Whether you’re looking for ways to keep busy during the winter season, or getting a jump start on preparing your home to sell in the spring, there are certain home improvements that will yield a greater return than others. Here are five indoor updates that will add value to your home.
These days, time is just as valuable as money. Leaving key living space unfinished is a potential turn-off to buyers as it signals work they’ll have to budget for and invest time in down the road. Multi-functional finished spaces are more valuable to buyers than ever before, so adding extra room for exercise, schooling, or working from home is an investment that will elevate your home on the market.
If you have a large attic with enough headroom to make a loft, then consider adding this improvement to your to-do list. To a potential buyer it could be a home office, gym, craft or playroom, guest accommodation, or recreation room. If you’re finishing a basement, add a bathroom. As far as additions go that add value, extra bathrooms top the list.
Flooring is the foundation of any beautiful room and another big-ticket item that buyers will appreciate not having to replace. Durability and easy maintenance are two of the biggest features that attract today’s busy families. While hardwood is a tried-and-true upgrade, engineered options like laminate are less expensive, easy to install and come in many options that look exactly like real wood.
To ensure your home maintains a neutral palate, choose a medium tone or finish that has a mix of colours like grey and brown. Gone are the days when each room needs a different décor theme, so consider taking your updated flooring right through the kitchen and bathrooms to give your home an open, unified look. If you don’t have the budget to replace outdated flooring before you sell, a simple carpet or steam clean will go a long way, along with repairing any underpadding or loose edges.
It was once preferred to keep rooms separate so the living part of a home could remain concealed when entertaining company. Today, however, open concept rules the roost. If you’re in an older home that has closed-off rooms, consider taking down a wall or two to connect the spaces in your home. Open concept makes a home feel larger and also adds functionality: it’s more entertainment-friendly and is easier for watching children.
The kitchen is the heart of today’s home, so it’s no surprise that the most popular walls to take down are ones that close the kitchen off to living and/or dining rooms. Lost storage space can be easily made up by replacing a wall of cabinets with an island that has built-in shelves, drawers, and cupboards. Remember, while DIY can save you money, wall removals should always be done by a professional to ensure you’re not compromising the structural integrity of your home.
The most economical home improvement still comes in a can of paint. Freshly painted walls instantly clean and update a space, and light, neutral, earthy colours have the most universal appeal. Many of us love the odd feature wall in a rich, dark tone, like navy, but colour choice is subjective and not everyone will love a bold colour as much as you do. Once your rooms are freshly painted, add finishing touches like updated light switch covers and door hardware. Finally, consider smoothing any popcorn ceilings and clean up the trim with a bright, semi-gloss white to give your interior a finished look.
Whereas painting is the most inexpensive update to a home, the kitchen ranks as one of the most expensive. That said, there are still improvements you can make on a budget. Ready-made (as opposed to custom) cabinetry is widely available and can be installed yourself, and if your existing cabinets are in good condition, you have even more options. Painting over outdated colours and replacing hardware can be done in a weekend, and if the door trim is out of style you can have just the doors refaced. If you have more to spend and opt to replace your cabinets entirely, use the entire height you have available. Older cabinets were made shorter which reduces storage space and leaves room on top to collect dust, so be sure to select cabinets with as much height as possible.
Next to cupboards, updating your kitchen countertop will add value to your home. There are fantastic design options in a basic laminate finish these days, but if your budget allows, consider an engineered stone like quartz over marble or granite. Natural stone costs more, and, being more porous, can be labourous to clean.
It’s always a good idea to consult with a Realtor® to find out how big (or small) an investment you should make when updating your home prior to selling. Every home is unique, and your sales partner is trained to ensure that every dollar you spend will perform to help you sell faster and for more.
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