Updates that SELL
What can I do to my house to increase its value? Most people ask themselves this at one time or another and the answer is “It depends”. The following factors influence which updates are best suited for different homes.
- Consider your location. Don’t “over improve” for your area. The final listing price should still be within the norm for your neighbourhood.
- What age range will your home appeal to and what lifestyle are they likely to lead? Although there are common desires, there are also significant differences in the features wanted from one age range to the next.
- Buyers polled said they would pay more for a home with the features below but in some cases the cost to add the feature to a home was higher than the resulting increased value[i]. Choose any additions wisely, especially if you are making the change for the sole purpose of selling.
I've separated the "features in demand" into two categories. There are the design features, which are more challenging and costly to change, and there are the item features which are easily added to an existing home.
- The kitchen has always been and likely always will play a huge role in the saleability of a home. In the kitchen there are both item and design features that are important to today's buyers.
- Kitchens can be given a “face lift” with a couple of relatively inexpensive changes. New kitchen cabinet hardware, a new counter top, modern backsplash, faucets and lighting are great ways to bring new life to a kitchen.
- Buyers polled ranked new appliances as important with stainless steel being specified in the 35 to 54 age range.
- Home buyers over 35 ranked an eat-in kitchen as “very important”, while home buyers under 35 want the family room to be visible from the kitchen. Formal dining rooms for younger home buyers have lost their allure
A home office or an area that can be used as a home office has become very important across most age ranges. If a bedroom is used as an office, make sure it can be easily turned back into a bedroom for future buyers or can be used as both. Keep built-ins to a minimum.
Walk in closets in the master bedroom are in high demand as is storage space throughout the home. Creative storage space ideas abound on the internet. Check out sites like www.houzz.com and http://pinterest.com
Having a “smart wired home” is becoming increasingly attractive. This can be grouped with a media room or theatre room which is a huge plus for those who regularly partake in “staycations”. Make your home adaptable or upgradeable as new innovations come along. Don't go to crazy though....keep your personal style for your own home.
- With more people opting to spend more time at home, outdoor living space is becoming more important. Decks, enclosures, and gardens can be a great investment. Pools are not included in this list. Install a pool for your own enjoyment only!
Here are some additional item features that buyers said they would pay extra for, but not necessarily enough to cover the cost of a new installation.
- Hardwood flooring
- Central air conditioning will sell your home faster.
- Kitchen islands. (Consider a mobile kitchen island if there is ample space)
As a summary:
Be very careful about over improving your home in comparison with the homes around you.
Kitchens and baths sell homes. They always have and always will.
Cleanliness, space and light are always most important. Don’t go overboard with expensive improvements unless you will get enjoyment from them first.
Buyers want professional workmanship so KNOW YOUR LIMITS. An amateur job will decrease the value of your home instead of increase it!