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10 Home Renovations That Can Actually Decrease the Value of Your Home - Part 1 of 2

When doing home renovations we generally assume that they will increase the value of our home. Whether it be a new kitchen or a lightly touched-up guest bedroom, for the most part, it works in our favour.

However, there are a few renovations that don’t always pay off the way we had hoped, here are the first 5 of 10: 


Regardless of how trendy the pattern is, the majority of buyers see this as a project.

Most buyers will do a quick calculation of how much it will cost them to have the wallpaper removed and the walls repainted.

Remember, just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it appeals to everyone! 

Built-In Electronics

A “smart home” can feel very modern while offering real benefits in terms of efficiency and control over your environment.

The problem is that potential buyers may not have the same needs as you, and built-in electronics might be wasted on them or might become outdated over time, becoming not just an eyesore, but an eyesore that doesn’t work well.

Potential buyers may see these as future bills because they immediately estimate how much it will cost them to remove and/or upgrade them.

Garage Conversions

Converting your garage to an extra bedroom, additional storage, or even a home gym or theatre room can give you plenty of extra living space and square footage.

When you convert your garage you’re not just gaining more square footage—you’re also losing a valuable aspect of the home that buyers want.

Worse, the buyers may not care as much about the extra room, since they’re coming in fresh. The impact is brutal—it’s estimated a garage conversion can reduce your home’s value by as much as 25%. 


Yes, carpeting is comfy, cozy, and warm and many people do love it!

However, unless carpeting is brand new, it tends to scare off some buyers as it is also known to collect bacteria and dust and can be difficult to clean.

Buyers want to see flooring that is easy to clean, fresh, and preferably stain resistant, especially if you or they have children and pets. 

Overly Personal Design Choices

Of course, you have the best taste in home design!

However, your style may not be the same as your potential buyers and this can negatively impact the value of your home.

Bright colours, textured wallpaper, and funky fixtures make your home unique and show your personality, and it’s natural to want to showcase that in your home.

But if you go to far, it can send buyers running in the other direction as they see these designs as projects that need to be fixed and updated…in other words, costing them extra money. 


The No. 1 Mistake Homebuyers Make

Owning a home is a lifelong dream for many and likely the largest purchase most people will ever make. It’s also an excellent tool for building wealth!

However, like any tool, if it’s misused, it can have negative impacts.

The number one mistake that homebuyers make is moving too often!

Buying and selling too often plays into the bank’s hands, not yours when it comes to finances.

The average mortgage is 25-30 years meaning 300-360 monthly payments until you own your property outright. What many people don't realize is that banks front-load their profits on the loan, known as your mortgage's interest. The payments in your early mortgage years go primarily toward interest, with little money going toward the principal of the loan.

For example, the monthly payment on a 30-year mortgage for $200,000 at an interest rate of 5% would be $1,073.64. On that first payment, $833.33 is towards interest, and just $240.31 goes toward that $200,000 principal balance. The scale slowly tips every month, and the tables eventually turn; your monthly payments will be almost all principal and little interest by the end of your 30-year journey.

That said, the average homeowner only stays in their home for 13 years, at that time the monthly payment would be $613.94 towards interest and $459.70 towards principal. You’ve actually paid the bank more over those 13 years than you have towards your principal.

We understand that people need to move and life changes, however, when searching for your first or next home, we do suggest thinking about the long term. Will you grow your family? Are children heading off to university soon? Will you retire and downsize in a few years? There are plenty of questions you should ask yourself when searching for your next home.

Here are the most common reasons for people to move:

  1. Move closer to family and friends

  2. Need a larger/smaller home

  3. Neighbourhood is changing

  4. Want to move from a starter home to a forever home

The answer to the majority of these questions can usually be figured out before you buy a new home if you take the time to really think about your future and yourself the questions that you need to.

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the near future and would like some guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be more than happy to offer our advice and some tips on how to find the right home for you, and for the future! 


Common Mistakes when Renovating Your Basement

Your basement is much more than a storage room, it offers untapped potential square footage that you can use for extra living space.

Some of the most common basement renovations include in-law suites, media rooms, home gyms, or extra bedrooms. All of these are fantastic ways to utilize the space…if it’s done properly.

Be sure to do it right the first time by avoiding these basement remodeling mistakes:


A floor plan can give you a rough idea of the layout and what things will look like once they're finished. But proceed with caution. Because when adding the spaces you want in your basement, you don't want to create a choppy or maze-like floor plan that makes the space unusable.

Try to follow the same design tenants as the rest of the home to avoid having a basement with an awkward layout. In an effort to create function, you don't want to build walls and forget about room placement.


The majority of basements are already lacking in natural light and forgetting to add enough lighting can make it feel like a cave.

One of the most popular types of basement lighting is recessed ceiling can lights because they maximize the lighting without taking up a ton of space. They're great for low ceilings when pendant lights might get in the way.

You can also choose bright lighting that will supplement natural light. Think about layering your lighting by adding table lamps or wall sconces to provide a softer or warmer ambiance.


Imagine having the most amazing family room but being unable to enjoy it because it’s just too cold in the winter months.

The proper insulation not only makes a space more livable but can also help save money on energy bills as it helps regulate the temperature in your home.

Additionally, if you don't want to hear movies or video games blasting in the middle of the night or hear footsteps from upstairs, be sure to include soundproofing when completing your renovation.

Soundproofing will come in extra handy if you if you're going to use any part of the space as an office or bedroom as it can provide a much-needed serene area to get work done or relax.

If renovating your basement is on your to-do list be sure to take these tips into consideration and if you have any questions, please reach out to us. 

MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.