Top 10 Most Common Mistakes That Lower Your Home’s Value

Table of contents

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Key takeaways

  • DIY projects gone wrong can cause damage and cost you more money.
  • Offensive odors like smoking or pet smells can harm your health and decrease your home’s value.
  • Worn-out entryways with bad landscaping can decrease curb appeal.
  • Stick with timeless designs as trendy renovations may not stand the test of time.
  • Regular maintenance is important to avoid expensive repairs in the future.

1. DIY projects gone wrong

Not everyone is a pro at home renovations. But you’d be surprised at how many aspiring carpenters have tried installing decks in their backyard, just to cause damage to their home while costing themselves A LOT of money. Even simpler projects, like painting your kitchen cabinets, can take more work and patience than you might think. Don’t underestimate what really goes into making these improvements.



2. Offensive odors

Oftentimes, a bad odor can warn us of a serious problem such as mold. When it comes to mold, you need to hire a professional who can address the problem, as mold can cause serious health concerns. Another major health concern to avoid is smoking inside, as this will leave permanent stains and smells that greatly decrease your home’s value.

If you have pets, it’s crucial to properly clean your home to keep pet smells from sticking around. However, you do not want to just cover up smells with harsh chemicals. Baking soda is a spectacular way to get rid of odors. Just sprinkle some baking soda on rugs or furniture, let it seep in for a few hours, then vacuum!

Keep your home smelling fresh by stopping odors at their source, along with using proper cleaning habits. It’s also a good idea to get fresh airflow by opening some windows and turning on a fan. You can even invest in an air purifier, which is a HUGE game-changer, especially for pet owners!


3. Leaving your entryway in disrepair

An entryway is a major focal point to your home’s exterior. An old, worn-out door with cracked paint sends the wrong message to your neighbors. Consider updating the hardware, adding a fresh coat of paint, or even replacing the door altogether. You can even plant some flowers or shrubs leading up to your new door!


4. Bad landscaping/Yard maintenance

When updating your landscaping, make sure to plan for the future. For example, if you’re going to plant more trees in your yard, think about how they will look in 20 years. Planting trees or shrubs too close to the driveway can cause major problems with overgrown roots.

It’s best to choose plants that are native to your local environment. Getting new plantings to establish their roots in your yard isn’t easy. Most plants need about a year to get established before they can really start to bloom.

A poorly-maintained yard kills your curb appeal. Think about what landscaping additions will be easier to maintain in the long run. If you live in a dry location where it’s difficult to grow grass, consider some hardscaping updates like paver patios or walkways. These investments can transform your outdoor space, adding tremendous value to your home.


5. Not maintaining your wood floors

Who doesn’t LOVE shiny hardwood floors?! Having hardwood floors is great for your home’s value, but they need to be properly maintained. Using abrasive cleaning solutions on your floors can actually wear down the wood over time. Also, wood floors need to be rebuffed every couple of years.


6. Trendy renovations

It’s one thing to hang a unique painting on your wall, but installing a statement-making wallpaper in your bedroom may not stand the test of time. For more complicated updates that aren’t as easy to replace, it’s best to stick with classic, timeless designs.


7. Settling for older appliances

If you’re using an old dishwasher that can hardly get the job done, it may be time for an upgrade. Older appliances tend to be less energy efficient, potentially costing you more money on your utility bills. Updating appliances such as your dishwasher or oven is a simple way to add value to your home. Not to mention, nicer appliances make cooking and cleaning a piece of cake!


8. Letting go of the small stuff

From broken light switches, leaky faucets, to squeaky doors, and more. These minor issues may not seem like a big deal, but they can seriously add up over time. Something as simple as clogged gutters can lead to bigger problems such as water damage. Keep up with regular maintenance to avoid expensive repairs in the future.


9. Choosing surfaces that are difficult to clean

If you renovate your home, you need to be careful about the materials you choose. When updating your kitchen or bathroom, think about materials that can easily be cleaned. If you permanently stain a kitchen counter, the whole thing may need replacing!


10. Not maximizing your space

Creating the illusion of more space can increase your home’s value. But too many homeowners opt for cluttered decors like heavy, dark curtains or clunky furniture. Also, if you’re updating a small space such as a bathroom, use larger shapes in your designs to create the illusion of space. Thousands of tiny tiles can make a bathroom look more cramped, whereas larger bathroom tiles can really open up the space.

Picture of Jacquelyn Sublett
Jacquelyn Sublett

I love teaching and writing on real estate, finance and mortgage topics. I find it fulfilling hearing stories of first time home buyers who we have helped with the home buying process. Writer for the Hero Homebuyer Programs™

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