5 Ways You're Decreasing Your Home's Value

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred Real Estate, Inc.; www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com
5 Ways You're Decreasing Your Home's Value
By Andrew Lisa
RISMEDIA, Tuesday, June 16, 2015— (TNS)—There are a lot of things homeowners can do to add value to their home. But there are just as many ways they can decrease their home’s worth without even realizing it. Everyone knows that neglecting their yard or painting their house neon pink could make their home less valuable. But whether you’re planning to sell, to refinance or to rent on Airbnb, there are steps you can take to retain, and even increase, the value of your home. Avoid these five common mistakes.

Neglecting Your Hot Water Heater

According to This Old House, well-maintained hot water heaters run better and more efficiently than those that are neglected, leading to lower bills and greater longevity for the nucleus of your home’s utility center. This maintenance is usually easy and inexpensive. Adding insulation can reduce heat loss by up to 45 percent and lower water-heating bills by 9 percent.

Also, flush the tank to remove sediment periodically. “Water has minerals in it,” says John Bodrozic, co-founder of Homezada.com, “and they can build up in the bottom of the hot water heater, causing it to work harder, which increases energy bills. It will wear out much quicker. A home inspection when selling it will catch this, and it will factor into the offered price for the home.”

Installing a Pool 

Everyone loves a swimming pool—except the people who have to pay to maintain it. According to Time magazine, in-ground pools cost, on average, around $22,000 to install and thousands more annually for maintenance and equipment.

Many homeowners assume a pool will pay for itself in the form of a higher asking price when they sell — especially in a hot climate. This is rarely true. Homebuyers look at pools and see dollar signs. From security fences to vacuums to resurfacing every few years, a pool can be an expensive headache that actually lowers the value of your home.

Destroying Existing Value by 'Remodeling' 

Many remodeling jobs can actually destroy some of the home’s inherent value. “We have talked many clients out of removing the seldom-used half bath or full bath in order to put in a larger laundry room,” says Rob Baugher, president of the Birmingham Remodelers Association in Alabama and CEO of design and remodel company Baugher Inc. “Destroying the existing value is crazy.”

Even if you have to add on to the house, you will have made more on your investment because you retained the existing value.

Instead, look for cosmetic fixes. “In the kitchen,” Baugher says, “if you can paint the existing cabinets and change the hardware (maybe tile the backsplash), the appraiser or next owner will see that as remodeled and will pay more than it cost you. Sanding and refinishing hardwood floors instead of replacing them is a great money maker—but the bones of the house have to be good first.”

Neglecting Outside Air-Conditioner Units

Another major mistake that devalues the outside of the home, the inside of the home and leads to an increase in energy and repair costs is “not trimming shrubs around air conditioning units,” Bodrozic says. “These units need unobstructed airflow to operate efficiently. Overgrown shrubs block this airflow, the units have to run harder, which increases energy bills and reduces the life of the units, thus decreasing the value of the home.”

Not Cleaning Gutters Regularly

Cleaning the gutters is absolutely necessary. Gutters carry water away from the home, its roof and foundation. “When gutters are clogged,” says Erin McDermott, communications specialist for Window Genie, a national home-service franchise, “water finds the path of least resistance, which many times leads to irreversible damage when it seeps into the fascia board or foundation.”

“A rotten, cracked house is expensive to fix and impossible to sell,” McDermott says. “Stagnant water is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects, including wood-eating bugs. Also, gutters that begin to pull away from the home can fall off, bringing down siding, roof and landscape with it.”

There are some obvious ways to boost your home’s value — and many not-so-obvious ways to lower your home’s value without even knowing the damage that you’re doing. Some have to do with neglect, others are caused by uninformed decisions about makeovers or remodels. Work with a competent, qualified contractor and always research a project before digging in.

© 2015 GOBankingRates.com, a ConsumerTrack web property
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
Posted by


Laura Sellers

Associate Broker, Realtor, GRI

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 

Preferred Real Estate, Inc.

