Depending on certain areas, there are certain things that you could renovate to get the most “bang for your buck”. Typically, kitchens, bathrooms, and basements are always the first thing that homeowners renovate to improve the value of their home – and for good reason.
These are the places where we spend most of our active time indoors. Yes, we spend about eight hours in our bedrooms but how much of that are we actually conscious to notice the details of our surroundings. Even the living room does not get that much attention as we usually have our television there.
Geography is very influential in determining which would be the best investment. Obviously a swimming pool in Alaska would not be as valuable as if it were in Florida. The best thing to do if you want to see the highest return on your investment is to consult with your Realtor®. These professionals know the statistics and value of your area. They know exactly how much houses have sold for recently and why they have sold for that amount.
That being said, the following are some renovations you could consider. Make sure to consult with your Realtor® to get their opinion on which renovations they think you should do to maximize ROI and which ones should take priority.
You can almost never go wrong with a kitchen renovation – unless you’re renovating an already perfect kitchen or hire someone who has no idea what they’re doing. As you may know, kitchens and bathrooms sell a house.
One thing you should remember is that kitchens should always be functional, no matter how attractive and stylish you want it to be. A kitchen renovation can be one of the most costly renovations especially if you are updating the appliances.
However, there are also areas where you can save a few bucks. For one, cabinets do not always have to be taken down. Sometimes, all that a dated cabinet needs is a fresh coat of paint and updated handles. Or if that cannot be salvaged, a new cabinet door would do the trick. Certain counter tops can also be refinished to bring them up to date.
As mentioned earlier, the bathroom, along with the kitchen, is the catalyst for the sale of the house. What you could do if you want to update your bathroom is to refinish the floor and walls by replacing the broken tiles or an old laminate floor – or it’s even possible in some cases to just add a layer of laminate flooring on top of the old. A nice new sink and counter will also go a long way – you can even get a granite all in one counter and sink for a good price at the local hardware store – but only in standard sizes usually. If your bathtubs are looking old consider having them reglazed at a fraction of the cost of buying brand new ones.
Sometimes, all that your bathroom needs is a good weekend to de-clutter and clean it. And you can always updating the fixed accessories (towel rack, hooks, mirror etc.) or other accessories (towels, soap holder, etc.) to make the bathroom look 100 times more stylish with little effort and investment. Just remember to do your research and be resourceful.
Floor Refinishing or Replacement
Floors take the most beating over the years. Whether it is carpet, hardwood, or laminate, they all need their updating over time. Hardwood floors have been the trend these past few years mainly because of its luxurious look and durability.
However, more and more people are going with laminate floors as a cost effective alternative, since they look very similar to wood but are much cheaper and easier to install as well, and often hold up better to animals and children. Plus there are a variety of designs to choose from nowadays.
It usually a judgment call as to whether floors can still be refinished or have to be replaced. You should get an expert’s opinion to know what your options are.
Patching and Repainting
Before an open house, you should almost always repaint your house’s interior. This is to update the walls and patch up the imperfections. It is normal to have cracks and holes from wall accessories like picture frames. Also, it is good way to neutralize the house and remove your personal touch because buyers may not have the same taste in colours as you. Some will find repainting the whole house too big of a challenge – but even painting just a few rooms (especially those with more unique or outdated colours) can make a big difference.
Many houses now are going for the open concept look and one challenge for potential buyers is to picture the layout of the open space. Here, you can use different shades and accent paint on walls to designate and separate areas, and place furniture accordingly.
Next, a good investment would be in energy efficient upgrades: from windows, to appliances, to lighting, to heating and cooling, and even insulated roofing. The government here in Canada is even offering tax credits for green upgrades so if you have the extra cash, this would be a good investment because it not only increases the value of your home, but also saves you in utility bills as well. Not to mention the increasing number of “green buyers” around that would be interested.
Lastly, you should not forget about the little finishing touches around your house. These are the trim around your walls and doors, the electrical outlets and switches, and the door locks and knobs. These should be cleaned up to match your other renovations. Check if these need to be fixed or replaced as these are very affordable fixes that could significantly affect the sale price.
So there you have it, renovations that should keep you busy for a while. If that is still not enough work for you, then maybe you should consider a career in renovations. Anyway, just remember that aside from increasing the value of your home, it will also improve your life inside while you live in it.
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For more articles on preparing your home for sale go to our page on home staging and curb appeal here.