An investment for the future to enjoy in the present
You’ve packed up all your jackets, pulled out all your lawn chairs and you’re ready to enjoy the warmer weather that the summer months bring. However, even after all your spring cleaning, you’re itching for something more than just a change in seasons. You’re after a change that will pull your home out of hibernation and give your house the full facelift you’ve dreamt of all winter long. You’re finally ready to renovate.
As the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association reports, a record $7.6 billion is expected to be spent on home renovation and improvement in British Columbia this year. With $3.8 billion projected in Metro Vancouver alone, home improvements are a popular way to enjoy your home more while you’re still in it and ultimately making it more appealing for future buyers.
Home renovations can be done for many different reasons, like painting that awful orange wall or adding a much-needed addition, and with each update comes a reward for making the change. Renovations offer homeowners the chance to upgrade their own living area, from creating more space and improving the layout to updating esthetics and personalizing the property.
Making changes to your surroundings can be quite cumbersome during construction but once it is done, you will be able to enjoy the improvements for years to come. For many, being able to appreciate the upgrades is the greatest reward a renovation offers.
The decision to renovate is a good excuse to fix drafty windows or redo your roof. Projects such as these may not be a top priority because the immediate benefits are not always visible. However, renovating for repair or maintenance reasons often make for a much safer and energy efficient home on top of providing a healthier living space for your family. Ensuring your house is properly insulated or updating old and faulty appliances improves the functionality of your home while conserving energy and saving you money.
For the more ambitious investor, home renovations are a chance to make a small investment in the short-term that may lead to a potentially large return when it comes time to sell. Krista Marion, a Realtor for RE/MAX All Points Realty, says that on average “every dollar you spend on your renovations, you should be able to receive two dollars back.”
An updated house will often increase the perceived value and lead to a higher selling price than non-renovated homes in the same area. Proper maintenance, extra living space and modern conveniences will attract buyers and renovating may be the best way to improve these areas and enhance the value of your home. The GVHBA notes that when you’re renovating to sell not all buyers are going to share your tastes so sticking to styles with mass market appeal might prove to be more beneficial.
Whether you’re ready to renovate just a room or your whole house, tackling a home improvement project involves lots of planning and knowing where to start. With high costs and the hopes of a high return, proper planning is imperative before you end up with a hole where there was once a wall.
So where do you start? Marion suggests the kitchen or the bathroom. “Anywhere where you have running water is where the money should be spent as those are generally the biggest jobs. If someone sees the kitchen or bathrooms have been renovated – that’s a large chunk of money that can be spent elsewhere.” With entertaining and open areas high on homebuyers’ wish lists these days, spacious layouts with eat-in kitchens and large family rooms are also attractive to potential owners.
If your renovation goal is resale, it is important to do any repairs first, as homebuyers are less likely to purchase if they can already predict where they will be spending their money before they even move in. After the maintenance work is complete, upgrading for your personal enjoyment should be your top priority. Trying to predict your profits or what any potential owners might be like will only leave you second-guessing yourself.
It is important to keep in mind that renovating your home isn’t a surefire way to increase your home’s value – there are many other factors that will affect how potential buyers see your home – but it’s a good place to start as little changes can often make a big difference. As someone who has seen a lot of homes, Marion agrees that a new coat of paint, updated appliances or new window coverings can often sell a house much quicker.
While renovating your home may seem like a major move to make, once the dust settles, you’ll be left with a home that is more enjoyable, more functional and, fingers crossed, worth more money – rewards that make the hard work worth it.
Before You Renovate
The planning process may be the most important part of your renovation. Before you tackle any project, there are several things to consider for a successful renovation.
Is your renovation practical?
Knowing why you are renovating so you can decide what you need versus what you want will save you lots of time and money.
What are your goals?
Your plan may change depending on what your aim is – repairing a room can be quite different from just improving it.
Are your upgrades worth it?
Renovations can be costly so evaluating where your money is going and how you will benefit can have an impact on what you decide to do. Think about energy efficiencies, safety and return on investment.
Can you afford it?
Be prepared for unexpected expenses; plan to add 10-15 per cent to your estimated budget to ensure you have the finances to cover your costs.
Is your renovation flexible?
Your needs may change the longer you live in your house so it’s important to plan for the future as well.
What is the environmental impact?
Renovations offer the opportunity to make your home energy efficient. Take your time to find the eco-friendly options that will benefit your health, wealth and the environment.