To Renovate Or Not?

Friday Aug 07th, 2020


What’s worth renovating?


One of the questions most frequently asked by homeowners considering a renovation is  “What’s worth doing?”  Well, the answer isn’t a simple one, because it all depends on what you want to get out of it.  Is your purpose primarily to improve your property value, or increase your enjoyment of your home, or a combination of the two?


If you’re thinking primarily of increasing your home’s resale value, you should be aware that the cost of professional improvements to a home will very often not be recovered in a corresponding increase in your property’s value.  A home’s list price is essentially a reflection of the demand from buyers for a home’s features and location.  Just because you’ve invested a certain amount of money in your home renovation doesn’t necessarily translate into adding that same figure onto your potential resale price.  However, if you’re doing some of the work yourself, there’s a far better chance that you can recoup the costs of your improvement.


Generally, the areas to focus on in terms of increasing your resale value are the kitchen and bathrooms, since these are the critical areas that frequently are deciding factors in buying a home.  However, even in these areas, make sure your improvements are limited to what’s clearly visible in a quick walk-through.  New cabinets, counters, or fixtures will all win points, but upgraded plumbing is an expensive undertaking that will add little to the overall appeal of your home.  Prospective buyers will expect reliable plumbing as a “given”, and will not be willing to pay a premium to get it.   Why not get some expert advice in this area from your Coldwell Banker real estate professional?  Even if you’re not planning on selling just yet, your Coldwell Banker representative would be happy to talk to you to confirm what features are in demand by buyers in your area, and to counsel you on where you can concentrate your resources to get a good return.


If you’re planning on a renovation primarily to enhance your family’s enjoyment of your current home, you’ve never picked a better time to do it.  The cost of financing a renovation is very affordable, with interest rates at a forty-year low.  Basically, you can focus on what would please your family, but do keep in mind that you will eventually still want to sell that home, and some improvements can actually reduce your chances of future resale.  If it’s a toss-up between a couple of potential renovations, you should lean towards the one that will be the most appealing to the maximum number of buyers in the future.  For example, a home theatre or media room is a current trend that would be enjoyed by just about anyone.  On the other hand, a swimming pool can be costly to heat and time-consuming to maintain, so many buyers would not want to even consider a home with a pool.  Again, why not have a chat with your Coldwell Banker real estate professional?  They’ll be happy to give you the benefit of their experience, and help you decide what’s worth renovating in your home. 


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