The Worst Home Improvement Investments

If there’s the slightest chance that you could sell your home in the next few years, then you might be thinking about doing some home improvements. These projects can dress up your home, making it more attractive to potential buyers.  But more importantly, the right projects can add value to your home and actually come close to paying for themselves at resale.  Those are sound investments.  Of course, that means that there are also some projects that don’t pay you back well.  These are projects that you might want to steer clear of, or at least understand that they won’t do much to increase your home’s value.  To help you make a sound decision, we create a list of the top 5 worst home improvement investments.  This information is based on Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs Value 2017 list of 29 popular remodeling projects.  The recoup cost percentages stated below are for the Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana region.


The Worst Home Improvements


  1. Backup Power Generator – While a very good thing to have if you live in an area where power cuts out frequently, this additional home system does not pay you back well. Expect to see a return of just 54.5% of the cost.
  2. Midrange Bathroom Addition – Constructing a new 6-by-8 foot bathroom might seem like a good idea if you have a growing family, but it is not the best investment for your home. You will only recoup 56.6% of your cost at resale.
  3. Upscale Deck Addition – Everyone loves a deck and the nicer it is, the better for you when selling your home, right? Well not necessarily.  A 16-by-20 deck with composite materials will only payback 56.7% of your expenses.
  4. Upscale Bathroom Addition – Adding a 100-sq-ft master bathroom to your existing master bedroom sounds like a luxury that everyone would want. But are they willing to pay for it?  Believe it or not, no.  You will only see 59.5% of the cost for this project.
  5. Upscale Bathroom Remodel – This project involves expanding an existing bathroom to 100-sq-ft without any additional construction for new space. It also includes replacing the flooring, lighting, tub, vanity, toilet and all the fixtures.  If you also install a shower stall and soaker tub, you can expect a return of about 59.7%.

The challenge when choosing a renovation project is to be strategic.  While you may want a new bathroom, it might not be the best investment from a payback point of view.  Try to invest money in projects that will give you the best payoff when you sell.  It’s a matter of balancing what your heart wants against what your bank account needs.


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