1810 E. Glenn Avenue, Suite 130

Auburn, AL 36830

Phone: 334-332-7263

Fax: 1-888-217-3682w







If you are buying or selling  property in the Auburn - Opelika, AL  area, my team and I will provide you with the service that you need.  We're the #1 real estate company in Auburn's #1 office.  

Please call me today at (334) 332-7263.


To view homes for sale in the Auburn - Opelika area please click here. 


Referrals are always welcomed and appreciated, Thank-you!



Comments (15)

Johnny Davis
Ocala, FL
Where SOLD Happens!

Great list. I bet there aren't many people who think that not clearing gutters could actually help in decreasing your homes value.

Jun 16, 2015 11:16 PM
Laura Sellers
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred Real Estate, Inc.; www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com - Auburn, AL

Good morning Johnny Davis ,  I do not think everyone thinks about the gutters. Who would have known so much damage could potentially be caused by not cleaning them out.

Jun 16, 2015 11:25 PM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

It's easy for homeowners to overlook mundane things like gutters and water heaters, but their efficiency is important. Nice list compiled here.

Jun 17, 2015 01:44 AM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

You are so right Laura, all these suggestions make good sense, if a home is not properly maintained, it ends up costing more money in the long run.

Jun 17, 2015 06:33 AM
Laura Sellers
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred Real Estate, Inc.; www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com - Auburn, AL

Lottie Kendall  and Joe Petrowsky , both of you are so correct.  Think we all stay so busy sometimes that if we aren't careful we can overlook routine maintenance around our homes.

Jun 17, 2015 06:47 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Laura - the pool is not a surprise to me.  That is a big maintence headache.

Jun 17, 2015 07:06 AM
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

A few of these are obvious, a couple I knew that were not so obvious, I hope this helps many people keep up their maintenance.

Jun 17, 2015 07:49 AM
Bob Publicover
Publicover Realty Group, inc - Stuart, FL
Thinking outside the box

Morning Laura,

Thanks for the list of things many of us don't always think about.

Especially a POOL. there is a lot of maintenance required and the "pool" of buyers can be reduced because of it. Not everyone thinks a pool is a MUST HAVE when purchasing a home.

Jun 17, 2015 10:40 PM
Laura Sellers
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred Real Estate, Inc.; www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com - Auburn, AL

Good morning, Grant, Captain Wayne and Bob,  I wa actually surprised about a few of them.  Although I love a pool I don't think I would personally want to maintain one.  Think it can be great fun, however for those that don't mind the maintenance.

Jun 18, 2015 11:07 PM
Cat Zwicker, CRS
Desert Sky Real Estate, LLC - Redmond, OR
Down to Earth Service; Out of this World Results!


 What a great list! I just had the gutter conversation just this weekend, as well as the importance of trimming back tress and shrubs that rub against the house.   Maintaining a home is key to keeping the existing value! 

Jun 22, 2015 04:06 AM
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

Laura, Great tips on how to decrease one's home value. It does seem like common sense but many miss the point. 

Jun 22, 2015 04:16 AM
Accelerating Sales For Realtors

Great list. I see way too many of my clients making these mistakes. Do any of you guys see these as frequently as I do?

Jun 22, 2015 05:02 AM
Green Forest Properties
Golden, CO
Your Local Golden, CO Real Estate Professional

Our admin spent 6 years in the insurance industry. She can go into some horror stories for what damages are caused due to neglected gutters! Water damage is just the beginning of it! 

Jun 22, 2015 05:42 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Thanks for sharing tips - or what not to do for the sellers, Laura Sellers .

Perfect to share with sellers at listing appointment...lol!

Jun 22, 2015 03:25 PM
James Murr
Cortiers Real Estate - College Station, TX

Good information for sellers, thanks for sharing

Jun 23, 2015 02:48 AM