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Home Renovations That Can Hurt Resale Value

Before you consider making a renovation or two to your home, it is best to keep resale value in mind. While you may love the latest tile and flooring trends, these could hurt your chances of getting top dollar down the road. Here are the top renovation mistakes you should avoid.

Luxury Bathrooms

Modern navy suspended bathroom vanity with gold vessel sinks, round gold trim mirror and hanging orb light fixtures, all on heavily veined marble walls and floor.

Upgrading your bathroom will add value to your home, but don’t get carried away. A luxurious, personalized bathroom might fulfill your dreams but could scare off potential homebuyers who don’t share your vision. Keep it simple and consider upgrades that will appeal to a broader audience.


Mid-century modern room with tan sofa, small dinette in background, and pink flamingoes on turquoise wallpaper.

Some wallpaper can really make a room sparkle, and some, or rather a lot of it, can hurt resale value. Outdated, campy, or specific (like a jungle animal mural in a child’s room) can turn off homebuyers who will see it and only think of the time and money it would take to remove it. If wallpaper is your thing, consider removable styles that won’t damage your walls and come down quickly, cleanly, and easily.

High-Maintenance Landscaping

High maintenance garden with topiary boxwoods and trees, flower borders, and trees in the background.

Most homebuyers in the up-and-coming generations are into experiences. Experiences to them do not include trimming, weeding, mowing, and grooming elaborate landscapes. Before you hire a landscape architect to plan the garden of your dreams, keep future homebuyers in mind and try to keep the work it will take to maintain it at a minimum.

Pools and Hot Tubs

Round pool with steps, brick patio, stone wall in background, and hot tub flowing into pool.

Ask any homeowner who has installed a pool or hot tub, and they’ll likely tell you it is far more work than they had anticipated. A pool retains only 20% of its investment, so don’t make the mistake of thinking one will add a lot of value to your home when in fact, it may turn off many buyers.

En Trend Tile

Photo of glass enclosed tub with heavily veined marble surround and octagon black, , white, brown and white inset mural. Grey vanity in background with rectangular mirrors and mounted drop lights.

A few years ago, Tuscan Italian-style kitchens with tumbled tile were all the rage. Now they are considered dated. While you may love your intricate marble mosaic backsplash, it probably won’t appeal to most homebuyers. Experts recommend using timeless white subway tile and adding color with accent pieces like towels, curtains, and more easily changeable painted walls.

Wall-To-Wall Carpet

Photo of rolls of carpet on vertical display rack, mostly tans and browns.

Hardwood floors and LVP (luxury vinyl plank) floors are preferable as carpeting wears down quickly and shows damage much faster. Consider area rugs that are easier to have cleaned and can be changed to match your style. Then when you put your home on the market, homebuyers will see they have less work to do to make the house their own.

Bold & Vibrant Walls

Photo of room with LVP wooden floors, jonquil yellow sofa, against a bright rose painted wall.

Not everyone is going to like your black walls or hot pink bathroom ceiling. Homebuyers are mentally deducting from their bids with each bright paint color they’ll have to cover up, so stick with a neutral wall color when repainting and add color with rugs, curtains, upholstery, and artwork.

High-End Kitchens

Luxury kitchen with white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, iron pendant light, marble covered island with wooden stools.

Any kitchen renovation will probably add value to your home, but be careful in your selections. The ROI on a luxury redo won’t be as high as a more moderate renovation. says the average cost of a kitchen remodel in 2020 was $68,500, but the return was only $40,000. So perhaps you don’t need state-of-the-art everything and can make selections that will make back what you put in when it is time to sell. Keep the redo in line with your home's market.

Bedroom Conversions

Photo of bedroom converted into walk-in closet with white cabinetry, tan carpeted floor and one ceiling light. No clothes in yet.

Losing a bedroom for a home office or walk-in closet could lower your home’s appeal. If you can’t live without either conversion, make sure it can be easily undone to attract buyers looking for a specific number of bedrooms.

Extravagant Lighting

Photo of ornate lit chandelier made of gold and crystal.

Younger homebuyers prefer a minimalist aesthetic and may view your crystal chandeliers or brass lanterns as outdated or overdone. It may make more sense to keep your light fixtures simple and mid-range in price.

Texture on Walls and Ceilings

Photo of living room with dark tan sofa, wood floors, tan scatter rug under wood and metal coffee table, brass 3 light chandelier, windows, fireplace, and shiplap wall.

Everyone knows popcorn ceilings are so mid-century (20th), but the latest trends of using shiplap and faux brick/stone accent walls will not appeal to every homebuyer. Many people love their shiplap, but it may not be suitable for a Georgian mansion or urban townhouse. Consider your home's style and perhaps plain wallboard, or use a removable wallpaper that looks like brick or shiplap instead.


The bottom line in home renovation is to avoid “over-personalization.” Look for alternative ways to put your stamp on any updates that are not “permanent.” Homebuyers who know they can make the home their own without much fuss may help you garner that bidding war you want.


Sources: Forbes, mhiwindows, moneycrashers, gobankingrates


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