dining set photography

When you own a home, it is your own space to do with whatever you want. You have worked hard to afford the monthly mortgage payments and pay off your debt, and it is totally up to you to decide what you do with your home. From upgrades to styling and decorating, your home is your own canvas.


Getting a little too creative can wind up costing you in the end, though. While most people never dream of selling their house, the reality is that eventually most people wind up either upsizing, downsizing, or relocating to a new area, and they consequently sell their homes. While you want to personalize your home and make it comfortable while you are living there, there are some things that you want to avoid at all costs in order to preserve your home’s value. This list is going to take a look at seven things that can hurt your home’s value that you should avoid as much as possible.



1.     Installing Unnecessary Upgrades


This is where it all begins. Like we mentioned earlier, it is your house, and you should be able to do with it what you want! However, sometimes you need to recognize that doing with it what you want may lead to a reduced property value (or at least no return on your investment). One example may be installing a concrete slab in the back yard and adding a pavilion. If you have a large back yard, this will likely raise your property value as long as the job is done well. However, if you have a smaller yard and the concrete slab and pavilion take up half of it, your property value might actually go down, as you have cut your yard’s size in half.


Another example that is becoming a common trend is building special spaces for your kids. We recently saw a video of a home where the owners cleverly built a playroom into the space below their stairs. The playroom was dollhouse themed, was very well done, and was a beautiful, creative space where the couple’s daughter could play. The problem, however, is that they cut a hole in the shape of a house in their hallway wall, and that hole is permanently going to be there. They will either need to find a buyer that wants a built-in dollhouse (possible, but smaller target market) or path the entire gaping hole up with new drywall. It is possible to fix, but it is definitely a large project. While this couple was able to do a great job, they also clearly knew that they were doing. If are a bit less skilled with tools, this can become a property value killer, and fast.



2.     Choosing Dated Finishes and Colors

white and yellow flowers in white vase


When buyers go searching for houses, they understand that they will need to make certain changes to almost any property that they find. They are unlikely to find the house that they want already decorated and designed the way they envision it. Most buyers accept they will probably need to change some paint colors.


With that being said, opting for unsightly paint colors and leaving them that way when you go to sell is a big value killer. While it only costs you a couple hundred dollars to paint the bedrooms eggshell or white before you sell, leaving the walls as neon green or bright purple may cost you much more than that. While buyers know that they can easily fix the colors, many have a hard time seeing past them. This ultimately may lower their offer, in turn lowering how much money you receive for the home.



This logic applies to more than just paint colors, too. Opting for finishes that are out of style is bound to cost you when you go to sell your home. White appliances (and black, now, in many cases) are considered to be very undesirable, and the new, hot thing is to have all stainless steel. Countertops nowadays are supposed to be a clean marble or granite, with solid colors and busy designs becoming much less popular. When you make significant changes or upgrades to your home, make sure the finishes are ones that both you and an eventual buyer will like, or prepare to sacrifice a bit of your selling price.



3.     Letting Things Fall Into Disrepair

gray sacks on abandoned buidling


When you go to sell your car or trade it in, the most important thing should be that it runs well and has no mechanical issues. Paint should not be that important, as that is just visual, right? Wrong. Scratches on your car will lower its value significantly, even if it is mechanically perfect. The same exact logic applies when you are selling your house. Even if the framing, foundation, electrical wiring, and heating and cooling systems work perfectly, an unsightly fence can lower your property value by thousands of dollars.



The important thing here is to stay ahead of repairs and to never let things fall into disrepair. If you let your fence start leaning and watch all of its paint chip away, it is likely that you also let your siding break, your driveway crack, and your doors to lose their luster. The time to address these issues is not when you are selling your home. The time to address them is when they occur! If you let them all pile up, it will get very costly and stressful, and it will complicate the selling process even further. Trust us – it is already complicated enough!



4.     Accumulating Too Much Junk and Clutter


How does clutter affect your home value? You are going to remove all of the things before you move out, anyway, so why should this matter? There are two main reasons that this matters: open houses, and listing images. If you have too much clutter, you simply can’t hide it when prospective buyers or a photographer come in. Buyers in an open house want to open up closest and check out the basement and shed, so there is really no place to stow all of your unnecessary items. If a buyer sees too much clutter, they may make assumptions about your lifestyle – like your cleanliness habits or your maintenance habits – and look elsewhere.


