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13 Mistakes Homeowners Make that Decrease the Value of the House

Reblogger Debra Peters
Real Estate Agent with Referral Realty



Making These Mistakes Could End Up Costing You Time and Money When It Comes To Selling Your Home.


This is an informative post on some important things to beware of when putting your home on the market for sale.


Original content by Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate Florida Broker BK436788

     One major advantage of owning a home is to build equity; to increase the value.  When the times comes to Sell, you the seller hope to make a profit.  At the very least, you want to retain the value of the house, so that you won't lose money when you sell it. 

     Regrettably, some homeowners make poor choices when it comes to remodeling, improvements, additions, or maintaining the house.  Instead of preserving or increasing the monetary value of the house, the opposite occurs - the house loses value!


Tallahassee House For Sale

     The 13 items below are common mistakes that Owners make.  The value is decreased, the house may be less appealing to potential Buyers.  Think long and hard before doing any of these things to your house!


13 Mistakes Homeowners Make that Decrease Value


     1.  Enclose the Garage

     You house is no longer big enough for your growing family.  Perhaps you want a family room, or maybe an extra bedroom.  It won't hurt if your cars are parked in the driveway.   So, you decide to enclose the garage. 

     You and some buddies remove the garage door, and wall it in.  Carpet or vinyl is laid over the concrete slab.  Now you have the space you need!

     But when it comes time to sell, that enclosed garage may be a turnoff to Buyers.  Maybe they want their cars in a garage.  The enclosure that you and your friends completed may have an amateur, do-it-yourself look.  Perhaps you failed to pull the required building permits.


Home For Sale Tallahassee, Florida



     2.  Not Adding a Second Bathroom

     Most Buyers expect a minimum of two bathrooms, even in a small house.  One of the best investments that you can make is to install a second bathroom.  Hire an architect or designer to help you determine the best location and plan; then use a licensed contractor to build the new bathroom.

     3.  Illegal Additions, Failure to Get Permits

     If you choose to remodel or add on, you must get permits and use licensed Contractors (consult your local building or zoning department; see an Attorney for legal advice). 

     If you do not get required building and environmental permits, you could be cited, fined, or otherwise penalized by Governmental Authorities for failure to comply.  You may also void or compromise your Homeowner's Insurance Policy.  The Buyer's Lender, after receiving the Appraisal with notations regarding the lack of permits, may decline the mortgage loan.


Leon County Building Permit


     4.  Poor Home Maintenance

     Neglecting to perform regular, simple maintenance can devalue your house by  thousands of dollars.  For example, allowing the rain gutters to clog up with leaves and debris can lead to a rotten roof (the rainwater wicks up under the shingles and soaks the underlying wood).  Not changing air conditioning filters can strain the system, and shorten the life of the equipment. Failure to conduct an occasional "wood destroying organism" inspection may lead to extensive wood rot or termite damage.  Neglected maintenance can be a Red Flag to home inspectors and to Buyers!

     5.  Losing Bedrooms

     Removing a wall between two bedrooms to make a larger master bedroom?  Converting a bedroom into a gym or workspace?  Taking out a closet to make the room deeper?  If you remove walls between bedrooms, or eliminate closets, or make other structural changes that eliminate a bedroom, you may decrease the value of your house.

     This is an especially bad decision if your house is a 2 or 3 bedroom home.  Once the walls come down, your 3 bedroom house is now a 2 bedroom house!  This makes a huge difference to Buyers (and to real estate Appraisers). 

     6.  Not Updating Old or Worn-out Flooring

      If your carpet or other floor coverings are worn or out of date, replace them.  Wood floors may need to be refinished.  Old vinyl or cracked tiles may need replacing.  If you will not or cannot pay for updating your floors, then be prepared to offer an allowance (give up money at the time of the sale) to the Buyer.

     7.  Old or Dilapidated Kitchen Appliances

     A Seller told me that her 1980's kitchen range was still working perfectly, why should she replace it?  Because it looks like a 1980's range, that's why!  It was dented, the knobs were chipped, the inside of the oven had that black-burned-grease appearance.  Get a new range!

