Top 5 DIY Projects that can De-Value your Home
Very often people try the “Do It Yourself” approach to increase value to their home. By handling home renovations yourself you can save money, and complete your tasks on your own schedule. However we always caution people about a few things when it comes to renovations;
1. Too Much Taste
Having your own style sense is great- however quite often less is more. Adding to much personal touch to your home can detract from the homes beauty in itself. If you are planning to sell within the next few years you are best to stick to neutral and monochromic paint tones. Focus on using different colours throughout fixtures and accent pieces. Although colour is great and different designs can create many different focal points throughout a room they need to be done correctly so not to deter potential buyers.
2. Budget Friendly Fixtures/Cutting Corners
When sticking to a thin budget quite often people try to scrimp on the last things they need to purchase, such as finishing materials and fixtures. Less impressive fixtures can detract from a room, and the use of unsatisfactory materials can create issues throughout a home inspection or even cause an eye sore. Although sticking to a budget is the best way to create a successful renovation it is best to scrimp on things such as furniture, and other personal items. Cutting corners for materials and permanent fixtures throughout your home can detract huge value- even with expensive and impressive furniture. At the end of the day although your taste in furniture etc may be impressive and influence potential buyers future designs they will not add or subtract a dollar value to your home. Things such as poor fixtures, or unsatisfactory materials however will.
3. Big Ticket Items
Although we just explained how cutting your budget on fixtures, and materials throughout your home can detract value so can installing big ticket items. Your neighbourhood and price range of your home can dictate the need for certain upgrades. Walking into a lavish neighbourhood you would expect lavish upgrades- if you did not see these lavish upgrades you could loose potential buyers. Or potential buyers can use the lack of updates as a bargaining tool in their sale. However on the flip side if you walked into a modest or starter neighbourhood and a home had all the lavish upgrades you could imagine- you may not get your value in return because it just doesn't’t fit the home and neighbourhood itself.
Obviously throughout all home renovations there are items which home owners will install for their own personal use or desires. However if you are revamping your home specifically to increase value for a sale you are best to look at neighbouring sales for a general guide line of what can be seen throughout your neighbourhood. Not only is this a money saving tool upfront- but maintaining a consistent level of home can also allow for less days on market, and a wider range of buyers. Maintaining continuity throughout a neighbourhood is a great basis of how to add value to your home or how to make your home standout amongst others.
4. Re-Invention of Space
Almost every home has it- a room that does not “fit” the floor plan, however worked perfectly for the home owners needs and requirements. Often families will adjust their floor plans to better suit their lifestyles and use of the space. Perhaps you have a formal dinning room which you have converted into an office. Although this set up worked for you while you were living in your home it may not showcase your home as well for potential buyers as they will have a harder time envisioning their life in that space.
The same thing applies to renovating spaces. If your home has a formal layout, and you have decided to knock down walls and change the layout of the space-it could in turn end up looking different than what was intended. Although open concept homes have become more popular over the years, the desire for formality throughout a home is still very popular. Work with what you’ve got. Although your home may be older and in a more mature neighbourhood versus the new builds there are still buyers who desire an older design and layout. Consult a professional designer and ask for their opinion of what style is best for your home before making any major changes.
5. Unfinished or Poorly Done DIY Work
As Realtors we see this time and time again- unfinished or poorly done DIY work. Bottom line if you are going to start a project make sure you can finish it before you place your home for sale. Although there are a few exceptions such as an unstained deck throughout the winter months, and other things which can be seasonally impacted. If you are starting a project have it completed before potential buyers walk into your home.
When a potential buyer see’s something that NEEDS to be fixed they can be guided on potential ways to correct or change the task at hand.
When a potential buyer see’s something that has been MODERATELY finished or is incomplete they often get scared and intimidated. Buyers often express concern over how the work was completed, the craftsmanship, and how to finish the job. Unfinished work takes the right buyer to see the potential. This type of buyer is a dime a dozen.
The moral of the story for this is that if you start something finish it. If you do not have time to complete your reno then don’t start it. Having something unfinished can cause confusion and questions that you may not want to answer.
Another thing to bear in mind when doing renovations yourself is depending on the degree of the reno itself some future buyers will ask for a receipt and work order explaining the degree of the work. This has been seen many times where the work order and receipt is not available and buyers have been lost because they were concerned that the job wasn’t done properly.
If you have any questions about your homes value and require guidance for potential DIY projects please contact one of our team members today. We have a great outlet of contractors which can assess your project and better guide you to re-creating your space in the best way possible.
The Fresh Approach Team,
Allana Thompson, Christy D’Oliveira, Kyrsten Feere