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Top 10 Renovations That Cost More Than They Are Worth

There are many renovations that cost more than they are worth when it comes time to put
your house on the market. Home upgrades come in many different shapes and sizes. While
everyone has their ideas of what will increase their home’s value, there are several
renovations to steer clear of.

Going Overboard

Before you consider remodeling anything in your home, get a general idea of what other
houses in your neighborhood are doing. This will have an impact on your appraisal value. Be
cautious of going overboard with renovations, as this may prove to be a waste of time and
money in the end. (An appraiser calls this “over-improvement” for the market.)

Designs and Fixtures

Prior to implementing new designs and fixtures in your home, ensure these things will flow
well for the buyer that will be walking through. Do the new designs and fixtures make sense
to the rest of the home’s style?

Landscaping

When an appraiser is performing a market analysis, he or she must be able to prove that a
typical buyer will pay more for these renovations, like upgraded landscaping. Fountains,
rock walls, and intricate landscape patterns will indeed enhance the beauty of your yard,
but these things won’t lure buyers to pay extra for them. Buyers may see maintenance,
watering and weeding in what you see as beauty.

SheetrockPaint brush against a wall

A renovation that certainly costs more than it is worth is hanging new sheetrock. This is not
necessary. Consider a cheaper alternative by patching your current sheetrock and putting a fresh coat of paint on it.

High-End Upgrades

A lot of times, high-end upgrades are personal preference items. These include things such
as:

  • Swimming pool
  • Sauna
  • Steam shower
  • Heated floors
  • Sound systems

Keep in mind what a typical buyer will be looking for and expecting in your market. These
items take a large chunk from your budget and do not contribute enough value to your
home’s resale price. Steer clear of this renovation that costs more than it is worth.

New Flooring

Although you should ensure your floors are in good shape and do not show any signs of
damage, totally replacing them is a renovation that could cost more than it is worth.
Consider having your carpets or hardwood floors professionally cleaned. This process will be
much more worth your time.Person laying hardwood at home

New Front Door

A renovation that certainly costs more than it is worth is replacing the front door. Curb
appeal is a factor in the appraisal value, however there are much more cost effective
methods to improving this area. Simply clean up the front area of your home. Pressure wash
the area or simply add a new coat of paint.

Upgrading Electrical Systems

Upgrading your electrical systems is another renovation that certainly costs more than it is
worth. If you do not have a current problem with your electrical system, do not touch it.

Kitchen and Bathroom Renovations

While the kitchen and bathroom are the two rooms in which home renovations have the
most impact, it is important to not go overboard. You can freshen up your space without
replacing everything. Incorporate a new paint color, change out your fixtures, faucets, and
lighting. These minor upgrades will give your rooms a completely different look without
gutting everything and starting fresh.

Floor Plan Alterations

When considering home renovations, steer clear of making floor plan alterations. It is never
wise to take rooms away. Often times, a homeowner will take two smaller bedrooms and make one larger bedroom. However, this often results in an odd floor plan, which is not
appealing to buyers.

Definitive Valuations is here to help you determine what a renovation project will actually
add in value to your house before you get started. Contact us today!


Definitive Valuations is North Alabama’s premiere appraisal firm. Our mission is to provide
superior valuation and consulting services in Huntsville, Alabama, and surrounding areas.
Our staff strives to understand your needs and to provide the best solution for your
situation – whether for financial planning, relocation, tax dispute, legal matters, pre-listing,
or any other purposes. Discover more here.

How to Prepare for a Home Appraisal

The best thing a homeowner can do to prepare for a home appraisal is to ensure an appraiser has easy access to the exterior and interior of the home.

The first step in most appraisals is the property inspection. An appraiser will record the layout of the rooms, take photos, and document the general condition of the home. The appraiser provides a professional, unbiased determination of market value to be used in real estate transactions.

When you prepare for a home appraisal, the process does not have to be complicated. Consider these tips, but don’t become overwhelmed. Do as much as you can, and if you can’t do anything except let the appraiser in, then just do that and don’t sweat it!

Clean up the clutter.

Clean your home up on the inside and outside. Because the first step of the appraisal is property inspection, it is beneficial (though not necessary) to trim any bushes and relocate items that would make it difficult for an appraiser to measure the structure. Ensure an appraiser will have easy access to items such as furnaces and water heaters.

Enhance your home’s curb appeal by maintaining the landscape. Consider these simple tips to boost your appraisal value.Lawn mower

  • Mow the lawn
  • Mulch flower beds
  • Put a fresh coat of paint on the door
  • Pressure wash the curb, porch, and driveway

Another simple tip to prepare for a home appraisal is to turn on the lights in your home. This makes it easier for the appraiser to walk through and see everything.

Make minor fixes.

A great way to prepare for a home appraisal is by walking through your home to see if you
find any noticeable issues. Do you have rotted wood or rusted gutters? These are quick-fix
items that require minor updating.

