Wednesday, March 15, 2023

3 Home Renovations That Turn Buyers Off

There are a lot of reasons people aspire to get a mortgage and become a homeowner, including the appeal of building equity in an asset that can appreciate in value, and setting down roots in a place you love. For those of us who’ve spent years as renters, however, one particularly appealing aspect of homeownership is getting to renovate, remodel, and really make a property your own, in whatever way you want.

Unfortunately, this can be a double-edged sword, especially if you’re hoping to sell your home sometime in the near future. There are a lot of ways to increase the value of your home, such as by planting trees. But there are also particular features that can lower its value. There’s a fine line to walk when you renovate, and if any of these three big projects are on your wishlist, you may want to reconsider — or at least scale back your plans, lest you alienate potential buyers ahead of listing your home for sale.

1. Super customized bathrooms, especially those without a bathtub

Your bathroom is the most private part of your home, and as such, it’s very tempting to gut and remodel it to customize it to your tastes and needs. But stop and really think this project through before moving forward on it, as it’s unlikely that most buyers will share those specific tastes and needs. Of particular note here is the urge to tear out an old grimy bathtub and replace it with a stall shower.

Opinions are mixed, but our research suggests that a certain subset of buyers will want to see at least one bathroom with a bathtub if they’re considering making an offer on your home. NAR’s REALTOR Magazine notes that while the increasing prevalence of oversized shower stalls is appealing to many buyers if you want to attract the widest pool possible, it’s a good idea to leave at least one tub. Many people enjoy a good relaxing soak, and buyers with kids and pets recognize that it’s much easier and safer to bathe them in a tub.

2. Leaning in on an open-concept floor plan

Open-concept homes have their pros and cons. If your home contains a lot of walls and you’re trying to decide whether to knock some of them down, tread lightly. Taking down a wall between your kitchen and dining room may well be a slam dunk, both for you and for any future potential buyers, as having a larger eat-in kitchen is very convenient. But if your remodeling plans include, say, removing walls to reduce the number of bedrooms, that will likely be less appealing. Just like bathrooms, bedrooms are a private space and having enough of them to house everyone in the family (as well as their activities, such as working from home in a quiet space) is a necessity.

3. Adding fancy kitchen appliances and fixtures

Kitchens are another extremely important part of a home, and if you’re an avid home cook yourself, you may be itching to tear out those 1980s appliances and spring for the high-end convection oven and granite countertops of your dreams. This is an understandable impulse, but it might be a better idea to be a bit more conservative. As is the case with fancy bathroom fixtures, you’ll be limiting yourself to a smaller pool of potential buyers if you design and execute a kitchen remodel straight out of the pages of Bon Appetit.

Even if a potential buyer loves to cook, a high-end kitchen can be intimidating (especially if you’ve also priced your home higher to compensate for the money you put into the project). Zillow recommends looking at smaller changes and fixes to ensure you don’t end up sinking more money into a kitchen remodel than you’ll ever get back — consider painting your cabinets, matching your (non-fancy) appliances, or replacing your faucet.

Ultimately, your home is yours to live in and do as you wish with it, but if you’re trying to ensure that it’s still marketable to a wide swath of buyers when it’s time to sell, keep the above points in mind.


This article was written by Ashley Maready from The Motley Fool and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to