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8 Home Design and Improvement Choices That Discourage a Future Sale

Very few people stay in the same home for life. And while everyone wants to mold their home to make it comfortable while they're there, not all improvements will benefit its future selling value.

Even if you're not actively planning to sell anytime soon, why make these difficult-to-fix mistakes that will harm your chances if the time comes?

1) Unconventional Colors

Whether it's your home's interior or exterior, try to stick to fairly neutral colors for paintwork and other major decor features. While a little character is fine and even desirable, anything too brash and unconventional will turn off just as many people as it attracts.

Be especially careful about painting original features like stonework or hardwood. It's extremely difficult to restore them to their original condition, so any work you do is effectively permanent, whether a future buyer likes it or not.

2) Over-Fussy Yards

A stunning yard full of decorative flowers may attract plenty of attention, but it might give many buyers second thoughts. Unless they're keen gardeners themselves, taking on a horticultural masterpiece will mean they're saddled with a lot of unwelcome and expensive maintenance to keep it looking good.

And if they're also keen on gardening, they'll probably prefer a blanker canvas to work from rather than inheriting someone else's monument.

Try and keep your gardening work simple but attractive, or at least make it easy to simplify later.

3) Inflexible Yards

But at the other extreme, avoid turning your yard into a barren, single-use space by adding a sports court, an expanse of drab decking, or a patch of durable but boring asphalt.

All of these things are expensive and inconvenient to replace if they're not perfect for a new buyer, so take care to keep your yard as multi-purpose as possible.

4) Installing Pools or Hot Tubs

And if you're hoping to sell your home, the worst yard addition of all is a pool. Your local climate may make it a welcome relief at the height of summer, but it's a maintenance and safety issue that will turn off anyone not specifically looking for this feature.

And not far behind in the undesirability stakes is an outdoor hot tub. It takes up space, demands plenty of cleaning, and offers dangers for children, pets, and wildlife alike.

5) Removing Garage Space

The number of cars per family isn't showing any signs of decreasing, so think twice before limiting your garage or parking space with a conversion or renovation.

If your home is blessed with a large garage and a secure driveway, keep it that way if you want to retain its appeal in the long term.

6) Special Purpose Rooms

While a home office might be perfect for remote workers, it's wasted space for most other people. Playrooms are pointless for those without children. A home cinema is a niche luxury that relatively few will truly appreciate.

If you want to convert a room for a special use, make sure it's easy to revert it to a more general space so that it doesn't limit your future market.

7) Expensive Countertops

Marble countertops may look great in a kitchen, but never forget that this room is used daily and should be a functional space. High-maintenance surfaces which are easily damaged or fade quickly will make it hard for a harried home cook to relax.

8) Excessively On-Trend Decor

When it comes to your decor choices, it pays not to be a slave to cutting-edge fashion unless you're prepared to update frequently.

The same issue applies to potential buyers. If they view a home that looks like a glossy magazine feature, they'll feel uncomfortably aware that a major redecoration is just around the corner to avoid the look dating quickly.

If you've even half an eye on selling, always aim for a classic design which doesn't take a complete revamp to freshen up.

Of course, it's your home, and you want to be comfortable in it while you live there. But if selling is even a tiny possibility in the future, it pays to consider how your home improvements will affect its value.

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