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To renovate or not to renovate...what do I do?

Thursday, 1 August 2019

I get asked all the time “what renovations should I do to increase the value of my home?” This is a very simple, but extremely important question. It’s also a question you see on almost every real estate agents’ blog, and for good reason. Let me perhaps expand the subject a bit.

The first thing I’ll say, which anyone can just Google really, is that renovations to kitchens, bathrooms and painting will bring you the most return. These are the two rooms in the house that ‘have’ everything: cupboards, sinks, fixtures etc… all that stuff costs money. Every other room in the house is just a room with walls, a door and at least one window. The new owner is going to fill up those rooms with their own stuff. Updating the home’s systems, such as heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, roof etc… will still fetch a good return on your investment as well.

BE CAREFUL how much you renovate and what you chose to update or fix. It is possible to go overboard.  When marketing a home for sale, one of the first things I discuss with my sellers is who is likely to buy this house? What are the trends in the area? How renovated are other homes in the area? I’ll use my own home for an example: I have a three bedroom cute little bungalow right smack in the middle of Niagara Falls, Canada. I love my street! It’s full of homes built from the 1920’s up to 2019! My place, it’s about 90 years old. We’re about average sale price for the city in my ‘hood. There’s not a chance I would put quartz counters, true blue hardwood floors or the absolute best money could buy in my house. Unless I got it very inexpensive, it’s very unlikely I would ever get my money back as my place appeals to first time buyers and investors, not someone who’d pay extra for high end finishes. *Side note: I really love my little house-it’s just the hubby and I, and the dogs so we don’t need anything huge. We’re content right where we are J

The reverse is also true: if the home is in a more affluent neighbourhood, you’ll want to ensure the finishes match the buyer who’s likely to buy it. If you can’t afford to renovate, don’t worry about it. Someone will buy the house. You don’t have to fix everything. The price will reflect this.

Hey, we can’t please everyone. However, if you’re renovating to sell the home, then talk to your real estate agent first to discuss appropriate finishes. We don’t want you to lose any hard earned money and certainly don’t want the house sitting on the market because it’s too nice or not nice enough.

I’ve got my finger on the pulse of the market trends so let’s talk before you renovate.

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