Choosing what areas of your home you want to renovate should be based on your personal wants, needs and preferences, but you also need to weigh the cost of the work against how it will affect the re-sale value of your home—will there be a solid return on the funds you invest in these improvements? The Appraisal Institute of Canada, an association dedicated to providing trust-worthy and comprehensive property advisory services, recommends choosing improvements with a lengthy life-expectancy.
This means considering projects like a new roof, updating all of the windows, and changing your heating/cooling system(s) to energy-efficient options that benefit from modern advances. The warranty on these changes means that any issues that arise
in usually the first ten to fifteen years or so (depending on the warranty and the problem) will be covered by the manufacturer, and ideally you won’t have any, as is usually the case when you choose quality products and installers for projects of this nature (which is always a worthwhile upfront cost, as it will save you much more money in the long-run).
Even if you don’t plan to stay in your home for that length of time, listing that these significant improvements have recently been completed and are even still under warranty adds major appeal to buyers. This will greatly affect your asking price and the speed at which your property sells—a definite win-win.
If you do plan to keep your house for years to come, these improvements will save you major operating costs, and will still be attractive features should you choose to sell down the road.
When you’re still in the planning stages of your home improvement, it is wise to appraise your neighbourhood and the average cost per listing near you. While updates and projects will add value to your home, there’s a point where you are spending more than you can recoup from the property, based on its location, the houses surrounding it, and the type of buyer that the area and style of house will attract. If you’re planning to sell in the near future, you also need to be cognisant of popular styles and tastes.
Most people will not have the furniture to suit a bright orange living room, so hold-off on painting it that colour if your house is going on the market soon. You want to prep the house to be as move-in ready for its next owner as possible if you’re selling. Moving is a lot of work, and most of us aren’t keen to have to tackle any urgent projects as soon as we get into our new home, ergo houses that we can immediately start living in will sell faster and we’ll pay more for that convenience.
There are two rooms in the house that almost everyone will be in on a daily basis—the kitchen and the bathroom. These high-traffic spaces are definitely worth investing in. Depending on the age of the rooms and when they were last revamped, a full makeover may even be your best bet. When people walk into a kitchen or bathroom that has updated appliances and finishes, the entire house immediately has more appeal. A trick to selling your home is creating a space that potential buyers will
happily envision themselves living in. If you present them with a fresh, welcoming, appetizing kitchen, they’ll see themselves prepping for dinner parties to show off their new house; if you have a relaxing, inviting, spa-at-home kind of bathroom, they’ll imagine themselves soaking away the stress of the day there. You also use these spaces a lot, so giving them an overhaul is also beneficial to you.
The options and materials available in flooring have grown exponentially in the past few years. Laminate flooring now comes in such a wide array of finishes and styles that you would never know it was laminate, save for the hardiness of it and the ease with which it is installed and maintained.
Kitchens and bathrooms no longer have to sport tile or vinyl unless you want them to (whereas before it was almost a household rule)—a lot of people are putting hardwood or laminate into these rooms to add a more sophisticated feel. Dated flooring makes an entire home feel a bit shabby and in need of more work than just replacing a shag carpet or wearing vinyl, so updating any tired flooring is going to help you sell faster and have a higher asking price.
When it comes to refreshing your home, don’t underestimate the value of smaller, inexpensive projects. A new coat of paint can do wonders for a room or hallway. Painting your baseboards, window and door frames can instantly transform a space, making it feel bright and new. Replacing worn or cheap-looking interior door and cabinet handles also transform a room. Buyers look at tell-tale details of a house, like these, to help them determine the overall quality of a property and the work the previous owner has put in.
Interior doors and closet doors should definitely be updated if they’re low-quality or old-fashioned (and not in the charming way that is very in-demand). You’d be shocked at how a well-planned closet organization system can appeal to a potential home-buyer; again, it comes back to things that will make their lives easier. The laundry room is a space we easily overlook, but if you really want to up the wow factor of your home, paint it something airy and appealing, install some inexpensive organization systems and shelving, and add some stylish little touches. Small details and updates like this can have the biggest impact on people’s overall impression of a house.
A house is the single biggest purchase many of us will ever make. Whether it’s the home you want to spend the rest of your life in or it’s the backdrop for only a chapter or two in your life, it’s an investment you need to maintain and take care of and in return it will give you a return on your time, care, and money.
Originally Published by The Chronicle Herald
Alexandra Kelter is a social media specialist with Central Home Improvements. Her column covers many aspects of home improvement, both indoor and outdoor, and will combine trending styles with practical applications all within realistic budgets. Kelter is also passionate about fashion, travel, living by the ocean and her bulldog.