Top 5 Worst Home Improvements

Are you planning to make some updates to your home? If you are planning to sell your home in the near future, making a few updates can go a long way toward increasing the value of your home. At the same time, there are some updates that will cost more than what you will get in return. To that end, here is a look at the top 5 worst home improvements that you can make.

Creating a Home Office

While having a designated office space is a plus if you work from home, most buyers would rather have the extra bedroom or living room space. Therefore, you should avoid creating built-in bookcases and other permanent features for your home office, unless your home is large and has 4 or more bedrooms. Otherwise, you can expect to only get back about 50% on your investment.

Installing Swimming Pool, Tennis Court, or Basketball Court

Unless you live in a warm climate where swimming pools are the norm, many buyers will see a swimming pool as more of a nuisance than a plus. While there are certainly some buyers who will be willing to pay extra for a pool, the majority will consider it to be a safety hazard or will simply not be willing to perform the maintenance that is necessary when owning a pool. Similar can be said for any type of tennis court, basketball court, etc. Many would consider these unnecessary investments and you are very unlikely to make back your money.

Putting on a New Roof

While you should certainly make any necessary roof repairs before putting your house on the market, adding clay tile, cedar shakes or other specialized roofing is not likely to bring about a great return on your investment.

Building Personalized Space

Creating a highly personalized space or feature, such as a wine cellar, a koi pond or a dark room for photography is not likely to bring about a high resale value. After all, these specialized features will only appeal to those who share the same likes and interests as you. So, if you plan to remain in your home for many years to come, adding these features will certainly help you get more enjoyment from your home. If you plan to move soon, on the other hand, you will be better served by saving these renovations for your new home.


While it is certainly a good idea to update your home so it features modern amenities and features, spending the extra money for luxury upgrades such as a carved marble tub is not likely to pay off. This is particularly true if these posh features are not common in the neighborhood where your home is located. The bottom line is that most buyers aren’t going to be willing to pay more for these extra features, particularly if these features make your home different from the general style and feel of the neighborhood. Rather than going over the top with your improvements, get a good idea of what comes standard in the homes in your neighborhood and update your home as necessary.

In today’s market, lowering your sales price rather than investing in upgrades is usually a better decision. You aren’t guaranteed to make back what you would invest, because buyers are less willing to pay for wants as opposed to needs. So, play it safe and save your money for necessary repairs and your new home.

About the Author
Meghan Henderson
Meghan is the Marketing Specialist for The Cameron Team and a published author of two young adult books. She also creates digital and printable planners and trackers, as well as coloring pages for Larkspur & Tea.