     8.  Out-Dated or Worn Draperies, Counter Tops, Light Switch Covers

     What about the counter tops in your bathrooms and kitchen?  You don't have to go with granite, but if they are cracked and chipped, then replace them with something new. 

     What about the light switch cover plates and electric outlet cover plates?  Are they scratched, cracked, yellowed?  Replace them!

     Take a look at your draperies and blinds.  Are they dirty, torn, out of style? Take them down, install some new window treatments.  Even new inexpensive mini-blinds look better than tired old curtains.


Old Drapes in Tallahassee House


     9.  Cigarette Smoking Indoors

     50 years ago smoking indoors was acceptable.  People smoked in their homes, they smoked in their cars, in their offices, and in restaurants.  Today, smoking is considered passé. 

     Cigarette or tobacco odor is offensive to most Home Buyers.  Ridding a house of smoke odor can be very, very expensive.  Do not smoke inside your house! 

     10.  Painting the House the Colors of your Alma Mater

     Tallahassee, Florida is a College Town.  I have seen houses painted in Florida State University colors (garnet and gold), and in Florida A&M University colors (green and orange).  No, no, no!  Use neutral, off-white, or subtle paint colors for both the interior and exterior of your house.  The same thought applies to any trendy or gaudy paint colors.  Neutralize it!     

     11.  Landscape Over-Kill

     I know a house for sale in Tallahassee where the yard is covered with exotic trees, bushes, and foliage.  There is no grass, no lawn.  That's fine, except that the neighboring houses in that subdivision all have grass lawns. 

     The house with all of the plants and foliage stands out like a sore thumb.  Clear the lot!  Donate the extra plants to a nursery, or hire someone with a bush hog.


Tallahassee Florida Yard


     12.  Too Much Outdoor Living (too many Outdoor Improvements)

     A Tallahassee home owner spent $100,000 on an incredible pool, patio, a firepit, and an outdoor kitchen.  That backyard could be on the cover of an Upscale Living Magazine. 

     The problem is that this house is in a neighborhood of $300,000 houses.  This Seller is pricing his house at $399,900 (to recoup the money spent on the pool and the outdoor area).  There is not a chance that it will sell at that price!

     13.  Trampolines and Above-Ground Pools.

     They were fun when you bought them, now they are a visual eyesore.  Even though you paid expensive prices for these items, a trampoline or above-ground swimming pool may cheapen the appearance of the property.   


Tallahassee Home For Sale



      Doing (or failing to do) any of the 13 Items listed above may decrease the value of your house!   These mistakes can make your house less appealing to Buyers.  They can lead to costly repairs. 

     Take care of your house.  Think long and hard before making major changes to either the house or the yard.  Maximize you return on investment when you sell your house!


Tallahassee Dining Room



Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.


Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker    Tallahassee, Florida    850-339-4861


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Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker    Tallahassee, Florida    850-339-4861

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All content including text and photographic images are the exclusive property of Debra Peters and may not be used without written permission. All information is deemed to be accurate but is not guaranteed. Real Estate market information is current as of the date posted and may be subject to changes at any time.   If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market. Debra Peters makes no representation as to the accuracy and suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, losses, damages or injuries that may arise from its display or use.  The information on this site is not to be construed as legal advice.



Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

#5 losing bedrooms. Unless it is a house that maybe has 4 small bedrooms and 1.5 baths...this one causes more loss of value than any. Such a mistake!

Feb 25, 2016 10:17 PM
Kevin Morris
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodrick Realty - Danville, PA
Real Estate agent serving danville and surrounding

Excellent article Debra Peters,

It is funny how people see their home. It usually takes someone else's objective eye to help them realize the shag carpet from the 70s might be stain free but it might not be a selling point. I think that all the home improvement shows have people looking at everything different than they did even 10 years ago. 

Mar 23, 2016 08:21 AM