Smart Renovation Tips to Increase the Value of Your Home

renovation tips to increase value of your home

In some cities in North America it is currently a buyers market and in some cities it is definitely a sellers market. No matter where you are, the real estate market is busy again. Have you been hanging on to your home waiting for the market to recover so that you can sell your house for a decent price? Because we always want to get the most money that we can when we sell our homes, it is important to take a look around your home first to see what you could do to increase the value of your house.

Smart Renovation Tips to Increase the Value of Your Home

Finish Existing Space

Finishing existing space is a lot less expensive than adding an addition to your house.

If you have an unfinished basement or a roomy attic that is unfinished, consider renovating it to increase the livable square footage of your home.

Yes, it is true that a finished basement is not included in the total square footage when you list your house for sale, but you can emphasize in the description of your home that you have a fully finished basement. If you add a bathroom or an extra bedroom, make sure to promote that as well.

Make Sure Renovations Do Not Decrease the Value

If you purchased a three bedroom home, keep it as a three bedroom home. If you renovate the third bedroom and change it into a walk in closet, for example, the market value of your house will drop because you will now be listed as a two bedroom instead of a three bedroom. And more often than not, a three bedroom house is worth more money than a two bedroom is.

Families are drawn to houses with three or more bedrooms, and they tend to sell faster.

Upgrade Your Kitchen and Bathroom

Kitchens and bathrooms sell the house. Everyone knows that.

But what if you have a kitchen that looks like it hasn’t been updated in years? If you can invest some money to upgrade your kitchen and your bathroom you will definitely recoup that money when you sell it, as long as you do not over invest.

Replace the countertops, repaint your cupboard doors, add new handles, and consider replacing your appliances. Update your light fixtures with new inexpensive ones from a big box store.

The same list applies to your bathroom.

Add a fresh coat of paint in both rooms, and you are set.

Never Over Invest

Each neighbourhood has a specific price range. And if you build a million dollar mansion in a neighbourhood where the rest of the homes are selling for $400,000 or less, you probably won’t sell for a million.

The same goes for home renovations. If the homes in your area typically do not have high end appliances, granite counter tops and hardwood floors, and you add all of those items to your house as part of your renovation, you run the risk of not recouping your investment when you go to sell your house. Why? Because to recoup your investment you will probably have to list your house at a much higher price than the average listing price in your neighbourhood.

To avoid over investing, be very specific about what needs to be renovated and what can stay as is. And keep a close eye on your spending.

Choose Neutral Paint Colours

If you plan to paint your house before selling it, always choose neutral colours. You may love having a dark red bedroom or a dark green kitchen, but how many other people will love it? While you live there, decorate your home to please yourself. But when selling your house, always decorate to please potential buyers.

And the more buyers you attract the better chance you have of selling your house quickly.

Hire Professionals

Once you make a list of the renovations you would like to do to upgrade your house, go through your list and think about whether you should hire a professional to help you out. The last thing you want to do is to mess up something significant and then lose potential buyers because you receive a negative home inspection report due to your recent renovations.

Hiring professionals will definitely cost more but it will be well worth it.

If you need extra cash to finance your renovations your first thought may be to use a credit card. The problem with that is the high interest rate that most of them charge. Instead, consider a loan or your line of credit. They typically offer a much better interest rate. 

Use Classic Fixtures Instead of Trendy Fixtures

When you shop for a new house what are some of the first things you notice when you walk through the front door? Those are the things that you need to renovate or at least tidy up in your own house before you list it for sale.

Things such as light fixtures, stair railings, blinds, and so on. If they look outdated you may lose a sale, or a buyer may offer you much less than your list price, which is always disappointing.

Skip the current trends and switch out any outdated fixtures with classic fixtures that people will always enjoy.

Clean, Clean, and Clean Again

The most inexpensive way to increase the value of your home is to clean it thoroughly from top to bottom. Wash in every corner that you may normally skip. Clean the windows, inside and out. Hide personal items such as makeup and blow dryers.

Clear off your kitchen counter tops and just accessorize with a few key pieces.

Take all that stuff off of your fridge, and file it away. Buyers want to see what a nice fridge you have, not a picture that your kid painted in school two years ago.

Before each showing of your home, or each open house, make your home as welcoming as possible and make sure it smells nice too. The more inviting it is the quicker it will sell.


    • Michelle

      Michelle 10/09/2013 11:44 a.m. #

      These are all great tips. Definitely clean as much as you can. No one wants to tour a house that hasn't been cleaned in months (or years).

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 10/12/2013 4:16 p.m. #

        Yes, cleaning is the cheapest way to make your home look more appealing.

