Only you can decide what to spend on and how much to spend to improve or enhance your quality of life.
When undertaking large remodelling projects, it is smart to research your local real estate market to find out if your project will return your investment when it is time to sell. Depending on where you live, the right project may return 100 percent of your investment. That is why research is the smartest way to begin any remodelling project. If a remodelled kitchen raises your home value by 10 to 15 percent, it pays. The more sweat equity you put in, the lower your costs and the higher the rate of return.
Remodelling projects should be done when you are planning on staying in the house for several years rather than starting major work for the sake of trying to increase resale value. Since you can’t guarantee that you will get a decent return, it makes the most sense to remodel when you will be able to enjoy the benefits in the long run; make minor, more cosmetic changes if selling is your primary goal. Remember, removing debris and clutter from your home is the single most effective way of increasing curb appeal and resale value. A clean, orderly home and yard together with space in your closets is vital.
We are discussing renovations and improvements, not repairs. Items that are broken or working below par should be repaired or replaced. Our do-it-yourself articles and forums can help you plan how.
There are three thoughts to consider in determining the benefits of an improvement:
- Personal benefits, which can include lifestyle, health, family and recreational changes.
- The savings you will derive during the period you remain in your house.
- The estimated potential payback at resale.
Naturally the value of improvements should be appropriate for the type of house being sold. Spending $100,000 on a kitchen in an average home will not bring back a return. Keep the original design of your home in mind. Stick with either the same materials or complementing ones. Aim for a flowing congruency so that your home remains tastefully appealing on the inside and out. Think through colour scheme and décor in much the same way. Bold, eccentric colour schemes that will stay with the house after you sell can deter potential buyers who lean on the conservative side. Overly personalised options like a cute toilet and bidet from France are not cost justified. Times change, as do tastes, technology and fads. Five years ago wiring every room with multiple phone lines and Ethernet cables for computer networking seemed logical. Then along came wireless networks and lots of that wall cable is unneeded.
Being flamboyant with your remodel is a fine idea for those home-owners who plan to stay in their home for years to come. For those of you looking to move in two to three years, choosing neutral colours for floors and walls will benefit you when it’s time to sell.
When trying to decide whether or not you should take the plunge and remodel, think of your own needs. If you absolutely want to add on a deck, go for it. If you have a spacious basement and could use a children’s play area, don’t hesitate. By concentrating completely on the return you might get from a home improvement project, you are limiting your options and basing your decision on a factor that is constantly changing. Depending on the economy, the real estate market in your area, and other factors, your return could be more or less than you expect when it is time to sell. As discussed earlier, the two that consistently offer significant return on investment are kitchens and bathrooms. Just remember that for the immediate future, you will determine the value of a luxurious bathroom remodel or sun room addition. The enjoyment of improving your home for the rest of your time living in it might far outweigh what money you get back when it is time to sell.