Imagine spending tens of thousands of dollars renovating your home. That should yield a positive ROI in the long run, right?
Wrong. Some home renovations that can actually decrease your property's value. Since we wouldn’t want you to end up with a negative ROI on your home renovation efforts, we’ve compiled a list of renovations that can hurt your home’s value.
Walls are the first thing most potential buyers notice, especially if the paint is dull or has visible stains, gaudy patterns, eccentric textures, or garishly bright colours.
Interior design details like these are subjective and your tastes might not always align with those of potential homebuyers. Scuffed up paint or bold patterns on the walls could turn off buyers, who might see wallpaper removal as a costly, time-consuming hassle.
Consider repainting rooms to more neutral colours. White or light-coloured walls give rooms a more airy, spacious feel. If you choose to paint your walls white before listing it for sale, buyers will be better able to view your home as their canvas.
Combining small rooms to create a bigger room might seem like a fun idea for young couples who appreciate an open-floor layout. But in reality, a home that offers more rooms sees an overall increase in value, even if those rooms are small. Since most families prefer privacy and giving each child their own bedroom, you can expect to see about a 15% increase in the value of your home for each additional bedroom.
Instead of breaking down walls, use interior design tricks to make your rooms look bigger. Choose slim, modern furniture and opt for minimalist decor. Lighter colours, smart mirror placement, natural sunlight, and decluttering are other ways to make a small room feel bigger than it actually is.
When it comes to home value, over-personalised renovations can hurt the value of your home. While adding quirky tiling or premium wood finished floors may sound like a nice idea, it might not be the vision that your potential home buyers have in mind. For a resale property, most homebuyers will see extravagant tiles as a distraction that they will need to remove.
Consider having a traditional white tile floor, which will appeal to the tastes of most home buyers. Style it with a nice rug which can easily be removed before the next homeowners move in. Since most people in Singapore would rather not have carpets, opt for a hard surface such as wood or tile instead.
According to home remodelling expert Alex Biyevetskiy, new hardwood floors (or simply newly refinished ones) can increase the sale price of a home by up to 2.5%. In comparison with hardwood or laminate floors, carpet is much more likely to show stains and damage.
Did you know that the resale value of a high-end kitchen remodel is often less than what you originally invested into it? These include the type of finishes or materials you choose for the walls, floors, and kitchen countertops.
The same applies for upgraded bathrooms, especially if you include highly personalised finishing touches or things like hot tubs which are difficult to maintain and less practical for families with children.
Simplicity is best when it comes to your kitchen. For the countertops, opt for budget-friendly laminates. These are easy to maintain and come in a variety of styles. You may also consider using natural stone (i.e. granite or marble) for an affordable and eco-friendly alternative. Just note that you’ll need to put in a little extra effort in keeping natural stone countertops clean.
For kitchen floors, we’d recommend choosing between laminate, vinyl, or ceramic tile. And for kitchen walls, use a satin or semi-gloss finish since it’ll be easy to clean and will withstand mildew, stains and dirt. And as long as your kitchen appliances like the fridge and stove are clean and in good working condition, you won’t need to spend a cent on upgrading or replacing them.
For the bathroom, consider a walk-in shower which will take up less floor space and cater to homebuyers in every stage of life. For bathroom floors, look into options like ceramic spiral tile, waterproof laminate, slate or other natural stone. For bathroom walls, it would be best to use ceramic, marble, or granite tiles.
False ceilings are especially popular in Singapore, giving homes a more ‘atas’ look and feel. They help homeowners customise the ceiling and lighting to alter the atmosphere of the room. But one disadvantage of false ceilings most people don’t realise is that they reduce the height of a room by up to 15cm. The end result? A room that feels more claustrophobic than it once was.
You may want to consider installing cove lights to highlight the edges of a room, as these can help your ceiling feel higher than it actually is.
Or if you’re planning on installing a ceiling fan, consider using an L-Box instead -- this will be installed only at the perimeter of the room, so your ceiling will still have the HDB-stipulated 2.4m clearance from the floor.
For smaller rooms, you can opt for track lights as a cost-effective, attractive, and simple way to brighten any cosy space.
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Pooja is a Singaporean writer and property owner who has been following local real estate trends closely for the last 5 years. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, dragon boating, and cooking vegan-friendly meals.