When it comes to listing images, you want the place to be as pristine and spotless as possible. Having junk or clutter in the background of your listing images is simply unacceptable and is not going to lead to many prospective buyers. To avoid this dilemma, get rid of clutter as it builds up, not just when you are looking to sell. There is so much stuff that you have and will never need or use again, and letting it all take up space is a bad habit that could cost you some money when you decide to sell your home.



5.     Neglecting The Lawn And Gardens

green plants beside white wooden fence


This one is a bit easier to handle, but it is still incredibly worth noting. When you are showing your house to prospective buyers, you want to put your best foot forward. Your best foot, in this case, needs to include weeded gardens, mulched flower beds, nicely cut (and not littered with clippings) grass, and hedged bushes and trees. Nobody wants to feel like they are moving into the jungle in the middle of a place like South Carolina, and it is your responsibility to keep the greens and the lawn looking crisp and respectable.



If you are unable to do this yourself, is it a really good idea to call a landscaper to come in before you sell your home. They can take care of the mowing, the weeding, the mulching, the edging, and the hedging all at once, making your house look a bit more appealing without requiring you to work hard outside in the heat.



6.     Keeping Appliances and House Components Longer Than You Should


Everything has a life span and keeping things past that intended life span usually is not a great idea. Appliances perform at their best during that intended life span, and once they hit a certain age they begin to require more energy to operate and post fire risks. Replacing things like ovens and refrigerators every few years is a good idea.


However, there are much bigger, important house components to think about than just ovens. Appliances like water heaters, air conditioners, and water softeners all have an intended life span, too. Rooves and plumbing components have intended life spans. Just about anything and everything in your home will need to be replaced at some point, and keeping those components longer than you should may wind up costing you money. Appraisers often look at the roof on behalf of mortgage lenders, and if there isn’t three to five years of life left in it, the bank may refuse to offer a mortgage until repairs or upgrades have been made. To avoid this, just keep a routine maintenance schedule and keep good records of what you replace, when, and by whom.



7.     Opting For Carpet Instead Of Hard Floors


brown and white rug

Carpet is really nice. It feels great to walk on, is safer for babies that are learning how to walk, and it doesn’t really get scratched. Stains are easier to lift from carpet than scratches are to lift from hardwood floors! One thing that buyers tend not to like, though, is a house that is filled with nothing but carpet. Carpet in some rooms is great. Bedrooms, for example, are a very popular place to have carpet. Carpeting everywhere, though, is much less ideal.



Some rooms that you should never install carpet in are kitchens and bathrooms. There are simply so many stains in these rooms that installing carpet is a really bad idea. Although it can be shampooed, carpet traps allergens and stain particles that can be big turnoffs for buyers. If you have pets and a fully carpeted house, many buyers will turn and walk right out the door, as they know that your puppy’s accidents as well as his hair allergens from over the years are trapped in the carpet fibers. As much as you may try to shampoo it out, some things will stay forever. If a prospective buyer has pet allergies (which is increasingly common these days), they will not even consider a house will wall to wall carpeting. If it is only in the bedrooms and living room, they might be a bit more open.






Thanks for reading our post with seven things that can hurt your home value. We hope that this post has been helpful and informative as you go through the home selling process. There is so much to understand when you look into buying or selling a home and making a misstep can cost you thousands of dollars. While your house is your own kingdom and you can do with it whatever you would like, keeping a few of these things in mind can ultimately save you hundreds or thousands of dollars of value when you go to sell your home.


If you visit Myrtle Beach or any other place in South Carolina and fall in love, we’re here to help. We at The Boyd Team are committed to helping you find the right property for your needs and dreams. Any question that you have about moving to the area and finding your dream home by the beach is our pleasure to answer. Feel free to send us an email at eddie@boydteam.com or text or call us at (843) 222-8566, and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Being true natives of the Grand Strand and Horry County and with over 25 years of experience in the local real estate market, whether buying or selling, we can help you make your dreams a reality.  

No One Knows The Grand Strand Better! Trust, Knowledge, Experience, Professionalism, You Can Count On!