Renovate? Re-design… Or Sell?
by Kris Brigden | A home is the single largest investment most people will make in a lifetime. Whether you plan on living in your house for a couple of years, or the rest of your life, you need to help your investment grow, and keep your options open. Renovating or selling can be stressful when you are doing it for the wrong reason, and without a game plan.
In my almost two decade career of being in the design business, when evaluating a home for renovation or re-sale, I have never met someone who believes their house is of less value than that of its counterpart in the same price range.
I hear statements like: “everything out there in our price range is junk,” or “the builder’s finishes are so limited,” and “in our house… bla bla bla.” Realistically if people are not beating down your door asking you if you would consider selling, then chances are your home could use a facelift.
The truth is, we all believe our homes are special. Those rose coloured glasses go on at the front door. What sets your home apart from the competition? Keep in mind that buyers are savvy. Design shows, weekend reno-makeovers, and flippers have educated the average homeowner. Realistic or not, buyers are like you, and they want perfection.
Renovation is less of a science and more of an experiment. There are however the tried, tested and true steps to achieve maximum appeal and return.
- Leave the glasses at the front door and make an honest list of the things you love about your home and what you dislike.
- Make a wish list, as if money were no object. Then get a professional designer to put realistic numbers to the wants. Find your investment output for the best return. This is usually the step where homeowners go wrong. They invest money in the wrong areas or on the wrong product. A designer can save you a lot of time and money.
- Choose applicable fixtures and finishes that match your home’s price range and location.
- Concentrate on the ‘selling’ features such as updated kitchens and bathrooms. Removing carpeting and replacing with hardwood can increase the value of your home substantially.
- Fresh paint is imperative. It is the least expensive transformation a homeowner can make. Pay attention to ceilings and trim. Choose neutral or earth tone colours that are pleasing and nonoffensive. If you are going to do colour keep it subtle. Canary yellow might be your favourite colour, but a buyer can’t look past the paint to see the bones of the house.
- If you have decided this spring to sell have your property staged. It is a small investment that will set your home apart from the competition. Your house is going on a blind date and needs to look its best Toronto and Muskoka-based designer KRIS BRIGDEN is Principal of North Muskoka House Ltd., a full-service residential design firm that works on small and full-scale design projects throughout Northern Ontario, Toronto and the GTA.
In particular, they are dedicated to designing inviting interiors that are specifically catered to each clients individual lifestyle needs. www.northmuskokahouse.com