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8 New Home Upgrades You Should Avoid (Video)

Couple looking at home blueprint

If you're in the market for a new home, you may want a move-in ready home that requires minimal upgrades. However, there are some items that may increase the cost of your mortgage and cost you more in the long run. To help you avoid unnecessary home upgrades, I asked real estate experts and homeowners about new construction upgrades that you should avoid adding to the cost of your mortgage. From avoiding wallpaper to saying no to custom built-ins, there are several recommendations that may help you avoid choosing needless new home upgrades in the future.


Adding wallpaper can be risky. First of all, you would need to make sure that you are definitely in favor of this wallpaper before you put it up. Also, you may change your mind over time and have to redo the wallpaper. Furthermore, prospective buyers may not like this wallpaper if you ever decide to sell the home.

- Drew Sherman, Carvaygo

Non-Eco-Friendly Features

One thing many new homeowners are seeking today is eco-friendly features throughout the home. Features such as energy-saving appliances and drought-resistant landscaping provide savings when it comes to water, gas, and electric bills. They also contribute to overall environmental health. When upgrading a home, pay attention to these details as they hold the potential to increase your property value and appeal to more buyers when it comes time to put your home on the market.

- Than Merrill, FortuneBuilders

Glass Front Door

One home construction upgrade to avoid is a fancy, glass front door. While it may add some curb appeal, it can also be a security hazard. A thief can easily break the door to gain access to your home.

- Matthew Ramirez, Rephrasely

Granite Countertops

Granite Countertops are yet another home upgrade that simply isn't worth the time and effort. This is because granite countertops can be extremely expensive and aren't always going to give you a bang for your buck. A countertop made of butcher block, concrete, or quartz can look just as good as a granite countertop and will save you money. Granite countertops also require regular maintenance in order to keep them looking good. Concrete and quartz countertops do not require this type of maintenance. If you are thinking of upgrading your home with granite countertops, think again! Many other options will look just as good, if not better, and will save you money in the long run.

- Marc De Diego Ferrer, MCA Assessors

Light Fixtures

While additional lighting is always an excellent choice, upgraded lighting fixtures are rarely worth the investment at a builder's showroom. Light fixtures are a fashion accessory and come in a huge variety of styles and quality levels at all kinds of price points. Trends come and go. This is something you can easily DIY once you have time to get a feel for the style and use patterns of your new home.

Kitchen Backsplash

The upgrades produce a significant profit for a home builder (heavily marked up). Your salesperson will try to persuade you to buy the kitchen backsplash, which, yes, does look excellent in images and the demo home. However, tile work is time-consuming, and the builder will factor in a significant expense for labor and the tiles you select. After closing, you can install a kitchen backsplash for about 40% less than what the builder would charge you. In my view, you should seek bargains on high-quality tiles and hire someone to construct your kitchen backsplash. This is a simple new house improvement to avoid.

- Angela Blakenship, Best Neighborhood

Custom Built-Ins

Drywall built-in entertainment centers. These seemed like a great idea, but then the sizes of the televisions kept increasing, and with these, you couldn't upgrade or replace without getting the same size. Another is lighting. Builders charge high rates for LED and motion lights, but these are simple to DIY nowadays and cost a fraction of the price.

Wood Flooring

Wood flooring is the final home upgrade to avoid. This is because wood flooring can be expensive, and it is a difficult upgrade to do on your own. If you are thinking of upgrading your home with wood flooring, think again. Many other options will look just as good, if not better, and will save you money in the long run. Laminate flooring is an excellent alternative to wood flooring, and it is much less expensive. Laminate flooring also does not require a lot of maintenance. It is a great option for people who are on a budget and want to upgrade their homes.

- Peter Lucas, Relocate to Andorra

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