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5 Remodeling Projects with the Lowest ROI (stay away from these projects)

Robert Embley

Our founder and Principal Broker. Licensed since 2010. Over 100 homes sold along the Wasatch Front...

Our founder and Principal Broker. Licensed since 2010. Over 100 homes sold along the Wasatch Front...

Jan 30 4 minutes read

A bit of a different direction here. We are not talking about our favorite pre-list remodels that ultimately will make you much more money when you sell. So we are not talking about garage door replacement, or front door replacement, or adding insulation to the attic. If you plan on living in your home for years to come, any remodel can be a good idea. Your return on investment is enjoyability. If you like something, just do it, return on investment (ROI) should be the least of your worries if you are improving your family's forever home. 

Many remodels are done to increase the amount of money that you make when you sell your house. Some people flip houses for living. Guess what.... they don't have a magical formula. You can do the exact same thing with your house. Not all home improvement projects are a good idea if the motivation for the remodel is profit driven. 

Here are a few home improvement projects that you may want to avoid:

1) Bathroom addition
-Hugely expensive. Everyone loves having more bathrooms, but unless the addition alleviates functional obselecense in your house, plan on a sub 60% cost recouped when you sell your house

2) Garage addition
-Appraisers are going to comp roughly $5000 per parking space in your garage. You are going to spend far more than this amount, even if the garage is a basic detached structure. 

3) Home office remodel
-This room just doesn't speak to as many buyers as other rooms in your house. This project is going to have one of the lowest returns of any project that you can complete.  


4) Excessive renovations beyond community norms 
-Before you drop a ton of money on a new top of the line kitchen remodel, know that the value of your home is finite, regardless of how much you invest into renovations. Let your community house standards be your guide when you are thinking of doing a very expensive renovation. If what you are planning is not the norm in your community, then your home value will not significantly increase and you will get a very low return on your investment. Also, when selling, you run the risk that your over-the-top remodel may be viewed as excessive and useless by many buyers looking at homes in your neighborhood. 

5) Closet renovation
-Closet remodels are not as cheap as you think, and you will likely be getting less than half of this investment back when you sell your house. 


If you have had thoughts of selling your home in the next few years, make sure to choose your home improvements wisely. If you have had thoughts of selling your home in the next few months, you need to only do the projects that will make you more money when you sell the house. When this is done right, you can choose the projects that have huge ROI's  and result in selling your house for significantly more money. 

Every house is unique. Call me at 801-712-9748 to chat about the details or SCHEDULE A CALL

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