Like most homeowners, you want to get the highest return on your investment when you decide to sell. While this will ultimately come down to a number of factors—location, proximity to public transport, market conditions—you can control how well your home shows, both inside and out. Doing some renovations can greatly increase your home’s value, especially if they haven’t been done in 10-15 years (or ever!). However, not all renovations are created equal, so it is important to be smart when deciding which areas of your home to invest in. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, here are the five best home renovations that will bring you the highest return.
A flooring upgrade is a common improvement that can easily deliver a 50-75% return. While wall-to-wall carpeting might feel cozy in some areas (e.g. bedrooms, basements) it is generally undesirable for areas like dining rooms, where messes can be hard to clean up. Hardwood or tiles tend to be the most popular choices, but less expensive options, such as laminate, can also work if you’re looking to quickly improve the appearance of a space. If you don’t intend to change your carpeting, consider having it professionally cleaned before opening your home up to potential buyers.
Hardware & Fixtures
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to update the look of your home is to swap out old hardware and fixtures. Things like cabinet handles and faucets are relatively low-cost and can quickly modernize any space. Updating your light fixtures can also make your home feel more open and welcoming to homebuyers. The important thing to remember is to choose finishes that are contemporary and neutral in order to appeal to wider tastes. While you may love your eclectic art deco style, this won’t work in your favour when it comes time to sell.
Given the amount of time we spend in the bathroom each day, it is no surprise that an updated bathroom is often high on homebuyers’ wish lists, delivering a 75-100% return on investment. However, while these high traffic spaces need to be functional, many homebuyers are also looking for a spa-like space where they can go to relax and wash away the day. In general, it is best to stick to classic, neutral colours and materials that won’t deteriorate with moisture. Also, if it isn’t already obvious, you can ditch the fuzzy toilet cover.
Like bathrooms, a modern kitchen is also high on many homebuyers’ wish lists. Although a big-ticket item, the 75-100% return on a newly renovated kitchen is often worth the investment for those trying to fetch the highest possible price for their home. However, even if a full remodel is not in the budget, there are several ways to give your kitchen a quick facelift. For example, resurfacing the cabinet doors and replacing the hardware is a relatively easy project that can greatly improve your kitchen’s appeareance. You might also consider changing the countertop, replacing your light fixtures or having your floor professionally polished.
Adding living space to your home is probably the best way to increase its overall value. Whether it’s a second-story addition or converting your basement into a full-blown income suite, more living space will automatically command a higher price. For bigger projects like these, enlisting a professional renovator can be a big help, since they can help create the design, develop a plan and make suggestings in terms of materials. Plus, they often have access to industry discounts, which can help make your budget go a little bit further.
Of course, regular maintenance is equally important. Renovating a single room here or there will not disguise other poorly maintained areas throughout your house. Even if you’re not in a position to make large-scale improvements, you can easily keep your house in good overall condition by scrubbing any marks off the walls and ceilings, hiding loose wires or cables, and doing regular landscaping to keep curb appeal high. Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint can often deliver a 100% return on investment.
So whether you’re in it for the long haul or plan to sell in the foreseeable future, making smart home renovations along the way can help ensure you eventually get the highest offer possible when the time comes to sell.