In the year and a half that we’ve been in our home, we’ve been steadily updating — from simple things like replacing interior door knobs and adding fresh coats of paint, to more significant changes, like swapping fuses for breakers and laying new flooring. How would our home fare on the market now, after a year and a half of projects and updates?
To find out more about resale value and the best bang-for-our-buck renos.
“There certainly is a differential to consider, between the costs of renovations versus the benefits to you when you decide to list your home,” Jones says. “There are plenty of ways to add value through sweat equity.”
Typically, buyers want to see a fresh, updated home that is as move-in ready as possible.
“Kitchens and bathrooms are the optimal areas for investment and can often provide 75 to 100 per cent recovered costs upon resale,” Jones says.
For example, converting our one-and-a-half bath home into a two-bath by adding a shower downstairs would be a smart addition, she says, as it will draw in potential buyers who are positive they need a minimum of two baths and who might otherwise overlook our home as a result.
“You also can’t go wrong with energy efficiency upgrades that can show potential buyers that future heating costs are manageable.”
For us, that means highlighting how our wood stove offsets our oil costs. Some other optimal updates Jones suggests for potential sellers include interior painting in neutral colours, new doors and windows and flooring.
“Carpet can be a deterrent,” she says. “The current buyer’s mindset is that carpet can be problematic for allergies, or that it can date the overall look of the home.”
In the case of our basement, where we put new carpet in the living area and playroom, Jones says carpet is a reasonable exception because it helps to warm the space.
“Congruence is important, too — flooring, light fixtures and decor should flow throughout the home,” she adds.
We ventured outside, where Jones pointed out a few aspects for consideration.
“The size of the yard is great (16,000 sq. ft.). Buyers are looking for space, but a really big yard can be overwhelming. Try to highlight the lower-maintenance areas, like raised beds for flowers or vegetables, so it doesn’t feel like a lot of work.”
From the inside out, determining a list price is a complicated formula, Jones says. It includes many factors, including demand in the market, the neighbourhood, updates inside and outside the home and more.
Since we moved, I’ve kept a running log of what changes we’ve made and when. In the event that we sell one day, we’ll have an accurate picture to present to any potential buyers. Jones also provided us with a copy of CMHC’s list of regular and seasonal home maintenance, which would help ensure that our home is not only up to date, but also list-ready.
“The overall care of the home will reflect to potential buyers,” she says. “They want to see that a house has been well maintained and cared for. It’s all part of the romance of the place called home.”