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These 10 Mistakes Will Kill Your Home’s Value

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Looking down at a neighborhood for the sky view

Whether you’re thinking about listing your home, trying to increase its value for your own benefit, or you’re house hunting, think about the factors that will actually ruin your value. Read these 10 tips so you can avoid lowering your home’s value.


1. Your yard is dead (or overgrown).

brown dead grass with for sale sign

There’s nothing that will turn a potential buyer away quicker than poor curb appeal. If the plants are dead (or the grass is overtaken by tall weeds), this is a red flag that other maintenance and upkeep may have been neglected.


2. You got soaked when you bought the swimming pool.

above ground pool with leaves floating in water

Buyers love a pool, especially in unbearably hot climates. However, if you splurge on a pool in areas with short summers, you’re not likely to get much (if any) of your investment back.


3. The 50s called, and Grandma wants her porcelain sink back.

white shell shaped sink with gold faucet and pink accents

No one wants to get themselves ready in Grandma’s bathroom. That pink tile and seashell shaped porcelain sink probably should be replaced and updated when you move in (or before you sell).


4. You added the steam sauna, didn’t you?

inside of steam sauna with light on

Fancy upgrades don’t always mean higher home values. Upgrading your home too much (or where it won’t matter) won’t always net you the best bang for your buck. Make those spendy splurges wisely. 😉


5. That red backsplash seemed like a good idea…at the time.

kitchen with red glossy backsplash and gray cabinets

While a lot of buyers can look past minor color choices they don’t love, most aren’t going to feel right at home walking into a room that feels anything but relaxing. Be wary of the colors you’re using.


6. Your house still looks like the Brady Bunch lives there.

window with ugly red orange curtains

We’re looking at you, dingy wallpaper, old, threadbare carpeting, and dusty 70s curtains. Buyers are typically looking for move-in ready homes, not ones that need a major update.


7. You didn’t tackle those small repairs before selling.

man fixing stainless steel sink faucet

An extensive to-do list is going to drive everyone but a handyman away, so make sure to tackle that to-do list before you try to sell. Better yet, if you can anticipate what the inspection report will suss out before your home hits that market, you’ll save even more money.

Hip Tip: Need to give some of your walls a fresh coat of paint? Our DIY painting tips for beginners will have you painting like a pro!


8. Get your neighbors under control.

mowing the lawn

When the houses next door are loud, run down, or look like hoarders may have taken over, this is definitely going to pose a problem for your home’s value. As a tip, find out from your local borough, municipality, or HOA how you can handle troublesome neighbors. Or maybe even ask if you can mow the lawn for them. 😉


9. You didn’t consider the location.

highway with trucks and cars driving on it

Location is everything! If you live in a bad school district, near the highway, or if your house is located near billboards, power lines or graveyards, buyers will definitely think twice! 


10. Foreclosure city was a bad idea.

foreclosure sale house with overgrown grass

Neighborhoods with lots of foreclosures make buyers wonder what’s wrong with the area (and are statistically going to pay less for your home).


These 23 Moving Tips will keep your sanity (and your stuff) intact.

Join The Discussion

Comments 13

  1. Lana

    We have been looking for a downsize house for awhile. Too long. We won’t look at a house with ship lap anywhere after friends bought a house with it covering up a big problem. We have seen houses that the owner had painted the tile in the bathroom. Outdated is better than painted! If you are going to paint your cabinets paint them white! I won’t look at a house with the cabinets painted in color especially two tone. BLEH! A great house is not great if I will be sitting on my deck looking at piles of junk in the backyard of the neighbor behind me. So many have piles behind a shed. It is also not uncommon for the front yard to look great but the backyard has obviously not even been mowed in a very long time. I also can’t tell you how many houses we have looked at that smell like dirty clothes, stinky sneakers and unwashed people. Air fresheners can’t cover this up. I will practically make a u-turn and go back out the door when a house stinks like that. One house we looked at had hundreds of dirty Kleenex on every surface in the house. UCK! All of this seems like common sense to me but I guess not!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh bummer! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us, Lana! It sure can be an interesting adventure when looking at older homes.

  2. A

    Pet odars during house shopping is awful. While I was pregnant with my daughter we looked at several houses in great neighborhoods that smelled of pet urine. I would turn right back around and leave. Also, please leave the location when potential buyers are looking. I went to a few houses where they stayed in the garage or parked down the street. It made looking extremely uncomfortable and I couldn’t concentrate on looking.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for letting us know about your experience, A! Great to keep in mind!

    • Lana

      Yes! We looked at a house where the entire family was home and sitting in the great room. We felt like we were snooping.

    • Sara

      Some buyers can be inconsiderate too. One time a buyer was driving by and wanted to see my family’s house. They called the realtor who called us asking if it could be shown right then. The buyer was waiting outside. I was on the floor in the living room doing homework. We were given absolutely no notice. We had no choice but to go wait in the backyard.

  3. Lisa

    March of 2015 we sold a home in 8 days. Aside from Gods blessing, these are some things we did: We moved out first. We are a large family and needed to sell it clean and empty. We spent about 7k fixing it up. That did not include expensive counter tops, but some classy looking cheaper ones. Old cabinets got refinished with hardware. New paint, some of it just touched up. Cheaper, but brand new carpet. Nothing super fancy, but just a refresher throughout. New blinds in one or two rooms. It was a 1990 house sold fairly simple, not fancy yet not dated…and very clean. I feel we got a good price out of it, and the Spring listing helped as well. Winter may have taken more time.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh wow! That’s awesome, Lisa! Thanks for sharing what worked best in selling your home!

  4. Darla

    #11… Your farmhouse is made of shipping containers😂😂😂

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the additional tip! 😉

  5. Sue

    I would love to have a steam sauna that would not put me off from buying a home.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the feedback, Sue! It sure would be a neat added perk!

    • Sara

      I wouldn’t be opposed to one either. However, when I sell the house, the people looking at it might not want it. I not only consider what I like, I also consider what future buyers would think of something I had no plans of removing. I have to think about resale value.

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