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Some renovation blunders can hamper value

NEW YORK – Jan. 10, 2016 – Most homeowners renovate their house for personal comfort but also with an eye toward the added value it will bring to the property. However, some homeowners end up making their home worth less based on what they choose to upgrade.

A recent MarketWatch report featured some of the most common renovations that potentially decrease the value of a home, including:

1. Eliminating a bedroom
If a homeowner plans to remove a bedroom in order to expand another one or make a living space larger, this renovation project will likely burn them at resale. The more bedrooms a home has, the higher the price it usually gets.

"When you start eliminating bedroom space, you've completely changed the comparable value of your home in the neighborhood," says David Pekel, president of Pekel Construction and Remodeling in Wauwatosa, Wis.

2. Renovating the garage into living space
Getting rid of a garage space for an extra office, family room or bedroom can be a turnoff to many potential buyers at resale, real estate professionals say. Seventy-four percent of recent buyers said that a garage is extremely or very important, according to a survey of 7,500 people by Crescent Communities.

Homeowners who do choose to change a garage into living space may find it advantageous to leave the garage doors on the outside so buyers can more easily convert the space back into a garage if preferable.

3. Removing closets
Michele Silverman Bedell, chief executive of Silversons in Westchester, N.Y., recalls a client who removed a closet out of the master bedroom in order to make a bigger master bath. But the renovation made the home much more difficult to sell, Silverman says. "People need closets," she told MarketWatch. "They'll walk in and count the number of closets per room."

4. Too much wallpaper
While wallpaper can be removed, most buyers think it's a lot of work to get off.

Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report offers other recommendations for remodeling jobs that return a higher percent of their cost at the time of resale.

Source: "4 Renovations That Could Decrease Your Home's Value," MarketWatch (Nov. 16, 2015)

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Related Topics: Seller services