Additional items that could require minor fixes include:

  • Heating and cooling systems are serviced and in functional condition
  • Appliances are operational and well-maintained
  • Leaks are patched
  • Broken windows are replaced
  • Cracks in the walls are patched and painted

It is important to remember that the current condition and functionality of the home is
more important to the appraiser than the age of the home.

Compile a list of previous home renovations.

If your home has undergone previous home renovations, compile a list of those things and
make it available to the appraiser. Your appraiser may or may not want to see all the details,
below, but at least having a list of what has been done will be welcomed by all appraisers!
You can opt to pull a folder together and include:

  • Receipts
  • Before and after photos of renovations
  • Taxation details
  • Permits

floor plans of homeAn appraiser is primarily looking at the condition of your home. This is one of the primary
things that helps to determine where your house will place in the market. Any maintenance
or renovation item is important information for the appraiser to have.

When an appraiser visits your home, he or she will take notes of everything that is part of
the property. An appraiser will assess the condition of your home and how well it has been
maintained. The process does not have to be stressful. Consider these tips to best prepare
for a home appraisal!


Definitive Valuations is North Alabama’s premiere appraisal firm. Our mission is to provide
superior valuation and consulting services in Huntsville, Alabama, and surrounding areas.
Our staff strives to understand your needs and to provide the best solution for your
situation – whether for financial planning, relocation, tax dispute, legal matters, pre-listing,
or any other purposes. Discover more here.

How Home Renovations Impact Appraisals

How Home Renovations Impact Appraisals

There are pros and cons when it comes to home renovations. The biggest pro is that the
renovations improve your home and can make it more enjoyable for you. The major con is
that sometimes renovations can cost more than they are worth. When planning for home
renovations, it pays to plan carefully and make smart choices with return on investment in
mind.

Renovations that Impact Appraisal Value

Changing Your Color SchemeMan painting a wall white

Nearly two-thirds of real estate agents recommend repainting the inside of a home before putting it on the market, according to a 2017 survey by Houzz. Additionally, other studies show a fresh coat in the right shade can add thousands to your home’s sale price. Repainting can be one of the cheapest renovation projects, but it needs to be something neutral. Repainting with bright or other non-neutral colors can back-fire.

Incorporate Landscaping

A little lawn care can go a long way. Curb appeal is an important factor to a home appraisal.
Consider simple upkeep for your yard such as:

  • Mowing
  • Weed-eating
  • Gardening
  • Pressure washing the sidewalks

Don’t implement any over-the-top landscaping projects, such as elaborate designs,
fountains, or stone walkways. These projects won’t hold their value.

Implement Energy-Saving Methods

There are various methods you can implement to ensure your home is as energy efficient as
possible. The most important area to focus on is ensuring your home is fully insulated.
Taking this step can cut your heating bills by nearly 10 percent, according to the
Environmental Protection Agency.
Additionally, replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones can save you between $25
and $450 a year in heating and cooling costs. Other minor things include replacing simple
weather-striping at doors

Renovations That Have Little to No Impact on Home Appraisals

Many home renovations do not make financial sense. These are typically done from
emotions and not practicality and functionality. The following are renovations that
contribute the least value to a home:

  • Installing a pool
  • Converting a bedroom into a leisure space such as a playroom or wine cellar
  • Changing hardwood flooring to carpet
  • Closet renovation (adding shelves)
  • Adding bedrooms or bathrooms
  • High-end fixtures and finishes
  • Adding additional electrical outlets

Renovations can greatly impact the appraisal value of the property, either negatively or
positively. Consider what would contribute the most and the least value. It is important to
consider several other factors before implementing renovations.Paint swatches and counter top tabs

 

Factors to Consider with Renovations

Location

A home’s location – what city it is in and even what part of that city – is key to this popular question. For example, adding a central air conditioner to a home in the South may add significant value, while putting one in a home near the Pacific Northwest may not have much impact.

Room

Which room are you considering making renovations to? According to one national survey,
kitchen remodels returned an average of 88 percent of the investment. In other words, a
$10,000 kitchen remodeling project would add approximately $8,800 to the value of the
home. Bathrooms were second, returning 85 percent.

Age

The actual age of a home is not what is most important when appraising a home. An
appraiser is more concerned with the effective age. According to The Appraiser Coach, if you
can take 10-15 years off the appearance of your home, you are doing yourself a huge favor.
The value of a home is determined by the buyer’s perspective.


 

Definitive Valuations is North Alabama’s premiere appraisal firm. Our mission is to provide
superior valuation and consulting services in Huntsville, Alabama, and surrounding areas.
Our staff strives to understand your needs and to provide the best solution for your
situation – whether for financial planning, relocation, tax dispute, legal matters, pre-listing,
or any other purposes. Discover more here.