Personalizing Your Pad? Forget These Fancy Features

Posted on Dec 10 2014 - 4:29am by Suzanne De Vita

sunroomIf you could have any amenity at home, what would it be? A 10-car showroom? A mile-long moat? How about a zip line course crisscrossing the backyard? (Okay, that last one’s just me.)

While homeownership is a dream realized for most, it’s no surprise that the desire for wish fulfillment remains long after closing. Castle-in-the-sky features may seem like a priority, but amenities that fall too far outside the norm will cost you. And the price is pretty steep – highly personal additions can seriously backfire come listing.

We all want some unique add-on that makes our home ours. But in the quest to create those dream digs, keep in mind that the more personal you get, the more your resale value will suffer. Some of the worst offenders:

Aquariums Sorry, Kevin Costner fans – "Waterworld" was dreadful. And so are built-in, larger-than-life aquariums with Fijian fish. Even if your buyers happen to be marine biologists, the novelty will wear off once they realize how much upkeep costs, and how much it will cost when they inevitably swap it out for dry wall.

Backyard rain forests – According to Lawn & Landscape, landscaping can account for up to 25 percent of a home’s resale value, and experts recommend spending just 10 percent of that to spruce up the space. Utopia-seekers may covet lush, tropical surroundings, but most buyers will trek elsewhere when they calculate exactly how much it costs to maintain paradise.

Solariums – Similar to a sunroom, a solarium is characterized by a glass panel surround that results in sunshine overload. Cozy? Sure. Appealing to buyers? Not so much. A sunroom is one of the least beneficial add-ons to a home when it comes to ROI – and windows in sunrooms generally don’t extend to the roof. If a sunroom of floor-to-ceiling windows is enough to deter buyers, it’s entirely likely that a glass-encased dome won’t be well received, either.

High-end garages
Not every buyer will share your need for speed. Growing trend or not, glam-ing up your garage with climate control options or an integrated auto body shop just won’t resonate with most home shoppers. Get the most bang for your buck with a new garage door instead.

Putting greens There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love golf, and those who hate it. Aside from the risk of shutting out potential buyers, your very own fairway can cost you (and your home’s new owner) $10,000 or more each year in maintenance. Best to leave this one off your bucket list.

Fortunately for everyone, home theaters and wine cellars are still on most buyers’ wish lists. Entertainment and alcohol - who’da thunk it?


Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s Online Associate Editor and social butterfly. Zip lines aside, she dreams of housing her own ladybug sanctuary.


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