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5 Home Upgrades That Don’t Pay Off

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

If you’re thinking about updating your home for sale or the long term, it’s important to understand what delivers value. Every seven to 10 years, home design trends tend to shift. If it’s been a while since you’ve shopped for a new home, here are five home improvements that may not add value or attract buyers like they used to.

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1. Media rooms

Media rooms or home theaters may seem like a great idea, but not if they’re just an upgraded TV room. Due to their costs, sources say a well-equipped media room is usually the safest investment in a luxury or high-end home. Still, you may not get all your money back if you install one just to help your home sell.

Instead: Consider adding a game room. A game room is often a large, open room that’s found at the top of the stairs in modern houses. It’s a flexible space that has room for things like built-in shelving, a large flat-screen TV, computer desks, and/or a pool or game table to round this flexible space out.

2. In-home gyms

Home gyms are a trend that comes and goes, and as recently as the pandemic, they were in demand. Today, they may be seen as a waste of square footage as people head back to public gyms.

Instead: Work your gym equipment into a muti-functional room or basement, say experts in this 2021 REALTOR® Magazine article.

3. Jetted tubs

In the 1980s and 90s, no master bathroom was complete without a luxurious jetted tub. Today, those big jetted tubs can be a sign of an outdated bathroom, according to Southern Living.

Instead: Consider investing in a modern tub and new tile and fixtures.

4. Luxurious kitchens

Major kitchen remodels can be risky, and many homes’ values have been soaring in recent years without any changes. The 2023 Cost vs. Value Report, produced by the publishers of Remodeling magazine, put a spotlight on this. By its estimate, an upscale kitchen may only deliver a 31.7% return on investment. So, for every dollar spent, you’ll increase your home’s value, but only get about 31 cents back.

Instead: Make budget-friendly upgrades to your existing kitchen like new appliances and new cabinet drawer and door fronts.

5. Hot tubs

Hot tubs had their heyday from the 1970s to 90s. Today, they have less appeal. Chances are you won’t get all your money back on one if you sell your home, according to Forbes HOME.

Instead: Focus on creating an outdoor living and entertaining space that may boost your home’s value. Forbes HOME adds that if you do want that hot tub, make it part of an overall landscape design.

Bonus: Textured walls

Textured walls are another fad that comes and goes, but what’s in style usually changes. That said, beware of heavy drywall finishes, and even shiplap. These types of home improvements may not increase home value over time if they make a house look dated.

Instead: Keep walls smooth and use décor to bring in color and texture.

Overall, experts say to focus on things like functionality, energy efficiency, or adding square feet to increase home value. Also, check with a real estate agent or appraiser before doing a big home improvement. Recommendations for your neighborhood and what it demands may be different.

Ready to tackle a home improvement? A Mr. Cooper Home Equity Loan could boost your budget. Talk to one of our Mortgage Professionals about your options at 833-702-2511 or get started online!

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