflected in their home’s sale price, but the truth is, not all buyers agree. A few common improvements including swimming pools, blockbuster landscaping and inconsistently high-end appliances can fail to return the investment that sellers would hope. Consider carefully before making such additions to the home, and beware that the value of all such additions may only be in the eye of the beholder.

RE/MAX of Tenafly

                    RE/MAX Associates lead agents
                     of competing companies in
                    professional designations which
                 denote specialized training and
               education. They dominate the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Certified Relocation Professional (CRP), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and Leadership Training Graduate (LTG) ranks. Read more...

About Orly Chen

  Orly Chen is a leading
Tenafly real estate agent
in Northern New Jersey
specializing in the Bergen
County area. Her
outgoing personality,
honesty and
approachability and
integrity make Orly
one of the most sought-
after agents in the
Northern New Jersey
real estate market

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