OK, so you’re not moving? Renovating with an Eye for the Future

Even if you are not planning to move for a long time, it is always wise to do improvements and renovations with the future resale value of your home in mind.  Life can take many twists and turns; you just may find yourself accepting that unexpected job transfer and need a quick sale.  A well thought out home improvement plan can give you a better sale price and faster sale in any market.

Think about what you wanted when you were looking for a home.  A new buyer will likely want similar features.  Kitchens and bathrooms are common renovations, but don’t overlook some of the smaller things you can do.

Kitchen renovations can be costly.  If your kitchen needs a complete redo and you want to do it, go ahead, but realize that you may not recoup all of your initial investment.  If you have a good layout and sturdy cabinets, a facelift may be enough.  Replacing an old countertop, adding a stylish backsplash or resurfacing cabinets can make a big difference in the appeal of a kitchen with a much lower cost.

Updating faucets and cabinet drawer/cabinet pulls is an easy fix with immediate impact.  When your kitchen appliances need replacement, you may want to consider replacing them with stainless steel.  A bit more in initial cost, but newer stainless steel appliances are very appealing to a buyer.

Nice bathrooms are another big “wish list” item.  Adding an ensuite is smart if you have the room and your home doesn’t currently have one.  Adding closet space, especially a walk-in in the master bedroom, is a good bet if it doesn’t critically impact the living space.  

If you have a small unused bedroom next door, you may consider sacrificing that room for the sake of the additional bathroom and/or closet.  Check the area resales to be sure you are leaving enough bedrooms to appeal to the majority of  potential future buyers.

If you have no bathroom on the first floor, it would be a good value to add one.  Look for closet space or an unused corner to carve out a small area.

Most buyers like open concept living.   Removing a wall to open the living and/or kitchen area can pay dividends at time of resale and help make the space much more enjoyable in the meantime.    

Even a supporting wall can be removed as long as a beam is used to properly support the structure.  (Be sure to get expert advice whenever you are considering removing a wall to ensure you are not creating a structural issue.)  If the entire wall cannot be removed because of structural restraints or cost factors, creating a partial opening can still give a more open feel and is relatively easy to do.

Extending your living area by creating outdoor living space is a nice way to enhance the livability of your home.  When replacing the deck or patio, consider increasing the size.  Add built-in seating, lighting, outdoor living furniture and fresh plants to complete the outdoor “room”  to entertain your guests.

New landscaping can be quite expensive, but if you enjoy gardening you can greatly enhance the look and value of your home by adding plantings every year.  Having a plan, rather than adding things willy nilly will help you stay on track.  Buy investment plantings (shrubs and trees) on sale or when they are small.  Leave the right amount of room for them to grow and in a few years you will have a great foundation for your garden.  Adding annuals and perennials can fill in the empty spots and add colour- big impact at a low cost.

Don’t under estimate the impact of fresh paint and an updated decor.  There is a reason that the home renovation shows on TV all use paint to freshen a room.  It is fast, inexpensive, and makes a huge difference in the feel of the room.  New pillows, throw rugs, tasteful artwork and fresh plants and/or flowers really brighten a room at a relatively low cost.

Enjoy your home now, but keep an eye on the future.  When  you are ready to sell,  you will be glad you did!

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