Fall is the time of year when home owner’s begin creating their renovation wish lists, and start planning their home’s make-over. October is renovation month, and there are an abundance of people and ideas, all offering advice on what to do, and where to spend your hard earned dollars. Before you spend a dime, you should consider several factors carefully, so the dollars you spend will increase the value of your home as well as your enjoyment. You may reach the conclusion that the renovations necessary to you, do not make financial sense, and you are better off to sell and move on. The most important factors to consider before you renovate are the size and location of your home. Once renovated, will your home still be too small or too large for you? Are you happy with your location, or are you over- improving for your area? An experienced realtor will help you with this. Some renovations are considered routine maintenance. Replacement needs such as roofs , windows, attic insulation, heating systems and plumbing issues should be completed as needed. Other renovations would be considered updates or upgrades for your personal use. These include additions, changing of floor plans, large garages, lavish landscaping, pools, hot tubs, specialty gourmet kitchens, luxurious bathrooms, and high end appliances. These are all high ticket costs that you have to consider carefully. They may add some extra value to your home but, often nowhere near the cost of completing. Generally speaking, your “best bang for your buck” items in terms of increasing value to your home are minor kitchen upgrades such as painting cabinets, or re-facing doors, and countertops including sinks and hardware, new appliances, new bathroom fixtures, painting rooms , upgrading flooring, finishing basement rooms, and upgrading curb appeal, including front entry doors. For any extensive items that require major dollars, you should consult with a experienced professional renovator and always complete with a proper permit. Weekend beer buddies may do more harm than good. The Appraisal Institute of Canada states “Poorly done renovations may have no positive impact on value, or worse, actually reduce the value of your home”. So remember not to over-improve , or overly customize for your neighbourhood. After careful consideration, you may find that a change of address is best.
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