Should You Invest in Home Improvements?

Friday, February 21, 2014

When thinking about the value of your home and the additions you can make to raise that value, it's important to understand things in the short and long term. There are plenty of people out there who have tried to sell their homes for over asking but received no offers, simply because they had not made the right changes that would guarantee a quick sale, and because they were not marketing their homes appropriately. Yes, even in this market. So: how do you avoid this?

First, figure out if and when you want to sell your home. You probably did this when you bought your home: you knew you wanted to buy at a certain time in your life, and you did what it took to achieve that goal. Now consider your exit strategy. Will you still need a house this size when your kids go away to university? Will your knees really be able to handle a trip up those steep basement stairs, and another up to the bedroom? The odds are, you'll eventually want to sell, whether on your own or with a spouse or other family member. When you do, you'll need to think about long- and short-term investments in your home. 

Long-term investments in your home are the investments you make to create the space you need and enjoy while you live there. Replacing a roof or furnace or set of windows, drying out a basement, pulling up bubbling linoleum: these are all basic repairs that maintain the value of your home, rather than increasing it. It's frustrating, but nobody gets points for doing the things they should be doing anyway. Basic repairs will not boost the re-sale value of your home as much as you think; it's expected, because good homeownership is expected. People rarely go out shopping for broken merchandise. 

However, you can make long-term investments in your home that also ensure your enjoyment of it over time. Primarily, these have to do with investments in the design of your home that will make you enjoy it more over time. For example, a kitchen with appropriate storage space will be attractive to new buyers and will dramatically reduce the number of disagreements between you and your family members about where, exactly, the spatulas should go. 

But if you do eventually decide to sell your home, you'll want to make short-term investments that increase the likelihood of a quick sale, and the sale price of the home. That beautifully designed kitchen may need a new coat of paint to remind prospective buyers of how functional it is. The carpets you loved may need to come up, simply because you loved them a little too much. And that's okay -- you'd be packing away those things when you moved, anyway. It may seem like these cosmetic changes are superficial, but people do appreciate the extra effort. As with many things in life, it's the little things that make a difference.

If you'd like to discuss how I can help you fulfill your real estate goals, please give me a call or send me an email anytime. 416-841-5432 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)







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