A house is one of the largest purchases many people make in their lifetimes. To ensure you make the most of this substantial investment, you’ll need to maintain or improve the value of your home. However, homeowners often inadvertently do things that decrease their properties’ value. To prevent the value of your home from plummeting, avoid these things that can decrease your home’s value.

A dingy yard

Proper yard maintenance can have a huge effect on the value of your home. If your yard is patchy, brown, full of weeds, or otherwise disheveled, the value of your home could drop by a few thousand dollars. As such, it’s important to regularly break out your lawn mower and water your lawn to keep it looking lush and manicured. You should also focus on eliminating other unsightly aspects of your yard, such as deteriorating fencing, an excessive amount of artificial lawn fixtures, or a poorly maintained swing set or shed.

Driveway damage

Your driveway is one of the first things people see when they look at your home. As such, a cracked or worn driveway can significantly impact your home’s curb appeal and, as a result, its overall value. To prevent driveway damage, follow proper maintenance practices, such as regularly sealcoating it. In addition, you should try to avoid common causes of driveway damage, including sharp objects, heavy weights, or rock salt.

High-maintenance upgrades

Many people upgrade their homes in an attempt to increase their value, but several types of home upgrades can end up doing the opposite. These upgrades typically include high-maintenance enhancements such as intricate landscaping, pools, hot tubs, or fountains. To avoid decreasing the value of your home, avoid making any upgrades that require a lot of time, money, or energy to upkeep.

Unusual color choices

There’s a market for people who appreciate unusually colored houses, but most buyers probably aren’t interested in homes with a bright or generally abnormal color. Avoid painting your home a color that stands out too much from those of the other homes in your neighborhood. Instead, consider painting your home a color such as greige, sage green, or beige, which have been known to boost home value.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.