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How to Get the Biggest Bang From Your Renovations

Posted by on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 in Victoria Real Estate News

Renovating your home can bring great financial rewards, if done properly. Especially if you are planning to sell in a slower market like we are currently experiencing. With so many homes on the market, today’s homebuyer have a lot of choice, and a lot of time to eliminate homes that may require major upgrades and renovations. Your home is more than a place to live; it can be a lucrative investment. Whether you’ve owned your home for a number of years, or recently purchased an older property, putting money into the renovations and upgrades can significantly increase its value. What’s more, updating your home is likely to make it more appealing to a wider range of buyers and therefore make it easier to sell.

However, not every renovation will result in extra dollars in your sale. Very trendy or low-quality finishes can turn off potential buyers. Here are a few tips to help ensure you get the biggest bang for your renovation buck:

Kitchens: Even if they aren’t gourmet cooks, today’s homebuyers are looking for a home with an up-to-date kitchen – one that is large and attractive enough to live and entertain in. Recent trends in design have favoured stainless steel appliances, and the wide selection of prices will allow you to find the right product within your budget.  But make room in your remodeling budget for solid-wood cabinets, quality appliances, tiled backsplash, granite counters and recessed task lighting. The cost of a kitchen remodel can be as low as about $15,000 if you shop smartly for all of your supplies, and you can usually recoup this cost in your re-sale price. You will also make your home more saleable compared to the competition.

Bathrooms: If your home has only one bathroom, adding a second will add significant resale appeal and most of the cost will also be recouped in a sale. Many buyers want both a soaker tub and a shower stall in the master suite. Spring for the clean look of a frameless glass enclosure and avoid coloured sinks, tubs and toilets. White remains timeless.

Bedrooms: Adding additional sleeping quarters will usually increase the resale value of your home by more than the cost of the renovation (unless your home already boasts four or five bedrooms). Again, you will increase your buyer pool, and also, recoup most of the costs.

Flooring: Hardwood reigns supreme. Installing new solid hardwood or engineered hardwood floors can increase a home’s value substantially. But opt for mid or light-coloured oak or maple over dark and moody tones. And though wood-look floating laminate floors are somewhat cheaper, it pays to spring for the real thing.

Painting: A fresh coat of paint is among the easiest and most cost effective ways to make your home more appealing. In my experience, a fresh coat of paint will add significantly more value to your home than the cost to do the job. It is definitely a money maker. But avoid picking vibrant, trendy colours. You may think a bright purple dining room looks stunning on the pages of your favourite home décor magazine, but it won’t suit many buyers’ taste. It’s best to choose neutral colours that will have a wider appeal to potential future home buyers. Like an uncluttered home, a neutral backdrop makes it easier for house hunters to imagine moving in and decorating with their own possessions.

Backyard deck: Buyers want outdoor living space, not just an expanse of grass or a few flowers. Putting in a large, well-planned deck is a project with a good payback, again adding significant resale value to your home.

Before you undertake any home renovation, email me your plans and ideas.  I can advise you on whether the improvement you’re planning is likely to appeal to future home buyers and whether the potential payoff makes it a smart investment.

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