Many homebuyers – seasoned vets and first-time buyers alike – have grand ideas about how they want to upgrade and decorate their new home. It’s not unusual to have personal needs or wants that result in a non-traditional home project – such as adding a basketball court for sports-loving children. While such a project may result in neverending happiness for your children and is well-worth the expense to you, it is important to note that it may actually have a negative impact on home value in some cases. Some buyers may see additions and their maintenance as unwanted expenses that they need to consider as a part of the home purchase and offer price. That said, the “value” of any addition or upgrade is ultimately determined by the buyer’s wants and needs. You never know… you just may find that buyer with a passion for hoops who thinks your court setup is an absolute dream.
At the end of the day, home value is only one of many things to consider before undergoing any home project. Your personal satisfaction may simply outweigh the longer terms costs of the project; that’s a personal decision that is entirely yours to own.
What might seem practical to you may seem extravagant to others – but again, it’s all about your personal situation. A few common nonstandard exterior home additions include swimming pools, basketball courts, greenhouses and lush landscaping. Here are some pros and cons of these more common nontraditional exterior additions:
- Swimming pools: The addition of a pool presents an unusual problem when it comes to home value. While a pool can be an attractive home feature, it also could be a turnoff for prospective buyers who are wary of the required maintenance and higher energy costs associated with it. When it comes to swimming pools, location does make a difference. Pools in warm-weather climates, such as Florida or California, are more attractive and provide greater marketing appeal than those located in areas where they can only be used for part of the year.
- Greenhouses: A greenhouse can be a wonderful addition because it allows you to grow flowers and vegetables all year. A greenhouse would be especially valuable in areas of the country that experience a large degree of inclement or cold weather. However, if you live in an area where the weather is conducive to outdoor gardening and exterior square footage is at a premium, the structure may decrease the value of your home.
- Landscaping: High-end landscaping should be another area of concern. Although a lush, well-landscaped yard that’s complete with a manicured lawn provides great eye candy and may attract potential buyers, it can also present a red flag when they consider the work or expense involved with its upkeep. Keep this in mind as you invest in improving the look of your yard.
While there is nothing wrong with dedicating interior rooms to fit your lifestyle — think home offices, home gyms and sound and media rooms — it’s wise to choose renovations that allow you to easily convert the space back to its original purpose. A bedroom converted to a home office is a great example. The office could garner a lot of appeal from a buyer who works at home, but then draw a negative opinion — and a lower home value — from the local property assessor due to the reduced number of bedrooms. You could also eliminate potential buyers who have larger families and require the additional sleeping space.
If you plan to sell your home in the future, it may be beneficial to think of the space as an empty canvas. While it might feel like it’s lacking some bells and whistles, this will allow the buyer to buy a blank slate and create their piece of paradise based on their needs and desires. Sometimes less is more, and that is certainly true when discussing nonstandard home additions. To find additional home buying and selling tips, as well as valuable real estate information and property listings, visit Owners.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Owners.com, Altisource or any other Altisource® business or entity. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Owners.com, Altisource or any other business or entity.