Customized Renovations Can Be a Hard Sell

kitchen renovations

Are you thinking of renovating your home and adding customized, truly unique amenities?

If so, think again.

There’s nothing wrong with having a Turkish bath, Atlantis-sized aquarium, gold-plated toilets, rock climbing wall, or monogrammed tile floor in any remodel … if that’s your taste. But if you’re planning to sell your home (now or at any point in the future), such amenities could actually depress your home’s value and limit your pool of prospective buyers.

Better to think about modifications that will improve your home’s curb appeal and boost the sale price because most buyers don’t appreciate too many personal touches. If potential buyers don’t like what they see, they’ll start wondering what’s it going to cost to remove your customized renovations instead of visualizing themselves living in your home. And that could be a deal-breaker.

I’ve heard woeful tales from both buyers and sellers: One person’s eclectic masterpiece may be another’s cluttered nightmare. Where you may see dollars signs, someone else might see empty wallets. Therefore, the goal is to have your home as close to turnkey as possible.

How should you approach renovating your home?

Choose your amenities wisely

Here are some tips to consider when renovating:

  • Avoid lavish lighting fixtures and ornamental wall finishes. That ultra modern chandelier or stone wall may be on trend today, but out of date in a few years.
  • Skip highly personalized additions such as a children’s theater with a stage, elaborate home gym with a rock climbing wall, or indoor hot tub (which could lead to you taking a bath on your asking price!).
  • Think classic and timeless when it comes to color. Use neutral décor, with small splashes of soft color; avoid heavily patterned wallpaper, loud colors, or overly ornate cabinetry.
  • Go for uniform flooring. Hardwoods offer more resale value than tile or composite materials. Steer clear of custom finishes! A large nautical star in the floor of your entryway may appeal to the boat lover in you, but not to a potential buyer with Western ranch on his mind.

The idea is to help a potential buyer imagine what living in the house would be like.

When in doubt, ask a professional. A real estate agent can tell you exactly what renovations make sense and which do not, and share the benefit of their experience so that you make the right decision.

Contact Fiona at 914-417-5147 or



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