In the real estate game, there are home features that always win (a great kitchen, a gorgeous master bath) and others that don’t. When you start thinking about home upgrades, these are features that are worth the splurge, whether strictly for resale value or for your own enhanced quality of life:
A fancy new front door: location, location, location is important, but also curb appeal. One of the quickest and least expensive ways to change the look of your home is to switch up your front door. Remove the rusty storm door if you have one and swap it for a new steel-reinforced model in a bright, contrasting color; high-gloss hues are especially appealing. If your home is a lighter colour, consider stripping the paint off your door and then staining it a lighter colour.
Professional landscaping: a serious landscaping upgrade is almost always worth the cost. Front plantings significantly improve initial impressions of your home, especially when they’re installed by a professional. Landscape architects not only know how to maximize planting space and choose appropriate foliage based on your soil type, but they can also put in lighting, pathways and fencing.
High-quality wood deck: think of a new back deck as a lower-cost expansion of your home. In warmer months, a new deck can add hundreds of square feet to your living area. You don’t need elaborate patio furniture or décor to make an outside space feel alluring; throw rugs, floor pillows and string lighting do the job. And potential buyers are always fans of nice outdoor spaces—the return on investment on a deck or patio is higher than on many other home improvements.
Extra bedrooms: it’s fun to think creatively about empty spaces in your home (a craft room perhaps?). But when it comes time to list your home, an extra bedroom is a draw. Buyers always covet extra rooms, whether for a future child or house guests, and you’ll instantly attract those shopping in a higher budget range. Strange man caves, can turn off prospective buyers; even home offices can be unappealing to some, especially those who don’t work remotely and don’t want to redo the space.
Kitchen refresh: newer kitchens are a guaranteed hit among buyers. Keep the renovations on the lower-cost side—a huge remodel rarely pays out in the ways you hope. Instead, paint or replace the cabinet fronts, swap in higher-end drawer pulls, replace the countertops, upgrade an appliance or two, and replace or refinish any worn-out flooring. If you add detailing like a backsplash, keep it as neutral as possible; your own design preferences can turn off future buyers.
Bold Garage Doors: changing your garage doors can change the look of your whole house. Think about swapping in a glass paneled door; even minimalist windows help break up the lines of your home. A bold accent colour can also add to your home’s aesthetic appeal.
Hardware, paint and fixtures: you don’t need a five-figure budget to subtly upgrade the look and feel of your home. Instead, swap out the ceiling lights, upgrade your bath fixtures, change the doorknobs and replace your mirrors; even changing the light bulbs will alter the ambiance. It can be worth it to splurge on the little things buyers will notice. Repainting rooms can refresh your home’s colour palette. But when it comes time to sell, consider choosing neutral shades so potential future owners can see their own visions of the space.
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd.
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By Production CENTURY 21 Canada 2013
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Oakville, ON L6K 3S4