Selling your Greater Washington DC area home?
Buying an Greater Washington DC area home?
Friends and Clients— 

Deciding to renovate before listing your home can be a challenge. It’s tough to know what will or will not return results. Here is a list of things will NOT increase the value of your home. 

1) Extensive Professional Landscaping

You can build an entire amusement park in your back yard and it won't bring you big bucks upon resale. If you want to put in a waterfall, coupled with a flowing river dumping into a Koi pond, for example, do it because you enjoy the water feature, not because you're hoping to recoup the investment. Landscaping choices are a personal preference, and all the hand-crafted bridges and unique pergolas in the world won't dramatically boost your bottom line.

2) New Roof, Gutters, Sprinklers or HVAC

There are certainly buyers in the marketplace who appreciate a home that features a brand new furnace, but they won't pay extra for the home because the furnace has been replaced.
Ditto regarding a new roof. The life expectancy of average composition types of roofs is about 30 years. Again, replacing a roof that is past its life expectancy is considered a maintenance issue. It's like expecting to get paid more because you swept off the front steps.

3) Swimming Pool and / or Personal Spa

The TV commercials for water-related improvements make it seem like non-stop frolicking among kids in the pool (zero focus on drownings) or late-evening soirées in the spa sipping adult beverages, but the cost and expense of installing a pool or spa never finds its way back into your pocket. If you want to put in a pool or spa, do it because you will enjoy it. Realize that at resale time, a buyer might insist that you tear out the spa and, further, some buyers will not buy a home with a swimming pool.

4) Painting Your House

Although painting is the single most cost-effective improvement you can make before selling your home, it won't return any bang for your buck unless you do the painting yourself.
Painting the exterior or interior of the home certainly makes any home more saleable, but an appraiser will not give you a credit boost because the paint is fresh.

5) Solar Panels

Unfortunately, the Kool-Aid the sales people at the solar panel company handed you to drink is spiked. Sure, they tell you that solar panels will improve the value of your home and add to your bottom-line profit, but that's just not true. You get zero improved value for solar panel installation. On top of this, if you have financed the solar panels, you probably can't sell the home without paying the balance at closing, something else that most likely was not disclosed.

And if you have questions about making home upgrades or need help buying or selling a home, give me a call at 703-963-5500. I'm here to help.