Home Upgrades That Are a Huge Waste of Money

Not all home upgrades are worth it

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Design and fixtures

Keep your fixtures and designs consistent



Photo: IVAN CHISTYAKOV/SHUTTERSTOCK.

A farmhouse style kitchen tricked out with fixtures, shiplap, and subway tile may be your design dream come true, but if the rest of the house has gold fixtures and shag carpet, it’s a home upgrade that doesn’t add value.

“If you go from modern brushed nickel fixtures in one room and then walk into a room full of gold fixtures, your home is going to feel inconsistent to the buyers.” suggests Fitzgerald.

Upscale deck

Don’t expect to recoup the cost of a composite or upscale deck, because the market isn’t demanding it



Photo: DARIUSZ JARZABEK/SHUTTERSTOCK.

All those weekend trips to Home Depot buying woods, nails, and stain for your DIY home upgrade produced an expansive deck to be envied —just don’t expect to recoup the cost of a composite or upscale deck, because the market isn’t demanding it, warns Fitzgerald.

Don’t worry, you could make worse mistakes like these stupid things people have done to their homes.

Swimming pools

One of the biggest misconceptions in real estate is that by adding a pool your home’s value will increase



Photo: STOCK SK/SHUTTERSTOCK.

In-ground pools and above-ground pools are expensive and require time and money to maintain and insure, not to mention additional safety measures to consider if you have young children.

“If you’re going to add a pool do it for pleasure, not for resale value.

Many folks will never recoup the cost of the pool when they sell their home,” Fitzgerald says.

Murals and wallpaper

Removing wallpaper or painting over murals can be expensive and difficult.



Photo: KATERYNA OMELIANCHENKO/SHUTTERSTOCK.

Painting murals or adding some wallpaper to a dull wall may seem like a cheap home upgrade, but it’a not the best way to invest your money according to Graboyes.


Potential buyers often have a hard time seeing past them.

Specialty built-ins

More often in real estate transactions, a specialty built-in becomes a hindrance to the sales opportunity



Photo: VADIM OVCHINNIKOV/SHUTTERSTOCK.

Built-in fish aquariums and hot tubs are unique items that may deliver personal joy, but they also require a lot of maintenance and may not tickle a buyer’s fancy.

These are the decorating tricks interior designers won’t tell you for free.

High-end upgrades

These upgrades are costly and a little too personal to the current homeowner



Photo: ROBERT NYHOLM/SHUTTERSTOCK.

Sauna, steam showers, and heated floors and towel bars are creature comforts we love, but usually, it’s money down the drain for these home upgrades.

“Unfortunately they won’t bring back money when you go to sell your home.

Converting an extra bedroom into a home office

Especially if you are taking the home down to two or three bedrooms



Photo: BEYOND TIME/SHUTTERSTOCK.

“This is one surefire way not to recoup the money you spend on renovations, especially if you are taking the home down to two or three bedrooms,” warns Fitzgerald.

“That is going to have a serious impact on the buyer pool, and the families who are looking for four bedroom homes won’t even see yours on their search since it doesn’t match their search requirements.”

Over renovating bathrooms and kitchens

What might seem great to some might not be a big deal to others.



Photo: PPA/SHUTTERSTOCK.

An updated kitchen and bathroom do bring value, but the key is not going over the top when you renovate.

“When a homeowner over renovates with top of the line European appliances, granite, marble, and other bell’s and whistles, it doesn’t bring in the value the homeowner would expect,” says Wally Fakhreddine, a realtor with Top Edmonton Real Estate.

More Upgrades That Are a Huge Waste of Money

If you want to add real resale value to your home, don't waste your money doing these.



Home upgrades come in different shapes and sizes. Converting an extra bedroom into a home office may be just as satisfying as installing motion sensor lights, but neither one adds significant value to your home.

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