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It’s easy to assume that any renovation you make will greatly increase the value of your home. But the fact is that some repairs are much more popular than others. This means that if you don’t choose your renovation carefully, most of the money you invest in it could be lost forever.

Let’s take a look at a few renovations that you think will improve the value of your home but actually don’t. We then consider an alternative for each that Can be a significant value enhancer.

Modern living room with geometric gray wallpaper and golden curtains.

Image Source: Getty Images.

Not this: swimming pool

Given the oppressive summer heat, it’s easy to see how you can expect an underground pool to be a valuable addition to your home. This is especially true in warmer climates where swimming is possible almost all year round.

But the reality is that many potential homebuyers are put off by the need to maintain and maintain the pool, and the likelihood of higher insurance premiums. Some won’t even travel to their perfect home if it has a pool.

With an average cost of over $30,000, building an underground pool isn’t cheap. And because many potential buyers are hesitant about them, you should only expect a return on investment (ROI) of around 7%, according to HomeAdvisor.

As for the return on investment in repairs, this is pretty bad. Thus, a pool is not an investment in your home. You should only put it in if you and your family really want to and if you plan to continue living in the house for a long time.

Not this: Wallpaper

Wallpaper once conjured images of bold geometric patterns in 70s-inspired color palettes. But thanks in part to digital printing, wallpaper has come a long way. With an almost limitless variety of colors, patterns, and textures, this can be a wonderful way to create a truly custom, luxurious look in your home.

But good things don’t come cheap. You could spend $6,000 to wrap one room. And you might think that investing that kind of money in home renovation should bring a decent return. But according to HomeAdvisor, your ROI will be zero.

It’s sad, but it makes sense. The likelihood that a potential buyer will exactly share your tastes in decor is quite small. And anything that buyers feel they will have to change immediately upon moving in to be happy in the home is a huge hurdle.

So, just like with a pool, only invest heavily in top-notch wallpaper if you feel it will greatly enhance your enjoyment of your home and if you plan to stay there for a long time. It would also be a good idea to stick with neutral colors and patterns so that a potential buyer is less likely to mind. Even so, don’t expect it to add value to your home.

Where to invest instead

If you’ve been thinking about building a pool but would like to get into a renovation that pays off financially, you might consider building a wood deck. However, if you were considering adding a pool because you have a child on your swim team or your family simply loves to swim, then a deck obviously won’t be a viable replacement. But if you were mainly looking to turn your outdoor space into a pleasant extension of your home, a porch might be the perfect option.

And with an average ROI of over 75%, a wood deck is an investment that will also greatly increase the value of your home. Want even more bang for your buck? If the deck is on the roof, your ROI can easily reach or even go well beyond 100%.

If you think you might be selling soon, ditch this lovely textured wallpaper and go for paint instead. With an average ROI of 107%, interior painting is an easy and inexpensive way to add value to your home. Just choose a neutral palette so it’s easier for any potential buyer to imagine living there and it’s hard to go wrong. And if you haven’t painted in a while, an update will almost certainly make the house more enjoyable for your family as well.

You don’t have to choose between a renovation that your family will love and an investment that will pay off. Always look at the ROI before taking on a home improvement project and you can enjoy both.

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