Planning a Home Renovation?

It snowed in Ottawa this morning and that can often signal a slowing of listing and selling activity in the market place.  Statistically, December and January are the 2 slowest months for sales in Ottawa. 

However, it's also the time of year when many potential sellers start to think about selling and preparing their homes for the spring market.  So what should you do if you are contemplating selling in the new year to get ready?


1.  Fix anything that's broken.  Often overlooked when talking renovations is fixing the things that are broker.  Include in this process the chipped paint, the door handle that doesn't work, the leaky faucet and worn carpets.

2.  Consider maintenance issues.  Replacing an old furnace, roof, windows, central air conditioner is not considered a upgrade if the existing equipment is past it's best before date.  Often when showing a buyer a house they will ask how old is the equipment in the house.  In Canada, a functional heating system is required not an option so make sure all of your systems and equipment is working well and will last beyond the coming summer.  If not consider replacing it.

3.  Paint!  Probably the biggest return on investment is fresh paint.  Consider when you are planning to list your home and do it as close to listing as possible.  Evaluate your painting skills, if you can't paint without splashing it on the ceiling, the carpet, etc. hire a professional to do it for you.  A bad paint job is worse than no paint job. Remember keep it neutral, neutral paint is easy to cover, makes the room look larger and a won't offend anyone.

4.  Flooring.  Consider your existing flooring.  Today, buyers like hardwood flooring, ceramic tile and exotic flooring (bamboo, cork, etc.). But be realistic.  If your existing flooring looks worn or tired change it.  Also consider the area. If you live in a 5-10 year old home in an area of new construction (think Barrhaven, Kanata) you are competing with new homes and may need to upgrade even thought the flooring isn't very old.

Beyond this the renovations become extensive, expensive and time consuming.  Consider what you end goal is, talk to our realtor and bank, and determine if the investment will reap rewards.  There are many resources on the web that can help. CMHC is a great place to start but there are many more.  Two excellent articles i found were "Which Home Renovations are your Best Investment?" and "Worthwhile Home Renovations" .

Finally, use commonsense when renovating to sell.  If you do $100,000 in renovations in a home that is valued at $150,000 it is unlikely you will recoup your investment and likewise if you put the cheapest bathroom fixtures in a $500,000 home you will probably have issues when you try to sell.  Need help or advise call me at 613-836-2570 I'd be happy to provide you with advice.

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