Top 3 Worst Home Renovations To Kill Your Equity

Top 3 Worst Home Renovations To Kill Your Equity

A couple doing home renovations in their house that is killing their equity.

Photo Credit

The excitement that comes with completing a big home renovations is palpable in the DIY community.  But before you head over to Lowe’s and drop down a few hundred on tools and materials you may want to assess the true impact your addition will have on your property value.  Many just assume their new project will increase their home equity, but the truth is there are a multitude of “improvements” that can actually drop your home value.  If you aren’t planning on selling the property for a number of years, then you should be okay.  But if selling the home looks likely then expect more of a challenge if you add one of these additions.

#1: Below Ground Swimming Pools

Many dream of living in a home with a big in-ground swimming pool, especially during those hot summer months.  But what you might face when you try to sell it a limited buyers pool (pun intended).  Many first time home buyers are looking for a home to raise a family in, and when that mom-to-be sees that swimming pool she’s going to freak out.  The first thing that mom is going to think about is that poor baby that drowned in the family swimming pool she read about on Facebook 2 years ago.  If you feel you must have a swimming pool think about getting an above ground pool that you can easily remove when it comes time to sell.  At the very least get a strong, sturdy, tall fence built around the pool that only an adult can unlock.

#2: Turning The Garage Into Extra Space

Many families are tempted to take that attached garage and flip it into an extra bedroom or office.  Unfortunately, many do by justify their family is growing and they have more than enough parking in the driveway.  One of the top reasons many men want to own a home is so they can have a garage, a little place to get away from the noise of a bustling household.  Not to mention many families want a garage for the simple fact they’ve never had one, and they’ve always had to park outside.  Simply put, they’re dreaming of the day when they won’t have to scrape the ice and snow off their windshield, and your house won’t provide that.  To those buyers that see your property, there’s only one word running through their mind: “Next.”

#3: High Maintenance Landscaping

If you’ve always wanted a beautiful garden with elaborately trimmed bushes, a small pond with a fountain, and flowers everywhere, just be careful you don’t go overboard.  Many homeowners might see the landscaping as a relaxing oasis, but many buyers will see a massive headache.  These buyers are wanting to buy a home to solve a problem, and they’re not wanting to buy a home that comes with new problem.  What looks like a summer of fun to you may look like endless trimming, weeding, and back pains to potential buyers.


If you decide to go through with any of these home renovations just know you might not recover your costs.  The sad truth is many not only don’t recover their costs, but completely hurt their equity.  If you’re not planning on moving anytime soon, and it looks like it will be 5 years or more till you move then go ahead and make the renovations.  But if there’s a possibility of moving anytime soon, be prepared to eat the costs.