    • krantcents

      krantcents 10/09/2013 5:37 p.m. #

      I have been making small changes over time. There are some big things I will have to tackle in the next year or two, but not now.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 10/12/2013 4:17 p.m. #

        Doing it a bit at a time can work out better than doing it all the week before you list your home.

    • Corina Ramos

      Corina Ramos 10/11/2013 9:25 a.m. #

      I love these tips Sicorra!

      We haven't updated our kitchen in a very long time but what needs to be done is going to cost a nice penny so we're saving for that. Oh yeah, it's gonna take more than a jar of coins, LOL.

      I was thinking about putting a door that separates my room and office to make it one big room but Mario told me about it decreasing the value of the house so we nixed that idea.

      "Wash every corner you may normally skip" That would be my windows LOL. I hate doing those because I'm so short ;)

      Thanks for sharing this tips with us girlfriend! Hope you're having a great Friday! Catch up with you soon...

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 10/12/2013 4:19 p.m. #

        Thanks Corina!
        I agree, that doing windows isn't easy. Maybe you could get one of your tall boys to do them for you ;-)

        Kitchen renovations can cost a pretty penny. Yes, more than a jar of coins. Set some priorities and watch for sales on the products you wish to use.

    • Arelis Cintron

      Arelis Cintron 10/11/2013 10:34 a.m. #

      This is a great list! The same tips can go for someone who is renting out an apartment or their house. I used a lot of these last fall when I was renovating my parents rental apartment. It cut down on cost big time!


      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 10/12/2013 4:24 p.m. #

        Thanks Arelis! I am guessing you are talking about renovating a place so that you can rent it? If yes, I completely agree. The nicer the place is the more you can rent it for.

    • 10/11/2013 11:57 a.m. #

      We just redid our deck. The appraiser told us that it really made our value go up. I am so glad that we did it. Stopping in from #ImEveryWoman

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 10/12/2013 4:25 p.m. #

        A nice deck is important, especially one that is safe and spacious. Thanks for stopping by!

    • 10/12/2013 7:21 a.m. #

      When we bought our home over 15 years ago, it was a bit of a fixer-upper, we updated our kitchen, but it really is in need of another update after 15 years.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 10/12/2013 4:27 p.m. #

        Updating a kitchen after 15 years is quite the norm because it is one room that is used constantly and can really take a beating.

    • CarolB

      CarolB 10/13/2013 6:24 a.m. #

      It's amazing how much just a can of paint can transform a room. I've been displeased with the windows in my family room for months, thinking I needed to replace them or cover them up with window treatments. So I had a window treatment designer come in. He suggested I paint the trim a bright white instead of the current cream. So I did. WOW! What a transformation. I just never thought changing the color from cream to bright white on trim would make a difference, but it sure did. And that $50 in paint supplies saved me lots in window treatments! lol

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 10/15/2013 11:26 a.m. #

        Carol, thanks very much for sharing that tip! That is excellent that you were able to make a huge difference with a can of white paint. And I love that the designer was honest with you. I agree that painting a room, and in your case the trim, can make a huge difference.

    • Ellen M. Gregg

      Ellen M. Gregg 10/13/2013 2:04 p.m. #

      Fantastic post, Sicorra! I'm a Property Brothers, Income Property, and Mike Holmes fan, and I'm surprised and thrilled by how much I've learned from watching their TV shows.

      Even though my house isn't on the market, one thing I'm doing right now is addressing paint color. This weekend, about half of the first floor has been painted a neutral - and gorgeous - shade of gray-blue. It's impactful enough to be noticed, and subtle enough to provide the backdrop for almost any other color. I like it so much, I think I'm going to utilize it on the rest of the first floor, and it may just find its way into other spaces, too. :-)

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 10/15/2013 11:32 a.m. #

        Thanks very much Ellen!
        We love all the home renovation shows, esp Mike Holmes, as well.
        Painting can be a lot of work but the results can make you feel like you have purchased a new home. I love the gray-blue color too. Good for you for working your way through painting your entire home. I'm sure it looks beautiful :-)

    • Maggie@SquarePennies

      Maggie@SquarePennies 10/13/2013 9:48 p.m. #

      Good advice, Sicorra! Most people are looking for easy-care finishes also. If your front door is painted an unusual color, paint it something neutral. Put a colorful potted plant near the front door to perk up the look and give a good first impression!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 10/15/2013 11:35 a.m. #

        Hey Maggie! Love your suggestion! I much prefer a neutral color door to a bright one. Our last home had a light gray front door. Now we are in a rental house and someone before us painted the front door a weird dark red\burgundy even though the rest of the outside of the house is white with blue trim. The door just looks weird.

    • Julia

      Julia 10/18/2013 12:41 p.m. #

      Why go overboard trying to modernize your house when a few simple steps can greatly increase your home value? A traditionally decorated feel and classic cleaning can make all the difference.

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