5 Home Features that Seldom Add Value When You Sell

A rule of thumb that you should aim to achieve when renovating is to add three dollars back from every dollar you spend.

This three-dollar-for-one rule instantly manifests if the money and time you had invested was worth it. So if you want to add dollars to your home’s final sale price, you need to know which items not to spend your money on.

So, what are the home features that add little or no value to most properties. Here is the answer according to avid investors and renovators.

  1. Swimming pools

You have probably heard this before but it is worth repeating: a swimming pool is a major investment, and it will not give you the return you are hoping for.

You may like this feature, but others may see it as a hassle, danger, or expensive to maintain. If you are in a suburb teeming with young families, you may see them reject perfectly nice homes because of a swimming pool, so if your home already doesn’t have one, don’t build one in hopes of making a good sale.

Swimming pools may look like a good idea, but it is an expensive addition. If you are selling, it can turn off a prospective group of buyers, like families, the elderly, and potentially property investors. A pool will not attract these types of tenants because of maintenance, public liability, insurance and local government regulations relating to fencing and safety barriers.

  1. Excessive fittings and fixtures

With so many renovation shows on TV showing contestants being provided with ridiculous amounts of money for renovations, high-end products of all sorts have been introduced to try to win points.

But while the latest stove may be what your heart desires, with a customised backsplash made of cow hide and gold trims, this may not fit the taste of your buyers. Unless your target buyers belong to the rich, the fixtures and fittings, no matter how expensive and extravagant they are, will not give you a high return on investment.

  1. Things you cannot see

Something you can’t see is not likely to increase your return. This comprises wall and ceiling insulation, double glazing, new air-con systems and stumps.

These things are good to add to your long-term home. But don’t put them in as a selling feature because most people assume they are already installed and are in good working condition. However, it is fine too if they are not there.

Air-conditioners don’t add value to a home for sale. In Australia’s sub-tropical regions, air-conditioning is a must. But, installing a nifty split-system priced at say, $1,000, does not boost the price of your home by $5,000 as many home sellers think. This type of features only boosts a home’s marketability, not the value.

  1. Lavish landscaping or no landscaping

You have to find a balance when it comes to your garden.  A lack of a garden is a major turn off, much like a very fancy garden.

Experts advise a basic makeover is definitely the way to get a return on your outdoors expenses. Some lawn and a simple, easy to maintain garden design should suffice. Don’t go crazy with water features, cladding, secret gardens, paving, etc.

And your rare and/or edible botanicals will not boost your sale price either. You may be able to make delicious marmalade from your fruit trees, but you don’t automatically get money for the jam.

Some sellers believe that trees will be a big seller and add significant value to their property. But unless your property is a working orchard, the average buyer will be lukewarm to a guided tour of fruit trees as they’d rather hear and see the benefits and amenities the property actually offers.

  1. Sub-par DIY work

It’s not so hard to get a false sense of what an average person with a hammer and paint can do. What person wouldn’t get excited at the thought of saving lots of money? But this doesn’t mean homeowners can’t DIY minor cosmetic improvements and do a good job of it.

But it can cost you a lot to do a below-than-average job. Defective tiling and painting is easy to see at open homes. The value of a house decrease with half-finished jobs.

Even if you don’t hire a professional in order to save money, if you don’t have the confidence in doing the job it can end up taking you longer to achieve the desired results. That delay will mean a delay in getting your property to market.

Electricity and plumbing will also require the sign-off sheets from tradespeople for the works completed, so before you start determine what jobs you can do competently.