When considering a home renovation, it can be difficult to decide what to upgrade now and what can wait. There are questions that you should ask yourself about the renovation that can help you determine what to focus your attention on as some renovations will add property value while others will not.
In considering the reason for your renovation, whether it is an outdated or run-down kitchen, a dilapidated washroom, or finishing a basement, you can determine your priorities and work from there.
If you are planning on selling your real estate in Saskatoon within the next three years you may want to add some property value with the right renovations. If you are thinking of staying in your home for the foreseeable future, you may have other priorities, and adding value could be secondary to adding comfort or convenience.
Renovations That Do Not Add To Your Property Value
High-end Goods with Poor Workmanship
Expensive materials and cheap workmanship may sound like a decent deal, however, if the materials that you spent so much for are installed incorrectly or with poor attention to detail, they will look cheap anyway.
If you still decide to go with the expensive items, make sure you follow through with the right installation to make it look as good as possible. If the goal is not high end, it is probably a better idea to go with the less expensive material and get the right person to do the job of installation to maximize the benefits of both your budget and the end result.
With that said, keep in mind that getting professional help with your installation or construction needs is usually going to come out better in the end than choosing the DIY path.
Pools and More
Adding a swimming pool, tennis court, or other outdoor feature is great if you intend to be the one using it but as a feature to add property value, it may be a problem for a potential buyer, especially if the home is in a seasonal location. The cost of operating a pool for three or four months of the year may not be something every buyer wants to incur. There are more people that do not play tennis than people that do. If you do not intend on making use of the additional backyard features, it is best to leave the space open for buyers to envision what they want to put there.
Overspending on expensive add-on enhancements like extensions or additional stories may sound like a good idea to increase your square footage but doing so may make your home stand out from the rest in the neighborhood. A new buyer might not be interested in owning the biggest house on the street. You may also be pricing your home out of the area which can chase buyers away.
Renovations where a potential buyer cannot see the upgrade will not add any value. New plumbing or HVAC systems, for example, may be what the home needs but for a buyer it may be secondary or might not matter at all. As the new pipes or venting are not at all visible, they are not taken into consideration when an offer is made.
Landscaping to create wonderful curb appeal is great, but an elaborately landscaped yard will mean maintenance to a new buyer. Instead, focus on keeping the yard cut and trimmed. This will show people that the home is easily cared for and still looks good.
Luxury Master Suite
A new master bedroom may be your dream, but a bedroom is often a space that requires personal touches. Showing your style in a bedroom can put off a buyer with different tastes. Do a great closet instead to show functionality.
Poor Flooring Choices
While new flooring is a great idea, the wrong flooring has the opposite effect. Unusual flooring colours or designs can negatively affect the property value as buyers will see a large expense to replace them. Even new carpeting is likely something a potential buyer will simply replace anyway. Making sure existing floors look clean is better than adding the wrong flooring.
New windows may be welcomed by a potential buyer, but the price of the home will not be affected much. Windows are simply an item that the buyer will see as not having to deal with for a few years rather than a special feature of the home.
Converting a bedroom to that library you love can cause mental anguish for someone else. Others may see it as an expense to convert the room right back into a bedroom. If you still want to have the library, rather than putting in all that built-in shelving, consider furniture shelving that can be moved out when packing up the house.
Knocking Down Walls
Creating more space by knocking out a wall between rooms can be beneficial but make sure they are the right rooms. If you intend to eliminate a wall between bedrooms to make a grand room, you may be doing yourself a disservice as you are losing the use of a bedroom. Taking a wall down between a kitchen and a dining room, however, can create space and flow that most buyers will love to see.
Renovations That Do Add To Your Property Value
When renovating, many homeowners think they have to upgrade everything when that is simply not the case. The key to renovating is finding the 20% upgrades that will add 80% of the value. Most of these upgrades will be cosmetic in nature and they will be much cheaper than you probably expect.
Flooring is a very large part of every home. While adding new hardwood floors can have a great impact on a potential buyer at a large cost, simply refinishing existing hardwood might be just as good. By making existing flooring shine, it will be more profitable than tearing out the old floors and installing new. The same rule applies to floors as anything else though, to add the most value, keep it simple with neutral choices whether it is hardwood or tile.
By simply replacing fixtures like lighting, cabinet hardware, door handles, and faucets, you can cheaply and effectively bring new life to the room or the home overall. The end result will feel fresh and it will add great value for the cost.
Bathrooms are viewed as the second most important room in a home. A newly renovated bathroom can add a lot to the home if done right. Simply rejuvenating an existing bathroom to be more updated and offer a sense of tranquility, will give potential buyers something to look forward to as they consider making a deal for your home.
Bathrooms do not necessarily need to be large, but they do need to be functional and attractive. Using any additional space you can find in the home to create an extra three-piece bathroom, will go a long way to your bottom line.
The most important room in the home is the kitchen. The reason for this is that we spend so much time in the kitchen as a place to eat, prepare for the day, or as a hub to meet with other family members. Done right, a renovation on a kitchen can add a huge amount to the home’s value.
Adding features that are modern, stylish, and unique in function and design can create a kitchen that will be desirable. These kinds of desirable features are what a buyer wants and therefore builds property value for a seller.
The single biggest way to build value in a home is to create an income suite. The idea of renting part of your home, be it the basement or a floor upstairs, is not for everyone. However, it can create not only property value for you, but, also continuous income for the new homeowner. This can be a crucial feature that people look for in an environment of rising home prices, as it can give the buyer an opportunity to rent the space and have part or even their entire mortgage costs covered each month.
Alternative Upgrades For The Highest Return To Your Property Value
If a full home or even a room renovation seems to be out of the budget, there are still some things you can do that will be much less expensive and offer a return that even a kitchen renovation cannot give you.
A steel door entry will cost much less than a kitchen or bathroom but can give you a 91% return on investment while also providing for a better curb appeal and more attractive view on the inside.
Along the same lines, a new garage door can be installed to give your home a new look and provide functionality. Such an addition will result in an average of a 92% return on investment and on a very reasonable budget as well.
Probably the best overall average return can be achieved by adding attic insulation. While it is not something that the buyer will initially see, it is not like plumbing in the walls, as a home inspector will ordinarily climb into the attic to check the studs as well as the insulation. Many homes are under-insulated in their attics. By adding insulation very cheaply you could see a return of 108% or more.
There are many ways to add value to your property when renovating. Keeping in mind the renovations that do add value and those that do not can maximize your efforts and create the most return on your investments.