Renovations can do one of three things: increase your home’s value, decrease your home’s value, or maintain your home’s value. Ultimately, your home’s resale value will likely have more to do with the surrounding market, and less do to with your individual renovations.
The hotter the home market, the less your renovations matter — buyers are so desperate they are willing to overlook an outdated but structurally sound property. The more depressed a housing market, however, the more important it is that your renovations be tasteful, functional and quality.
But what renovations are required simply to maintain your home’s value in a balanced market?
Internal renovations to modernize the home are key. Some houses for sale, especially freehold townhouses for sale, in older Ontario cities are from the Victorian era. That’s over 120 years old! The circuit board can’t handle modern appliances, pipes are made out of old materials likely to snap and ceiling fans don’t quite to the trick in humid Ontario summers.
Updating wiring, plumbing, heating and cooling will likely do the most to maintain your home’s value. These are big, expensive projects and a prospective buyer will be glad that you have taken them off her hands. You’ll also be able to get a lot of enjoyment and peace of mind from increased electrical capacity and central air.
Every 15-20 years you should also considering updating your kitchen. Styles change dramatically during that time. Think of kitchens that were designed in the 1990s, with floral wallpaper, laminate counters and white tiles with black grout. It screams its decade of origin to the modern eye. The next wave, in the pre-recession early aughts, was of the granite counter top and stainless steel appliance.
Neither decor styles can compete with the minimal, sleek look that’s become popular in the last five years.
Then again, sheets of marble and all white-and-grey zen kitchens are en-vogue now, but may be considered cold in 2030.
Another room you should consider updating every other decade or so is the bathroom.
Bathrooms are the first place to see damage, according to Rob Abbot, an operations manager at Village Builders, due to the moisture content and high traffic. New materials, like mould resistant drywall have come on the market, along with more efficient shower heads and toilets. Giving the bathroom a refresh will go a long way to catching a buyer’s eye.
In short, focusing your upgrades inside the walls and on the kitchen and bathrooms will help you maintain your home’s value when you decide to sell.
Zoocasa.com is a real estate company that combines online search tools and a full-service brokerage to empower Canadians to buy or sell their homes faster, easier and more successfully. Home buyers can browse homes across Canada on the website or the free iOS app.