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Renovations That Pay

Make wise decisions when improving your home


Home improvements can either pay off in spectacular fashion by delighting and inspiring buyers, through to those that can actually put buyers off because they are too individual in taste, or have had a detrimental affect on your home. It’s important you know the difference!

Below are some examples of a few improvements which most often pay off - and some that rarely make a difference (no matter how much you paid for them) when it comes time to sell your home.

Painting - If you're planning to sell your home in coming months, a fresh coat of a neutral-toned paint could make the sale easier. Potential buyers will be more able to see your home as their home, rather than being distracted by outdated and outrageous paint colours or chipped windowsills.

Kitchen - A few basic improvements like new paint, wallpaper, flooring, modern handles on cabinets, or painting cabinet doors and shelving can cost little in time and money but make a huge impact. You can of course go all the way with a totally new kitchen, but ask for advice first before going ahead if you are doing this purely to add value to your property. It will of course add to the impact and the appeal, but you also need to assess whether you will recoup costs.

Area Conversions - Don’t just assume you need to build on an extra bedroom to add value. Do you have existing space you can convert to more functional space? Older homes with high ceiling space can be potential family rooms or bedrooms. Caution: think carefully about your timeline. It’s not just the cost of converting space, building professionals are in high demand and you need to know how easy it will be to secure someone to complete your job in the timeline you envisage before taking this step.

Extra Bathroom - An extra bathroom is always seen as plus for buyers. Again plan and cost out the exercise carefully to ensure you ensure your timeline expectations can be met by local tradespeople.

Deck - Adding a deck can be a very cost-efficient of adding new ‘living/playing’ areas to your home with attractive landscaping that can have a huge impact on buyers.

Swimming Pool - Should you or shouldn’t you? Put one in for you family to enjoy, however think twice before you put one in to lift the value of your property. It all depends on your neighbourhood and potential buyers. Will they see it as a ‘must have’ or an expense to maintain.

Smart Gardens - Attractive landscaping certainly lifts the perception that the property is well-cared for. If you have ‘green fingers’ an extensive garden can look stunning. Many buyers will appreciate your efforts, but will they see your property as high-maintenance and time-consuming? You can produce a stunning landscape with low-care plants and weed-matting covered in bark or other decorative covers that will be even more appreciated.

Basic Is Better - It may not sound very exciting, but it's the basic improvements you make to your home that may have the greatest return on value: a beautiful new bathroom won't make up for a leaky roof. So if you're thinking of selling your house in the next year or so, be sure to address any problems the home may have before going the extra mile.