6 Features That Can Devalue Your Home

A home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime, so it’s important to be aware of the features that can devalue your property. From musty smells to old fixtures, many things turn off potential buyers and can result in a lower selling price. Here are the often-overlooked features that can devalue your home.

A Musty Smell

If your home has a musty smell, it’s likely due to mold or mildew. Several things can cause musty smells, like leaky pipes, a damaged roof, high humidity, or exposed dirt in the crawlspace. The moisture combined with the stagnant air and dark corners can cause mold and mildew to grow. As a result, your home will have an unpleasant smell that potential buyers will notice.

What You Can Do: Get your home inspected for any signs of damage, like a leaky roof or pipe. If you find mold or mildew in your home, have the problem professionally treated before putting it on the market. You can also do DIY cleaning by wiping down surfaces with a diluted bleach solution, running fans to keep air moving and opening windows for ventilation. You can also use baking soda and coffee grounds to absorb odors.

Outdated Appliances

Having outdated appliances can be a major turnoff for potential buyers, as they may want to avoid dealing with the expense of replacing them. It does not also concern the cost, as old appliances can be inefficient and no longer meet energy standards.

What You Can Do:

  1. Invest in new, modern appliances if you’re selling your home soon.
  2. Look into appliances that can help you save money on energy costs. You can easily spot energy-efficient appliances by looking for the Energy Star label.
  3. Invest in appliances like a new refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, and washing machine that match the style of your home.

Poor Curb Appeal

A home’s exterior is one of the first things people notice when they pull up to the house, so it’s important not to overlook poor curb appeal. Unkempt landscaping and old, worn-out paint can make a home look dated and rundown. The last thing you want is to turn away potential buyers before they even step through the door.

What You Can Do:

  • Spruce up the exterior of your home with a fresh coat of paint.
  • Trim back any overgrown bushes and trees.
  • Add colorful flowerbeds to boost the curb appeal.

You can also add potted plants and solar-powered lights to enhance your home’s exterior. It is also worth replacing garage doors with automated ones to create a modern look and functionality. Remember also to power wash the driveway, sidewalks, and siding to make your home look clean and inviting.

Contemporary driveway parking of the big modern house

Not Enough Storage Space

Storage space is a must for any family, so inadequate storage can be a major deterrent for potential buyers. Not only will they have to deal with limited closet and cabinet space, but they may also have to invest in extra storage solutions.

What You Can Do: Maximize storage space by adding built-in shelves and cabinets throughout the house. This can help you create more organized and efficient storage solutions that potential buyers will appreciate. It is also worth investing in multi-function furniture, like a bed with built-in storage or an ottoman with hidden compartments. If you don’t have the budget for new furniture, utilize existing closet shelves and cabinets to their full potential by adding dividers and organizing accessories.

Cracked Windows

Cracked windows are unsightly and can let in drafts and moisture that contribute to higher energy costs. This can also lead to mold and mildew buildup. Even a slight crack can cause air to leak, making your home less energy-efficient.

What You Can Do: Replace all cracked windows with energy-efficient models of durable materials like vinyl and fiberglass. These materials are more durable and can help you save money on your energy bills. Check the air sealing around the windows, as that can also impact the efficiency of your windows. This will help you improve the insulation of your home, save money on energy costs, and make it more appealing to buyers. If you don’t have the budget for new windows, you can also caulk around the existing ones to help reduce drafts.


Wallpaper was once all the rage, but most people prefer painted walls. The use of wallpaper, especially in excess, can make a room feel dated and unappealing. This is especially true for potential buyers who want to change the wallpaper or paint colors but want to avoid taking on the extra effort and expense of removing old wallpaper.

What You Can Do: Remove all wallpaper from your home and paint it with neutral colors instead. Neutral colors, like light gray and beige, are more aesthetically pleasing and can help make a room feel larger. Repainting is an inexpensive way to update the look of your home without breaking the bank. Remember to add small accent walls with bright colors for visual interest.

These are just a few often-overlooked features that can devalue your property. If you’re thinking of selling your home, it’s best to be aware of these potential problems so that you can address them before listing your house on the market. Taking care of these issues will make you more likely to get top dollar for your property when it’s time to sell.

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