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16 Design Moves That Could Hurt Your Home’s Value, According to Real Estate Pros

Monica Tamayo

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Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/construction-house-architecture-luxury-53610/
Photo: Pixabay

The rules of the real estate market have spoken.

One advantage in buying—or building—a home is the ability to customize it.

Whether you’re building the home from scratch, or renovating it to be more modern and functional, designing a home to your specifications can definitely make it much more enjoyable to live in.

However, unless this is your forever home—and keep in mind that the status of a forever home can change in the blink of an eye due to a job relocation, change in marital status, and numerous other unforeseen factors—it’s wise to consider how your design moves may hurt your home’s value and lead to potential buyers lowballing a home offer or passing on your house.

“If you need to sell your home, keep in mind that you’re selling something in which buyers can see themselves living in.”
—Kimberly Jay, broker at Compass

“If you need to sell your home, keep in mind that you’re selling something in which buyers can see themselves living in,” explains Kimberly Jay, a broker at Compass in New York City. “Designs you love may not appeal to a wide audience and can, in fact, turn them off, decreasing the value of your home.”

Jay and several other experts helped us identify the design moves that could actually hurt your home’s value.

  1. Replacing the Bathtub with a Shower

    Some buyers love to soak in bathtubs, while others prefer the convenience of taking a shower. However, Kate Wollman-Mahan, an agent at Coldwell Banker Warburg in New York City, warns against replacing the bathtub with a shower. “Any home that will appeal to buyers with young kids must have at least one bathtub, and it should be adjacent to the kids’ bedrooms.”

    If you only have one bathroom, definitely don’t remove the bathtub, even to create a larger bathroom. “Even if you can’t recall taking a bath at any point this century, if it’s the only tub in the house, it has to stay,” says Laykin Cheshire, a listing agent for Stone Martin Builders in Montgomery, Ala.

  2. Installing Pools or Hot Tubs

    A pool might sound like a great way to spend those hot summer days.

    However, a 2022 report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reveals that fatal child drownings remain high and non-fatal drowning injuries have actually spiked by 17 percent.

    “Pools and hot tubs often come up as a major stumbling block in reselling your home,” warns Jonathan Self, a real estate broker in Chicago. In fact, he says the No. 1 question that buyer agents field about homes with pools is how much would it cost to remove the pool. “Sure, they are fun, but they are also major responsibilities in terms of insurance liability and maintenance costs.”

    And the same goes for hot tubs. “Psychologically they are just perceived as ‘gross’ by a stranger,” he says.

    While homeowners may view a hot tub as an inviting respite for sore muscles, Self says the buyer sees “dirty soup that other people have stewed in.”

  3. Creating a Closed Floor Plan

    During the … [ keep reading on Real Simple ]


This guest post was shared by Monica Tamayo, a professional real estate consultant based in Doral, FL.

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